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From Graham Lauder <>
Subject Re: Website Content plus Look and Feel Improvements
Date Wed, 06 Jul 2011 07:39:46 GMT
On Tue, 2011-07-05 at 13:33 -0400, Rob Weir wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 5:04 AM, Graham Lauder <> wrote:
> > On Sun, 2011-07-03 at 10:23 -0700, Dave Fisher wrote:
> >> On Jul 2, 2011, at 9:29 PM, Graham Lauder wrote:
> >
> >
> >> >
> >> > Much of what is on there is legacy material that could be seriously
> >> > pruned.  For instance all the old Marketing material that is V2.0 and
> >> > earlier could be deleted.
> >>
> >> What would you do to the main site if you were starting from
> >
> > Big question, moving to Apache has one big advantage from my POV.
> > (I should point out that my POV is marketing centric and is End User
> > focussed rather than developer focussed.)
> >
> > With the content going onto CMS it makes it a lot easier for marketing
> > content to be updated and changed as required. The Collabnet setup was
> > difficult.
> >
> > The OOo web presence is huge, not just the website itself but all the
> > NLC projects, the services part, maillists, forums, downloads and so on.
> > Each fragment is looked after by it's own team.  There are overlaps (ie:
> > Distribution and CDROM) and global projects (Renaissance, art, UX)  each
> > piece has it's user base and it's client base and so the website as an
> > entirety, obviously has to reflect that.
> >
> Yes, there were a lot of teams.  Everyone seemed to have an official
> project title, often several ;-)

Heh not everyone, but true there were a lot. Each had a Lead and a
co-lead, then specific roles within each project.  You have to remember
that each section was treated as a project on it's own and this for good
reason.  OOo is a beast as people are discovering, there are very few
people who could make informed comment about the entire project, maybe
Mathias and Thorsten and Louis and a few others, but to be up to speed
on all the code and the marketing and the documentation and the
Linguacomponent and the NLC and the Renaissance project etc etc
is ....well you can see what I mean.  

You break problems down into manageable chunks, then create the
infrastructure that pulls all that together into a whole.  In a Bazaar
this size, it seems chaotic to the Cathedral builders. the problem is
that this bazaar was trying to build a cathedral and so the stalls in
the bazaar became minicathedrals to a degree, but that was possibly a
symptom of the corporate ownership.  It is true that many people wore
several hats but I never considered that a huge problem, that's human
nature, we all wear different hats.  The problem was the coordination of
all of the disparate pieces.   

> We had some earlier discussions on this.  Personally, I was proposing
> that we take the opportunity to simplify.  For example, right now
> we're doing all the work on ooo-dev.  At some point it will be clear,
> perhaps soon, that we need an ooo-user list. And maybe a few others.
> But I'd resist the urge to recreate the byzantine complexity of OOo
> until we're sure that we need it.  I'm hoping we never do.

Small projects do have the advantage that people can contribute as suits
their availability and feel their contribution is meaningful.  That's
just a function of Human group dynamics, we can get to know about 8
people well, 25 we can work with, once the numbers get up however then
people are simply in the company of strangers and thus they feel
unrecognised and unappreciated.

> > The home page as it is now was designed originally with one overriding
> > goal: "increase downloads."
> >
> Do you think this should still be the overriding goal of the homepage?

There was reasoning behind this, more downloads = more users, More Users
= Greater market share, More market share = more contributors. However
the homepage grew from that original precept to become "Make it as easy
as possible for someone landing on the homepage to have their OOo needs
fulfilled!"  Downloads was one of those needs.  

There was a history to the "More Downloads" thing, in 06 I think it was,
Sun decided to spend some money on promoting OOo.  Rather than giving it
to the marketing project and letting us use it as best we could, they
spent it with a promotions company to use on internet marketing (and
gave the Marketing team a part of it, with the proviso that it be spent
on promo materials, but that's another story.)  The promo company spent
around 35K USD, IMS, on google keywords and the like on a "Pay on click
through" basis. Clicking on a text ad or keyword sent people to  The money disappeared fast, so there were lots
of clickthroughs.  However, the rate of download changed not even so
much as decimal of a percent.  The promo company picked up their check
and the value to the project was zero.  To me and number of other people
in the marketing project, the reason was obvious.  The redesign of the
homepage was a response to that failure, so that if ever they were that
generous again we could say: "Just link to homepage
because we have proved that it increases downloads."   

> > Therefore we had to analyse our catchment, identify our user groups and
> > their specific needs and patterns of usage of the Website. We then
> > needed to specifically identify the Home page users and their needs.  It
> > should be noted that while there is a crossover, Homepage users are a
> > different set to Website users.  Regular community members tend to
> > bypass the homepage because they know where they can fulfil their needs
> > already, they either go straight to the wiki or the forums or docs or
> > whichever part is specific to their part of the community.
> >
> > IMS We identified 5 groups that visit the Homepage.
> >
> > Casual arrivals
> > People seeking a download, either for the first time or to upgrade
> > Users seeking assistance
> > People wishing to contribute to the community
> > Developers
> >
> What is a "casual arrival"?  Is that someone arriving via a search?

The Casual arrival was someone who clicked a Google ad or keyword out of
curiosity. Someone who has done a search specifically for OOo is
generally already informed about OOo, conversely someone who had
searched say for "Free Office Suites" would fit the Casual arrival

> Have you ever seen any traffic reports for  Or
> something like Google Analytics, that would show how the web site is
> being used currently?

Probably the nearest thing would be

Not all up to date unfortunately, but not unexpected.  Obviously the
marketing teams main concern was the download numbers, the average was
about 300,000 a day back around 3.2 launch if memory serves

> > So, keep the home page as is or find someway to get the CMS to display
> > it, action statements intact at least.
> >
> > Then to my mind the only subs to the OOo domain that I would think that
> > would be compulsory would be:
> >
> > and
> >
> >
> > and the NLC subdomains
> >
> > The rest of the website could happily exist under
> >
> This is close to what I was proposing.  Move the project-centric
> services and content, the stuff that project volunteers access most,
> to the Apache address.  But keep as the public-facing,
> user-facing portal for the product.


Graham Lauder, MarCon (Marketing Contact) NZ Migration and training Consultant.

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