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From Graham Lauder <>
Subject Re: Website Content plus Look and Feel Improvements
Date Thu, 07 Jul 2011 09:25:59 GMT
On Wed, 2011-07-06 at 08:34 -0700, Kay Schenk wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 12:39 AM, Graham Lauder <>wrote:

> > > 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.
> >
> >From my POV, what would be really helpful right now to the existing user
> base, is to somehow migrate over the "Announcement" list and its
> corresponding subscribers.  And, have someone designated to be the
> "announcement guru". My feat at the moment is losing supporters/users who
> don't have any interest in direct contribution but who use

We have to be careful about rushing before we have an established
community that is needed to run a users list.  At present we have had a
reasonably large migration to LibreOffice but I consider them to still
be part of our greater community.  In terms of brand recognition our
brand still has high profile because LO is still seen as a "fork" of
OOo.  Possibly not the best scenario for the LO people but until they
break fresh marketing ground that's simply the reality.  What this gives
us is breathing space that we would not have but for LO's existence, not
a lot it is true but enough.  OOo will not disappear from the LO users
ken for a number of months, possibly even a year.

In the interim before a release, an active announce list and marketing
blog should be priorities as well as maintaining a profile on User
forums such as 

> 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.
> Oh boy...interesting little known facts.

It was frustrating, we could have run a community driven campaign that
raised brand recognition (always our single biggest problem) and we
would have steered them to the page, build confidence in the
brand and then led them to the download button, but someone in the
corporate space somehow figured that dumping people straight onto the
download page would turn into downloads, if only it was that easy.   

> >  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."
> >
> Why wouldn't you design a homepage for "users" that makes it easier for them
> to get what they need -- monetary contributions notwithstanding?
> is first and foremost a "client" product.

The confusion with the original design was the confusion over the
definition of "User". Our problem is that our User-Base is diverse in
terms of Internet sophistication.  The homepage in it's effort to cater
for this huge diversity ended becoming too complex and confusing, a
problem I foresee if we try to simplify everything too much. A maillist
for devs is not the best place to have marketing discussions or users
complaining that their download "doesn't work", or artists considering
the aesthetics of different fontsets. 

> >
> > > > So, keep the home page as is or find someway to get the CMS to display
> > > > it, action statements intact at least.
> >
> yes...I hope to investigate the Apache CMS capabilities in this regard this
> week.

I'm still in the committer pending box, as soon as that is actioned I'll
get to grips with the CMS as well.  The initial homepage will be
probably more informational than guiding people to downloads.  We could
probably go with familiarity and substitute the download button for a
"Countdown to Release" perhaps and link it to a blog, what do you think?
Play a bit of the MS vaporware game.  Trickling press releases,
tantalising blog entries and so on!  :)  A bit difficult on public lists
it's true (which is why we had some private lists in the marketing
project) but it's all about keeping the attention simmering.


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

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