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People person, technology enthusiast and all-things-open evangelist. Previously community manager at SUSE and now at ownCloud while continuing an decade long involvement in the KDE community. Enjoys avoiding traffic and public transport on bike through Berlin, but only when the weather is good. Loves cooking for friends and family and playing with our dog. Find me also on Twitter!

30 November, 2009

promo work

Hi all,

If you're interested in becoming part of the marketing & promo team and do something meaningful, check the KDE promo tasks page.

We've been working on creating a list if things which has to be done, and that list is huge. And often still too vague etcetera. And too many are on my name ;-)

To give you a taste of some tasks, let me go through a few of them.

One area were we'll be doing a lot of work is of course the marketing of KDE SC 4.4. We have been identifying the main message for the release announcement, and that will get done. But we need one or two good screencasts for the announcement and a few more for the feature guide. They must be made during december. What should be in them? ask on promo ;-)
So if you always wanted to make a screencast with over a 100.000 viewers, join kde-promo and start working on this!

Then there is the feature guide. It is a lot of work - but this will guide new users through all the cool stuff in KDE SC 4.4 and is thus very important! We haven't even started yet... Is it hard? Nope, not when working with so many cool people as are on the promo list. So if you feel like coordinating this - email me or the promo list. I've done it before so I can give some tips and help out.

Then for something completely different. Ever given a talk about KDE? Tried to sell KDE software to a bunch of geeks, housewives or ICT managers? No, but you'd love to? Either way, you can help yourself AND others to do this. Many in the promo team have experience with that but we need somebody to go and put it all in a wiki. Some info is already available on site and that needs to get in the wiki page as well.There is a wiki page for this already, you can get started right away!

And again something different. There will be release parties for the 4.4 release and we need somebody to help coordinate some things, make sure each release party has some good promo stuff like posters, stickers and stuff - and anything else you can think of to make the parties rock. Go to the wiki and make a difference ;-)

Some of the tasks are pretty small, and if you feel up to it - just add your name, announce it on kde-promo and go ahead. The promo team will be more than willing to give tips and tricks and get you going. You can make a difference!

Oh, one more thing: I'm bad at wiki's. Really bad. Unstructured and stuff. Feel free to fix anything ;-)
Here's the wiki for Promo.


Hey, ppl are picking the rebranding spirit up ;-)

Love this brainstorm idea - why not use digikam instead of Fspot on Ubuntu?

Unfortunately digkam brings in over 200 mb of dependecies - that's a bit much, I can see that. So we should simply strive to make sure most if not all these dependencies become part of a standard linux desktop installation. Making KDE applications work better in non-KDE-plasma-desktop environments is an important step in that regard...

On a different topic, I'm in Oslo still, the KOffice meeting is of course over and I've caught up on sleep a bit. I still have about 4 hours to spend in this city and I'm unsure on how... Currently I'm working on some promo/marketing things but I guess it's healthy to take some time off - tomorrow will be day job until friday so if I don't relax a bit now I've have skipped on a weekend - again. Last time didn't agree with me (was tired all week) so I shouldn't do that.

28 November, 2009

KOffice meeting

Had a good flight yesterday, now I'm in Oslo. The KOffice meeting has started. Was a bit late this morning - The Other Jos had put his phone (with alarm set) next to my bed. He needs to do that to force himself to get up and turn it off. However, I didn't need to get out of bed - just smash the phone. Ok, didn't do that, but I did turn it of quickly, turned around and continued sleeping. The Other Jos didn't even wake up. We had to take a cab, shared with Jstaniek and lukas Tvrdy.

Aaah well. Be on the lookout for an article later today, it's under review now ;-)

24 November, 2009

Finally: rebranding KDE

I'm relieved. After close to 2 years of thinking and discussing, the rebranding of KDE is official. From now on, the K Desktop Environment is dead. "KDE 4.4" will never see the light of day.

Today, "KDE" has officially moved on.
KDE is no longer software created by people, it is people creating software!

I won't go into this any further, as the dot article isn't up yet - but it will be soon - just gave Stu the go to publish. When he does you will be able to read what this is about.

Don't worry: most of it will sound familiar, we have changed our communication over the past year to fit the new branding. But some of it will be new. After years of discussing this and consulting the wider community (both by contacting key figures by personal mail and by discussing it on kde-devel, for example) it was time to move. We have made decisions (many of them at the recent marketing meeting), and yes, you could debate them. Please don't. Dark blue or light blue bikeshed, it does not matter.

We're not done yet, lots of text has to be rewritten (help is welcome!) and there still are some decisions to be made. But I'm feeling relieved now, really. It's out.

22 November, 2009

Keep on marketing!

Today, Casper v Donderen visited me. He wanted to discuss an article he'll be writing for a dutch Linux magazine about Maemo development. We went through the messaging and structure. Of course I'm blogging this to both remind him of the agreed deadline (2nd week of december) and to put on some pressure.

Yes, I'm like that. Very nice when we first meet - makes you wanna join the promo team. From then on, you'll be harassed by me. If I would have the travel budget, I'd actually stalk people - showing up in the middle of the night on their lawn, singing songs to their windows. Stealing underwear and stuff. Unfortunately the e.V. board didn't want to sponsor that particular motivational scheme. Too bad.

I also showed Casper the upcoming rebranding announcement mentioned in this article for the dot. Darn, that's gonna lead to some flamewars I'm afraid. Really. It's a big change which raises many hard-to-answer questions. We did our best, discussed it with the wider community (thread on KDE devel, blogging) and it was all thought out on a public mailing list, but still. At the marketing meeting we had to make some executive decisions to move this forward - every time you discuss it, the argument seems to ends in bikeshedding.

Which can be seen as a good thing. People care about KDE. About what it means, what it stands for. And they each have their own opinions on that. Naturally, these have emerged from these years of cooperation, and it's a very implicit thing. Not unlike the values the KDE community shares - now codified in our code of conduct. That one is worth a read - it is not only about how you SHOULD behave but also gives a nice description of our culture, how we are and how we think.

But shared values aside, we're still individuals, who disagree on things. We're not all here for the same reasons, you know... Some are in it for the money (ok, I actually doubt that's true for many, but I do think it's a valid reason). Others for the fame. Some want to make the world a better place. Others just want to have some fun.

I can go on of course, and for many it's a bunch of reasons, not a single one. I just want to say that when you read the announcement, to be posted in a few days, think about what the most important message is: KDE IS YOU. It is about us all, it is who we are. Yes, fluffy, yes, I sound like a hippy. Or something. And it's far less concrete and clear than KDE as a product. But it IS true.


All of you. What, you only read the planet, don't do much else? No? You never answer questions on a forum, IRC, mail? You never installed or recommended any KDE application to anyone? You don't care about world domination for Free Software? You don't have to write code to be part of this community, you know... You don't even have to spend >10 hours a week on it. I've never written a single line of code, and sometimes I don't have time for KDE stuff for weeks. But I feel part of this wonderful community. Fluffy feelings, yay! And so can you.

17 November, 2009

Back from Marketing in Stuttgart

Had to wait for 1.5 hour in Frankfurt on the way back home, so I decided to have a look at the city. I've never seen the area around central station (hauptbahnhof for bloody germans). Right in front of central station there is plenty of entertainment, of an interesting variety. Bars which don't focus on beer - seems un-german to me, but I guess that other need has to be serviced even in Germany.

I recently saw the Red Light district in Amsterdam for the first time when I had Hölger over for a visit. I must say the Frankfurter integration of the sex related services in their city center is far more elaborate. The Red Light district sports a few bars & one or two evening shops, but that's about it - it's pretty disconnected from the rest of Amsterdam. Not here, in the center of Stuttgart. Above a "girls girls bar" there was a youth hostel, and a nice but expensive looking indian restaurant was sitting just next to another "nice girls" bar. Interesting. The area was filled with suits walking from (presumably) work to the main station. Combined with the more shady types hanging there it created a weird atmosphere.

At Hauptbahnhof I found a german würst shop (well it said "schnell restaurant" but was more sausage-oriented than any butchery I've seen in my home country). Bought some to bring home. Didn't have the bratwürst I've been asking Eckhart for all weekend - the German style lunch (big Pizza) was still heavy on my stomach. Will have to wait until next time I'm in Germany.

On to KDE-ish stuff: if you want to help the world domination plans Stu mentioned, join KDE promo or mail me. Skills? If you can read it'll do, we have plenty of big marketing geniusses already - you'll be one of those in a couple of months, believe me.

Frankly marketing in the FOSS world suffers from having more ideas than people willing to actually DO something... The KDE promo team is blessed with a rather healthy number of worker bees but it is still hard to keep things happening. I must admit the planning is cool, and we do have big plans - after world domination, the next five year plan involves the Milky Way - but at some point, sites have to be build, text has to be written, people have to be talked to. And that's fun too, just takes a bit more of an pro-active attitude...

15 November, 2009

one more thing

I just learned there is a new star on the rise in the KDE community. Forget OpenSuse, Pardus, Kubuntu, Arch - enter Hannah Montana. Yes, uses the Plasma Desktop Workspace and many other KDE applications ;-)

marketing and more

Gush, the marketing meeting is almost over.

No, not because it's 10 at night, just because everyone is exhausted. Or it's just me being exhausted enough for all, I dunno, I only know I can sleep anywhere now.

Still, we accomplished a lot. I asked ppl involved in all topics to present the results for the group. Stuart will write a dot article about the meeting and of course include those results, so be on the lookout for that. I must admit we still haven't gotten to actual world domination so there still is a lot to do. Not the least of that would be finishing our work on a booklet and lots of other writing.

Aaah well, currently I mostly think about how nice it would be if there happened to be a bed just around the corner. Unlikely, given we're sitting in a large office building, but you never know. I can dream, right? Here? Please?

Picture time now.

Food & drinks (or what's left of those) on Thursday night.

Troy explained a pig would be a much better mascotte for KDE than our current dragon. If we really wanted we could give it fangs and make it pink, of course. Or blue. After that we had a familiar discussion about bike sheds and such.

Thursday we went to some ice skating & gluh wine drinking stuff. Lights, colorful people, me likes. Wine was very hot. I prefer cold beer.

And here is proof that even after slave-driving everyone for a couple of days they still like me. Kind of. I hope.

Slaves at work.

On an entirely different note, if you're an systems administrator, the NLUUG is organizing a conference for YOU. If you're experienced, think about sending in a proposal for a talk. If you're not, be sure to go and change that.

And of course, I'm going to Camp KDE. Think about going 'cuz it's gonna be great! The US community really needs to show up in large numbers - so if you're a KDE contributor in the US make sure you're there. And yes, you are a contributor if you help ppl on or edit pages on, installed a PC with KDE for your dad or hang around often in KDE IRC channels.

And if money is an issue, just contact us (see the website) or the ev board directly ( and there will be help.

12 November, 2009

Marketing Meeting sucks

(Title courtesy of the great atmosphere on the planet right now, I obviously thing the meeting is going to rock)

Currently I'm in Stuttgart, sitting in Frank Karlitscheck's office with Eckhart, Claudia and Frederik (who has cut his hair since last time we met). During the train trip I worked on the release announcement for 4.4, and discussed KDE with a good looking blonde we might see in KDE some day - so yes, my trip was great.

Most of the preparation for tomorrow is done. People are or rather will be arriving soonish, and I look forward to that too. Hugging ppl I haven't seen in a long time, yay! And of course introducing new ppl to the traditional hugs.

Now back to working on the release announcement, it's enjoyable especially when you have the right ppl around to question about stuff.

02 November, 2009

halloween & stuff

Last weekend I had a fun halloween party where I made some pics I'll share. Haven't seen any on the (yet?) so this makes me first ;-)

Also included a pic from the recent NLUUG meeting - the dinner we had afterwards... Unfortunately you're missing out on the beauty who sat next to me, but how can I not post the one where Frank looks like he's planning to murder me?

Way cool dude in a wedding dress who gave some kind of live performance outside...

Niels, good friend of mine, who was taking pictures with his oversized "I'm cooler than thou" camera. He should get himself a blog and post pics there...

Pics above speak for themselves I'd say ;-)
This is Nienke, who, with her brother, organized the party. Evil doesn't fit her, whatever she wears looks cute on her...
And she made Evil Cookies.
Yeah, there's me in a blurry pic with some green daemon.

I know, pretty much all pics are blurry. You could blame the N900 but it's more likely just me.

And here's the pic I promised showing Frank (and sebas and steven and a few more ppl I don't know) during dinner last Thursday:

On a more personal note, I'm leaving home now to travel to my new job. First day, yay :D

And in KDE related news, a few more dot articles in dire need for review. Anyone who can read and has a little time on his/her hand, please join and help out every now and then :D