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People person, technology enthusiast and all-things-open evangelist. I have managed and marketed communities for over a decade, getting started in the KDE community, followed by working as openSUSE Community Manager at SUSE and now managing community matters at ownCloud. I'm busy growing the ownCloud community, speaking at and organizing conferences and writing about my passions ranging from psychology and people in communities to innovative technology. I take care of my dog together with my wife in beautiful Berlin and you can find me also on Twitter and Diaspora!

27 July, 2010

New job...

Hi all!

openSUSE just announced that I will be joining them. Yay, I'll be part of the masses of Free Software contributors who are doing what they love to do, full time, supported by a paycheck!

The job

Novell has hired me as the new openSUSE community manager. I've got some big shoes to fill, Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier did a great job. I've been diving into openSUSE (way too much to grasp in a short time...) and I've read several comments from people who miss him. I'm no Zonker - different people, different ideas & habits. However, I can tell you I greatly look forward to the work and I'll put all my love and energy into it ;-)

But please be patient for a week or so, as I still have my old job...

about me

For those who don't know me, a short FOSS resume (the 'real world life' ain't that interesting): I've been a moderator on the dutch Mandrivaclub forums (which was very active about 5 years ago) and have hung, like most of us, around in quite a few communities over the last 10 years. Meanwhile I got involved with KDE due to the devious manipulations of Fabrice Mous who used to be the dutch Promo master. After writing about and for KDE for a few years, I kind'a had to become really invested as the KDE promo team was in a bad spot. I worked hard to get new volunteers involved - and now we have an bunch of minions doing my bidding amazing team of contributors. They did a great job last year (as I wrote in my Marketing Team report).

Last Akademy I proposed a new Marketing Work Group (Stuart, Justin, Pradeepto and Sandro) who will be guiding the promo and marketing efforts in KDE. Thanks to them I can leave my position as team lead now and dive into the openSUSE community. Please don't give the MWG too hard a time and help out where you can!

New stuff

I'll be moving down the foodchain - distributions have many relationships with other communities like the kernel developers, xorg, the desktop teams, server stuff and much more. I used to be pretty interested in core kernel stuff (once tested much of Con Kolivas' patches and even complained once or twice to Linus about how Con was treated) and I know very little of networking and packaging. So it seems like a perfect opportunity to widen my scope again and learn cool new stuff!

openSUSE is cooool...

As I said I've been reading up on stuff, getting involved a bit, and I must say the openSUSE contributors rock. It's a friendly bunch, dedicated, I love it. So over the next months I will figure out how things are going and see where I can help. The next month will be busy - I'll meet some colleagues at Novell and openSUSE, but I'll also start to dive into the work.

Note - I've seen everyone has been picking up where Zonker left, that's amazing. The work around the 11.3 release was great, the marketing team is growing and things are moving forward. Now I might have this 'manager' in my title, but in the end I'm just another contributor who happens to be lucky enough to be paid full-time. So I won't be telling anyone what to do ;-)

I would however really appreciate it if people let me know what they think, what needs to happen, where help is needed! Especially now there is a big discussion going on about the strategy of openSUSE, the direction we need to take. That's a big thing, which needs careful consideration by everyone involved. So contact me if you want - jospoortvliet at the gmail servers is my address for now.

Love and hugs,


19 July, 2010

Question about the dot readership...

Hi all,

I was wondering - the dot editors have clearly been in a frenzy lately, publishing articles like it's nothing. We've restricted ourselves to 1 article a day at most - but they're often quite a read. I wonder what people think... Since we've turned of anonymous comments I don't see a lot of input from the community, and I'm wondering - do you guys and girls like the articles? Are there things we can improve? Is the frequency to high? Too low? And as usual - wanna help out?


07 July, 2010

Dude... Akademy Rocks!

/me likes Finland.

It's clean and the people are reasonably nice; quality of food is good, the nature is beautiful, plenty wifi. If only things weren't so expensive...

This Akademy has to the most smoothest sailing KDE conference so far. The local team did an amazing job - I've heard several others notice this, it's quite clear. The whiteboard with the 'add some comments' is a cool idea, even more so is the thing with four smileys which you can use to express your feelings when you walk by.

And watching the game is really really cool. Tonight - Spain vs Germany! Last night NL kicked the last piece of South America out ;-)
Sorry dudes :D

05 July, 2010

KDE promo last year!

So I promised in an earlier blog to summarize what I've presented today to the e.V. membership: the work of our marketing/promo team!


Last year has been a stunning year. Why? Well, 12 months ago, at the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit, there was barely any marketing team left. After some comments by Till Adam I decided to stop writing myself into a burn out and start recruiting new promo peeps. Which has been quite successful, luckily many new volunteers have joined the promo team and it's a vibrant and active bunch! I think the work we've done over the last 6 months speaks volumes.


Now before I start talking about what we did over the last year, first a cool announcement: we've got a new Marketing Working Group! A few years ago the MWG was set up at the same time as the Technical and Community Working Groups. The MWG has become rather inactive (as in, all the members were busy with other things) and hasn't done much over the last year. At the e.V. meeting today I have proposed to relieve the current members of their duty (they had agreed with that when I asked them) and to appoint four new members:

Stuart Jarvis, UK citizen and very active KDE promo dude. Referred to as 'Royal Stu' since he was named so in a badly translated article on a Chinese website when he announced the rebranding for us, he was on the kde-promo marketing list for years but became very active at the end of 2009, recently taking care of the new KDE software labels and editing articles for the dot.
Justin Kirby, US citizen and closely related to one of our e.V. board members (as in, shares a home with Celeste). He claimed he wanted to get involved for a long time but finally came through at the end of last year and is working on the t-shirt store and other stuff.
Pradeepto Bhattacharya, from India, needs little introduction for most of us. He's incredibly active in India, organizing meetings, attending conferences, representing KDE almost every week. He has been involved in the KDE community for many years and his work resulted in the we are KDE song. What else to say?
Sandro Andrade, one of the Brazilian cornerstones of KDE promo. He co-founded the LiveBlue, has been writing code for years and of course promotes KDE in Brazil. He also tends to create pretty pictures like the KDE SC 4.4 release party poster!

The e.V. membership agreed and they were voted in. So we've got a diverse bunch of people, who have proved themselves by their dedication and skills - and they now have to steer the MWG towards relevance again. Good luck guys, make something out of this!


Then, the report you've all be waiting for (of course).

What happened in 2009-2010?

  • As usual: the team attended lots of events & fairs.

  • GCDS not a big success in promo area, lacking volunteers.
  • after that focus on growth of the team, including return of some 'old timers'
  • New DOT infrastructure (drupal)
  • Dot became much more active, new writers & editors (latest addition to editors: Carl Symons)
  • Too many writers to mention, new writers every month!
  • marketing pages on wiki - better coordination
  • November: Marketing team meeting with many new members (15 people, compare with 2008: 4 people!)
  • Planning for release of 4.4 (announcement & feature guide),
  • rebranding and
  • new website launched with restructured and updated content
  • After meeting: Rebranding announcement.
  • work on connecting with other communities, did get in a bit closer touch with Brazilian community (still lots to do)
  • Januari: promo gearing up to Camp KDE, was successful.
  • work on social media like Youtube, Facebook and linked-In
  • Februari: great promo around 4.4 release, including new website and update!
  • New KDE software labels for wider community
  • e.V. Supporting membership supported by Promo team
  • T-shirt and other gear shop
  • Booth Box improvements coming up
  • lots of work to prepare for Akademy - more professional than ever.
  • Another thing: we're testdriving Etherpad to get rid of Google Docs! thanks to Jeff Mitchel for setting it up.

There is obviously more, and these notes are short - but I think it's clear that 2010 has been a stunning year for KDE promo up and until now, and I hope it'll only get better!

03 July, 2010

Akademy 2010 started

Yay, sitting here in the big room listening to a MeeGo talk by Valtteri. He's not exactly the business type I expected, btw, he doesn't even wear a suit... For somebody who's a 'director' he looks rather normal ;-)

So yes, the trip was just fine - I expected to travel alone but ended up in the "Akademy flight". From NL to Helsinki we were with about 5 people, from Helsinky to Tampere the airplane had almost 50% Akademy visitors... Nice timing.

The party was great, and I enjoyed the 2-1 vs Brazil, but didn't get drunk as my belly decided to step in and tell me to go back to the hotel. I'm getting used to my lack of intelligence when it comes to handling my body... Eating almost nothing for a full day during the traveling, then having a few beers, then eating way to fast and too much. I do it every darn time...

And now I'm hungry as I didn't manage to find breakfast.

Luckily there will be lunch soonish and I also look forward to meeting the other promo peeps, walking around, talking to people I haven't seen in a while, listening to talks and all the stuff one typically does at the coolest conference in the year.