03 March, 2011

openSUSE Marketing Meeting in Los Angeles

Finally, after well over a week of telling myself I should blog I have found some time. Sleep is overrated and I can't actually get any while flying anyway so let me tell you why I had to blog.

Marketing Meeting and SCALE

Last week the openSUSE Marketing team had their first dedicated marketing meeting in Los Angeles. This was followed by the whole bunch attending SCALE. SCALE is probably the most prominent Free Software conference in the USA and we made a big splash there so that was really cool!

At the meeting we had lots of fun of course. We had an incredible team from all over the world - Australia (Helen), Greece (Kostas), Swiss (Bruno), Brazil (Izabel and Carlos), USA (Chuck, Tony and Bryen) and myself (a Dutchie). Stephen and Tyler (from OMGSUSE fame) joined us for SCALE. And I should mention that Alan Clark was there as well for the full week. Unfortunately, some we hoped would be there could not make it - including James, who was ill, and Manu Gupta from India who had Exams interfere with his trip. Luckily both of them as well as others joined us via IRC.
Hard at work at oS Marketing Meeting LA

Results

So what has the team been up to? First of all, getting to know each other. Most of us never ever met in real life. And we've got a great team, really cool! During the week we worked, initially quite organized (we set up an agenda, split in teams and worked on the tasks) later on in a more 'organic' fashion with constantly changing teams and tasks. We did a variety of things - work on marketing materials, preparation of the 11.4 release, GSOC (thanks, Izabel & Kostas), a bit for the openSUSE Conference and some writing. And as usual we didn't get 10% done of what we wanted to do - yet I'm very happy with the results. For our 11.4 release we'll have a lovely Feature Guide, showing our users what's new in this release. Based on the Feature guide you can expect some articles to be released before and after the release, as well as other marketing materials. We've prepared a bunch of presentations on a variety of subjects (Tony, thanks for your work on Tumbleweed!) and improved some wiki pages with information for our ambassadors (Kostas!!!!). And a series of posters was made - a really *awesome* series of posters! Clearly, putting Carlos & Helen in one room leads to some cool stuff!
Having fun at oS Marketing Meeting LA
And we learned a lot from each other - especially Bruno and Tony who were the more technical among us were answering questions a lot of the time. During the evenings - well, we usually kept working, but we also had a few beers and cigarettes outside the conference room. Usually people stayed around until 2-3, I usually went to bed early 'cuz I had to open it up which I did around 8. Food we got from a supermarket (Novell paid) so we always had fresh sandwiches with lots of stuff to put on them. That was really good - the first day we had lunch at Denny's but nobody really liked that much so the other three days we just made our own food...
Having food at oS Marketing Meeting LA
Friday we enjoyed a day off - at least, most of the day. A bunch of us went 'tourist' and saw the Hollywood sign, the famous stars and of course LA traffic, traffic and traffic...
Being tourists at oS Marketing Meeting LA

And now...

Now I have some more pics to upload and some people to kick about the reports they have to write. And I have to thank Bryen again and again for the organization of this meeting, as well as Novell for paying for it! SCALE deserves a blog of its own, which I'll do tomorrow or Saturday.