I'm using this happy-fun-meta-play-time as a reward for myself for  getting certain clusters of FI and FUDCon tasks done, so every time you see a post on this, it means I've been at least a little bit productive. ;-) This is from last night.

Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I read things. Like over 5 years of Fedora Marketing mailing list archives. I've been meaning to get a grounding in the history of Fedora Marketing for a while, and this seemed like one good way to do it (I read all the old meeting logs this summer when I first subbed in for Jack). The first pass took me about 3 hours, but at least 10 solid minutes (if not more) of that was taken up by "laughing so hard I can't see the screen" time.

It was fascinating to watch people weave in and out of the list, see old conversations reappear, and notice what didn't get written about on the list - things casually referenced in conversation that probably made perfect sense to everyone in context at the time, but which lead modern-day sociologists on hunts through the internet to find out What Everybody Else Was Talking About Back Then. Good times!

And yes, I said "first pass." This was the roughest kind of qualitative analysis possible, basically done to get an overview (for myself) of what happened and pull out shiny bits I want to look at more a little later. Next up will be looking at those shiny bits in more detail and seeing if I want to do any further qualitative analysis (probably not; there's plenty of actionable stuff in even this far-less-than-rigorously-done first pass, and I don't think I'll actually get more Marketing-fu from going through a more formal coding process) and then dumping the gzip files into Thunderbird 3, as the new beta 4 has lovely search/sort/stats capabilities I think I may be able to tinker with in EKG-esque style to get some quantitative stats.

So there will undoubtedly be much more detail later as I walk through the "look, selected links I found to be intriguing!" parade. However, the biggest lesson that this traipse through the archives has flash-baked into my mind is this:

Fedora Marketing is about strategy.

My notion of what "strategy" means is still forming; Greg explained it to me in terms of chess, Karsten in terms of battle, neither of which I have any practical experience with (except for playground skirmishes in my much younger years, which don't exactly count). But from what I've gathered, strategy is long-term thinking, a plan of action rather than individual action items, the choice of a way to reach a specific goal. That having been said, we've got a ton of practical action items to hack through right now - feature profiles, FI deployment, and the list goes on. That having been said, all those action items move forward things that give us that bigger-picture "where are various things aimed?" view - maybe we're more like scouts; what's happening? Where are the pieces moving? How do we give people the information and the tools they need so they can aim at the targets that'll get them where they want to go? Random musings from late at night; not very fully-formed yet.

One of the tough things about impending crunch times is that the tendency (for me, at least) is to put your head down and do work! and think "I am too busy to take time to explain to people in an understandable coherent manner what is going on," which makes it next to impossible for people to jump in and help you when you most need it. I'm going to try an experiment and swing over to the other end of the spectrum from now 'till Beta in ~2 weeks; data will cross the marketing mailing list at high speed, and it will be as coherent as possible while still getting everything out in a notification and getting everything done, in that order. I know that we have to get things done, so I figure that if I try to holler before we do something, we'll get both the hollering and the doing, whereas if we just jump straight to the "do," things happen, but not with any semblance of transparency. Tomorrow, when I'm properly conscious, I'll be simultaneously cranking through and more crisply articulating the to-do items on our list, so that it's easier for other people to jump in, pick up a task, and help.

</thinking out loud>