I'm going to start blogging thoughts on Fedora Marketing. It'll force me to articulate my understanding of what's going on; I started helping out almost exactly two months ago and have been learning at a tremendous clip ever since, thanks to the patience, tutelage, and support of the freakin' incredible Marketing team.

One of the things I've been wrapping my head around is the Marketing F12 Schedule. Fedora has a time based release cycle, and Marketing has a calendar of milestones that fits into each 6-month journey towards a release. At the beginning of each release cycle, we should be making A; in the middle we should make B, at the end we should be doing C - that kind of thing. The fun part (for some value of "fun") for me right now is making sure our schedule fits with the schedules of other teams - if Design plans on making banners based on a slogan from Marketing, we've got to make sure that our deadline for "give Slogan to Design" is before Design's "work on the banner!" start date.

With a lot of help from John Poelstra, the schedule's starting to take shape - both the F12-specific schedule and a general "Marketing usually does X for each release" template that'll be (theoretically) reusable for future cycles. I'm acutely aware that this schedule coordination is not directly contributing to deliverables getting done - in other words, it's "talking, not doing" - but it's an one-time painful investment that'll make life easier in releases to come. (That's what I tell myself when I spend time on it, at least.) And I stand in total awe of John, who somehow manages to do this for all the teams. (Thank you, John!)

So here's what's going on with Marketing scheduling, in case anyone is interested in the process. The basic gist of it is that we're separating milestone dates from tracking the tasks needed to achieve those milestones (and moving away from wikitable syntax for both, which makes me VERY VERY HAPPY).

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Marketing_F12_schedule will have our (lovely, wiki-editable) current combination of a tasklist-mashed-with-a-milestone-schedule until the end of today (Monday 8/3, schedule freeze day). At the end of schedule freeze day, that page will change to contain 3 things:

  1. a link to our frozen schedule (it'll look like http://poelstra.fedorapeople.org/schedules/f-12/f-12-design-tasks.html)
  2. a link to our task queue (https://fedorahosted.org/marketing-team/, which I'll be filling with tasks today); the tickets here will have more detail on the work needed for milestones, and it'll be here that we track our work.
  3. an explanation of both of the above and how they work together.

Over the next 12 hours, I'll be making sure our schedule doesn't block any other teams' schedules. This is done for most teams, but I still need to follow up with Ambassadors, Docs, and News - and find a way to be less bottleneck-ish about this in the future.

In the meantime, life (and work) goes on. Steven Moix is positioning the News Distribution Network to take advantage of the impending Fedora Insight project - more on both of these soon. Paul Frields and Ian Weller (they're everywhere!) are interfacing between the cross-team Zikula-is-awesome effort and the Marketing we'd-like-to-base-Fedora-Insight-on-Zikula effort, new contributors are coming in and being welcomed, Rahul Sundaram keeps us on top of what the media is saying about Fedora nowadays - and of course, as always, we could use more help. Scheduling is wrapping up, but one thing I'll be puzzling over immediately afterwards is the Marketing Plan. Note the not-filled-in-ness of this outline!

We need folks with a marketing background to help us translate our schedule/milestones/roadmap/strategy thoughts into a more Marketing-ish framework to make sure that we're covering the things we need to cover - if you know someone who'd be interested in talking with us for an hour or so this week and walking us through the Marketing Thought Process, show them the #fedora-mktg IRC channel in Freenode, ping mchua, and receive eternal gratitude.