Terribly overdue post on Ohio LinuxFest!

I’ve been completely tied up between FUDCon:Tempe planning and my lovely sister’s wedding this past weekend (grats to the new Mrs. Alexandra Allin and hubby Jason).


I had the privilege of attending Ohio LinuxFest, in lovely Columbus, over the weekend of September 10-12. My primary objective at the event was to give a presentation on OMNOM – that is, Open Marketing, Not Obscured Marketing – which, thankfully, went over well.  I reportedly was slightly nervous sounding until I got to the slide about Cylons (and their master plan), so this is apparently going to be my first slide in the future to break the ice.  (As a side note: I hadn’t spoke at a conference in front of other humans in like 10 years, so I was pretty much ready to barf.) Thankfully, I had my moral support crowd present, including mchua, jjmcd, ke4qqq, and gtswagger.  Anyway; I had a good size audience, given that it was the “day before” track, as well as the fact that “Marketing” is not usually the hottest topic (though I aspire to change that!).  I talked a bit about what strategy is, and how to involve community in strategic planning, what steps one might want to take – whether a large project or small – and talked about some other communities who are doing community-oriented strategic planning, including Wikimedia and openSUSE, as well as Fedora.  I also talked about some other smaller-scale marketing projects and tools that communities can use, including microblogging strategies, surveys, content, interviews, etc. I managed to make it through with time to spare, without barfing (win!!!), and didn’t even hide when maddog started taking pictures halfway through the presentation.  Had some interesting, ahem, questions from the audience (“I think a great marketing idea would be for Linux to be an ISP for the whole country”), and some productive talk as well. All in all, I DIDNT FAIL, and that’s a good thing, right? 🙂  I also managed to see some good presentations, and be somewhat bitter that ke4qqq, stickster, and akgraner were all speaking simultaneously. (What’s up with that?!)

The day following I went to the “Diversity Day” for a bit.  Not really my scene.  Maybe I am just lucky enough to work in a community of people who are accepting of you no matter what you have going on, you know, *down there*. (I ❤ Fedora people!) In general – I think there are some things which may make females hesitant to participate in formerly white, english-speaking, male-dominated areas – but it doesn’t change overnight, and I think by and large most people are very accepting of having more diversity all around.  Where I start drawing the line is when it starts feeling like it’s almost a contest to see who can have the most female speakers – frankly, I think more focus on having *the best* speakers speak is a good idea, even if that means that I am getting eliminated from that list 🙂 But I digress.

I also had the chance to sit down with Bryen Yunashko from openSUSE for a bit to talk about strategy and other marketing type stuff.  We’re going to see if we can find a home for a distro-agnostic mailing list to talk about higher-level Marketing Things, and see if we can drum up more interest in the concept of upstream marketing in general.

Of course, as with all cons, I had the opportunity to see old friends, as well as make new ones – I got to hang out with spot, stickster, bethlynn, jjmcd (who I met for the first time and is TOTALLY AWESOME), mchua (my perpetual and awesome roommate), ke4qqq, mock, threethirty, southern_gentlem and the battleaxe and southern_gentlem_jr, the SELF crew (gtswagger, daveyates, ja-s), and as always, I was confused with the perpetually cool akgraner (Are you Amber???? No, I’m her evil twin. And she’s my evil twin!). I also got to meet Ruth Suehle of opensource.com fame, who is completely awesome and filled with at least as much sarcasm and fun as I am 🙂 as well as her excellent husband Scott.  Additionally, Ruth wrote a nice blog post on opensource.com about my presentation. Thanks, Ruth!

I also managed to see the world’s greatest ever Marketing display.

All in all, an excellent trip – and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at UTOSC next month, when rrix and I arrive after our epic road trip from Arizona. I’ll be speaking about MOAR MARKETING goodness, and rrix will be presenting on Campus Ambassadors. More on that soon! 😀

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