Board Meeting Topic for the day: User Base, aka target audience

In case you missed the mail, there is a Fedora Board IRC meeting today, at 17:00 UTC, in #fedora-meeting-1 on freenode. AKA: IMMINENTLY. Anyone is welcome to join, and so I hope you’ll come.

Today’s topic is Fedora’s defined User Base, also commonly referred to as target audience, and whether or not that continues to be an accurate definition; and thus, by extension, if the Default Offering continues to be correct, if the messaging we put out continues to reach the correct audience, and if decisions made about how Fedora is made/what it is composed of/how it is positioned *as it is delivered* match up with the user base.

A few handy bits of information for you:

  • What is the Fedora Project?: This page provides highlights of a handful of interesting items, including: Vision Statement, Mission, Objectives, User Base, Core Values, etc.
  • User Base (aka target audience): Detail about “a set of four characteristics that describe the minimum level of consumer for whom we’ll design the default offering.” These characteristics include: Voluntary linux consumer; Computer-friendly; Likely collaborator; General productivity user.
  • Default Offering: This page describes the pieces of technology that we should deliver to meet the needs of the User Base, and how we would deliver them (aka: media formats, etc). In other words: If someone clicks to download Fedora, this should be the most likely thing that they are going to use.


So, I’ll be honest: I’ve written this blog post a few times. It winds up being really, really, really, really long. So I’m going to break it up into a few posts over the coming days (YAY SUSPENSE), but in the interim, I’ll say this:

I’ve done strategic-thinking things as my job in past $dayjobs. While you want to have a mission and vision that is more long-lasting, as a technology company or project, you have to recognize that the *roadmap* to how you deliver on that mission and vision is subject to being affected by many trends, market forces, and the like. The mission may be the same, but how it’s achieved needs to be examined from time to time (I would argue almost on a yearly basis) to ensure that the assumptions you’ve made continue to be true, that you are reacting properly to market influences, user trends, etc. 

I would argue that a LOT has changed in the years since our user base was defined. I believe that many of the decisions we make, the messaging we provide, come from our definition of the user base. And I’m not sure that it continues to be *the best* definition at this point. Moreover, I’m not sure that what we are actually delivering matches up with that user base.  Deliveries come from contributors who are willing to do the work, not from wishing. 😀

Anyway. More to come! Join us for the meeting today. I’m sure it will be, um, interesting. 🙂

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