On Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 5:40 PM, P J P <pjp(a)fedoraproject.org> wrote:
> On Sunday, 29 November 2015 1:36 PM, sankarshan wrote:
>> Has there been a corresponding effort/method to measure it
>> through all the duration that DVD distribution has been in place?
> It is intriguing to respond to a question with another.
Because I don't know if there was such effort.
> If there has not been any way to deduce the impact of
> DVD distribution on user base, is your first statement
> based on perception?
Partly that and partly being optimistic. It'd be a stretch
to write off DVD distribution as having zero impact, which is
probably why we have the FreeMedia program running.
Why would be a stretch? The FreeMedia program works on the basis of
tickets. And I am not sure if anyone does actually check (a) for
unique recipients (b) geographical coverage of the media distribution.
We have the FreeMedia program running because it requires the project
to invest a very minimal amount of money while depending largely upon
the goodwill of the volunteers mailing the media out. If you discount
the cost of the media, every single DVD mailed costs around 35 INR. It
might seem little, but 100 units of such mailing is a good amount of
money to ask volunteers to bear the trouble for.
The question then comes up - why are we asking them? Is it making the
project itself complacent to find (a) ways to measure impact (b) ways
to create a participant base (c) ways to have a feedback loop
> I'm not sure of the exact number but would be it a reasonably
> estimate that around 5000 units of DVDs of various Fedora releases
> have been produced and distributed via channels viz. FreeMedia,
> Events, UGs? And if there are 500 unique recipients of such media, has
> this list or, any other channel (Ask Fedora etc) heard from at least
> 10% of these recipients? I think when Rejy sends out the FreeMedia
> DVDs, he adds a note about "how to seek and receive help".
IMO DVD distribution and recipients becoming active participants are
two different aspects, which need not be connected. They could still
be using Fedora and upgrading to newer versions. When news papers
distribute free copies, it is not expected that the recipients would
start writing editorial comments and columns.
Why are they different aspects? A few emails back you mentioned that
in your opinion the distribution is a way to obtain new customer base.
Well, every campaign takes stock of whether such new customer sign-ups
have actually happened. How would you do that in case of FreeMedia?
There is practically no obligation for a recipient to raise a hand and
state "I've installed and would like to participate".
I think the participation in the community in India is not similar to
writing editorials. As a straw-man argument it is a fine stretch.
Editorials are written by on-staff contributors and invited experts.
However, regular recipients of free copies do often pop up on the
digital boards (newspaper forums, letters to the editor).
You continue to give something away for free if you are interested in
swamping the market. A couple of years back there was a Linux
distribution wherein you could write in with your detail and a nice
little consignment of stickers and media ("smart stickers") would land
up. Eventually, the recipients also formed LoCo groups and exchanged
notes. Some of the members ended up becoming fairly expert
contributors to various projects.
The percentage breakdown I provided in my original email is probably
the pessimistic one. The problem is that each time this thread comes
up, there is a continued narrative around "FreeMedia is making a
difference". The issue here is that there is no way to figure out as
such. And while we spin our wheels on it, we are missing out on the
opportunity to see how else we can create the impact. Or, in other
words, what are the possible answers to "We do not seem to have enough
contributors to the various aspects of the project, how can we bring
about an up-tick?"
> There's another question which is implied - are the outcomes
> from DVD distribution aligned with the goals of the Fedora community
> in India?
Do we have these goals and expectations defined and communicated to
the active participants?
I wouldn't know. Who are the "active participants"? What do they
expect from the Fedora community in India? What do they see themselves
doing within the community? In the past couple of years I've not seen
this discussed. Perhaps it is time. Or, then again, perhaps it is
alright to continue to believe that distributing media based on a
request is the best way to create a community.