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Hi Sam,

I was there in the meeting too, just like many of the marketing meetings in the past.  I have  
regularly attended the marketing meeting, no matter the heated ones like yesterday, or small ones 
with only three people including me.

Before this marketing meeting, there has been some discussion / debate / even argue around some 
related topics in the Board.  Of course we would like to make some concrete plan but unfortunately 
some volunteer board members who would like to push these things forward were criticized as poor 
options for doing so, so eventually we decide to ask for Italo's expert to write the draft of this 
marketing plan and publicly discuss it with the members.

But, from another aspect, I totally agree with your concern about coordinating between the Board, 
staff and community.  As what I've mentioned in my statement running for the board, in my concept 
the Board is not the leader of the community.  Of course the Board needs to make decision and take 
the responsibility, but it should act more like a platform, allowing many members even staffs 
showing their thoughts even experts.  That is one important reason why we make the board meeting 
more public and decide to make the topics we discussed in the public section as default unless it 
meets some requirements to be private.  The only thing I insist when trying to make as many people 
as possible to show their opinions is that everyone should respect other people, and their 
different thoughts and comments.

Of course such concepts may differ even conflict with the basic concepts of other board member, I 
don't really know if any.  But anyway in this term, as a member of the board, I'm happy to see that 
more community members showed their comments and thoughts.  The Board's responsibility is to make 
it a workable and concrete plan so maybe not all the thoughts from the community will be taken; but 
at least I hope that the community members can see the changes of the board we're doing hard -- the 
board is trying to be more open, friendly, and get closer to our community friends.


2020年6月27日 00:33:02 Sam Tuke <>:

Hi All, thanks to yesterday's marketing call, marketing team members had an opportunity to 
discuss the 5 year Marketing plan currently being drafted by Italo.

It seems like only one member of the current Board of Directors was present in that meeting 
(though there may have been some who stayed silent; please correct me).

A 5 year marketing plan, on the 10th anniversary of a project, will be a great step forward, and 
a critical piece of strategy for the future of the organisation. No doubt the Board has been 
deeply involved in putting the drafts together. I appreciate this has taken considerable energy.

Nevertheless, the absence of more Board representatives in the Marketing meeting, which may be 
the only meeting of the marketing team about the plan before it's adopted, raises some 
interesting questions for we marketers:

- If the Board's involvement was already completed privately, to what extent is the marketing 
team intended to participate in its drafting?
- If the Board's involvement is ongoing, then how do they intend to interact with the marketing 
team? With one representative in a single meeting?
- If TDF Marketing staff are intended to be the messengers between Board and marketing team, what 
is the intended process or workflow of that?

If input into the plan from the marketing team is desirable to the Board, then we as marketing 
team members need a clearer understanding of how that should be provided.

I do not take it for granted that this information was shared with the team prior to adoption 
(though to gain support from the team it seems like a sensible move).

But coordinating such a plan as this between Board, staff, and voluntary team takes more than 
passing on a largely inflexible document to a team of experts towards the end of the process. 
Product Managers call it "throwing it over the wall" when opportunities for meaningful input 
ended before handover.

The strain on this coordination is plainly visible in the plan itself, on the "preface" slides 
explaining eg the LibreOffice Online situation. It's a problem when a staff member is forced to 
hint that some topics are out of bounds in this way because they are stuck between "a rock and 
hard place" and must resort to such things to discourage input on controversial issues which can 
have no effect.

This is a question of leadership for the board, not for TDF staff in my view, as it is 
fundamentally a question of how much control over the marketing plan should be given to the 
marketing team, and what parts it is desirable for them to contribute to, and how that should be 
communicated to them. This is a matter of the social contract between the Foundation and 
volunteers -- not just marketing.

There are many options here, to suit the Board's needs, and doing things differently need not 
make finding consensus on already hard topics, more difficult. The current draft plan is broad in 
scope, covering community management, branding, and touching on ecosystem design. Tough topics 
could be split into other sections, or strategy documents if necessary, freeing the marketing 
team with more room to influence the narrower, purely marketing topics which remain. With some 
brainstorming or reference to other Open Source projects, additional means of cooperating with 
the team could no doubt be found.


Franklin Weng
Deputy Chairman, Board of Director & Member, Certification Committee
The Document Foundation, Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin, DE
Gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
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