At the risk of stepping on other people’s toes let me apologize before I start. I am certain we have many members in the community that have gone out of their way to overcome hurdles placed in their way by our “organization” or others. I was inspired by this story because it shows how dedicated our community members are and it really fits well with some of the issues we are still struggling with in the transition from Boosters to SUSE team and the transition between initiatives, Ambassadors to Coordinators and shipping of DVDs to boxes of promo material for designated events.
Peter Czanik was caught in the middle of all of this at a recent FSF conference where he and others had an openSUSE booth. With no DVDs being shipped, due to the transition in the promo material shipping procedure (this has been announced) and no money available through TSP for local production of marketing materials due to a snafu (a temporary solution is in the works) there was basically no help from the resources where help should be coming from, sorry about that Peter.
Despite these obstacles Peter and the team showed up and made due with what was available to have great success. In Peter’s words:
– distributed the last few remaining openSUSE 12.2 DVDs. Many people complained, that it’s not the latest and greatest, but also many were happy, as they have an old machine and older Linux versions usually have lower resource requirements.
– reused the posters we printed last autumn to decorate the booth (at the end of the day they were in a sorry state, so can’t be reused any more…)
– used the few remaining openSUSE brochures, stickers we printed last year (printing was contributed last year by somebody working at a printing company and our company printer…)
– used my ARM machines and a few borrowed mini PCs to demo openSUSE and make the booth eye catching (people asked about the machines and went away with openSUSE DVDs and brochures )
So, in short: last autumn we had local contributions from community members, this year we used what was last few bits of it and some creativity.
The good thing is, that I was told from multiple directions, that openSUSE had the best booth among software projects at the conference (and they did not know, that it was from a ZERO budget…).
The bad thing is, that we don’t have any marketing materials left. No DVDs, posters or brochures.
There is no need to rose color the situation, leaving community members trying to represent openSUSE at a conference stranded like this should not happen and there is no excuse for creating this situation in the first place. Work is proceeding to address these issue. However, I want to focus on the positive, and that is undoubtedly how determined Peter and the team were to make the conference a success and how they overcame the obstacles presented to them.
Thank you Peter and team fro being such dedicated representatives of our community and project. Also thank you for pointing out the shortcomings in our current transition period. This will allow us to address these, hopefully in short order.
As I mentioned, am am certain many of you have similar stories to tell. Thanks for your efforts as well.
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