Organize and stimulate promotion of UBports Ubuntu Touch



  • To accelerate community dynamics, it is necessary to communicate as effectively as possible by targeting the audience most likely to be interested in this project. It seems to me that the next two steps could be the right ones:

    1. speak to the community of tens of millions of Ubuntu users. To do this, at least one member of the UBports Ubuntu Touch community in each country should relay information and news in the relevant forum or mailing list: http://loco.ubuntu.com/teams/. Recently, I started this for the French forum.

    2. identify sites used by developers, especially FOSS developers, and in the same way, regularly promote project progress and solicit contributions if necessary by subsidising them.

    If these two stages are carried out regularly and systematically, the Ubports community should continue to grow rapidly and regularly, making the UBports project increasingly attractive and useful.


  • Infrastructure

    The question is, are we ready to serve?

    You have to see, a too big demand for the project could turn into negative feelings, effectively having a negative impact on everything:

    • Not enough devices are enabled, especially you cannot buy new hardware ATM
    • Our release cycles are lagging and we need more hands as developers
    • Our server capacities might get overrun
    • 16.04 is a must to offer it to a wider audience

    I am afraid of a day when I wake up and suddenly we got 10k more users - We dont want to dissapoint them. So, organic growth is important, its slow and unpredictable, but once we reach a certain stage we will also ramp up marketing.

    BR



  • @Flohack
    With my proposals, I don't think there is a risk of being suddenly overwhelmed by newcomers.
    Moreover, If we take as a reference the monthly registrations at the forum, since October they are down compared to the period from April to September:
    April 133
    May 93
    June 156
    July 64
    August 76
    September 106
    October 77
    November 51

    Many people may have an interest in such a project and to be kept informed of its evolution without being active users of the product and therefore without consuming resources (apart from the use of the forum and web resources).
    And some of these people are likely to make donations.
    It's my case, for the moment I keep using the Canonical version of Ubuntu Touch.



  • @libremax
    just off topic, but what's the advantage of keeping the Canonical version of Ubuntu Touch?
    The UBports developer already fixed a lot of bugs, made it more stable and smooter than the Canonical version.
    Also since month there are no more updates coming from Canonical.




  • Infrastructure

    @WLBI We will switch to our push server with OTA-3, and then I think more people will switch to our image, as they will loose their Telegram notifications ;) - Dec. 21st, an early Christmas present.

    BR


  • Infrastructure

    @libremax How can we convince you to switch to UBports if not by demonstrating that we are alive, a motivated community with growing people?

    BR



  • @flohack do i need my ubuntu one account to use the ubports notification server or can i delete my account?


  • Infrastructure

    @einstein212 You need it, its a requirement on the client side, which we did not remove. Also, it will likely stay anyways, as we do not want to have an anonymous push server that can be exploited by a zombie command control center for example, spambots or other activities. They could steal our bandwidth and resources, so I am very positive about at least having a U1 token so that we know who is behind that.

    I can understand that fully anonymous would be fine, but unfortunately not everyone on this planet can behave himself.

    BR



  • I think we (meaning those who do the work :) ) are on a good way with the Audiocast and the regualar Youtube videos.
    But e.g. for me who is less involved it is hard to grasp where we are.
    I am not presented with an simple overview of what is missing. I know we have an issue tracker but to derive from this what is lackiing is tedious work.

    I'd like to have an MVP with a fixed scope in a more structured way. Similar what happend with OTA-3 after some point in time.
    I'd kinda have a e.g. Scrumboard where we have our backlog and then can prioratize this for the next upcoming month, or two or three.

    And this we could provide as feedback to all people who are interested. Not only saying "FP2: phone works, GPS works..." but also having a status of what is still missing etc.


  • Infrastructure

    @twinkybot We will try to use more boards like this in the future: https://github.com/ubports/ubuntu-touch/projects/3 - Its planned to have 3 teams (HAL, middleware, ui) and distribute workload for them. Still getting organized though ;)

    BR



  • @flohack Nice. Yes this is a good step :)
    Does GitHub also provide reports about done "sprints" like Jira does?

    At our company we are working only with Jira and BitBucket and I recently set up my own server with YouTrack and Co. (JetBrains stuff). So I have no experience with GitHub features except using it as Repository.

    Why I am asking is, with Jira you can define releases and associate all tickets with a specific "fix version" and from this you can create either a text as release notes or HTML and Co. and naturally see it in Jira itself.
    I can image that this also might be helpful.


  • Infrastructure

    @twinkybot We also use Jira in my company. Github has a few of those features, but its not on the same level. There is no sprint start/end ect. Its not a fully agile SW dev tool ;)

    BR


  • Banned

    @flohack said in Organize and stimulate promotion of UBports Ubuntu Touch:

    The question is, are we ready to serve?

    Ready or not, it is already happening...the questions that are important to think about now is HOW do we plan on serving at a larger scale NOW, to be ready for later.

    The age-old religious adage captures this idea:

    "Noah didn't build the ark when it starting raining...."

    You have to see, a too big demand for the project could turn into negative feelings, effectively having a negative impact on everything:

    Not enough devices are enabled, especially you cannot buy new hardware ATM
    Our release cycles are lagging and we need more hands as developers
    Our server capacities might get overrun
    16.04 is a must to offer it to a wider audience

    I would agree with this sentiment if this theoretically happened in a vacuum and the issues you brought up were the only variables we were accounting the for...in fact, things change when we zoom out. We find that marketing and communications plays a role in this framing/messaging for the project.

    I am afraid of a day when I wake up and suddenly we got 10k more users - We don't want to disappoint them. So, organic growth is important, it's slow and unpredictable, but once we reach a certain stage we will also ramp up marketing.

    Marketing is the 1st mover effect of growth and scale. No marketing, no one knows you exist, and if no one knows you exist, how do they sign up for patreon (oops, librepay).

    Essentially, marketing and communications SETS THE TABLE for expectations for those who come to know our project and decide to learn more. This already is done pretty well with the devices supported section. You know which devices you will have better luck with.

    I think if you give people the chance to surprise you on what they are willing to support (even if it isn't ready for prime-time use), they will. It is the reason why the project has gone this far.

    I respectfully would submit to anyone who feels remotely like this to consider rethinking this foundational aspect of organizational development and scaling for projects:

    Your view about scaling is just one view, amongst many, and a view colored by your expertise. I think @Flohack is right in literally fearing the day when they have 10k more users...he helps with infrastructure, and that is supposed to be the way he should feel! We are lucky to have someone who is affected by this potential scenario. That is his domain!

    Here is the catch: growing an organization in a HEALTHY way is not and should not be stifled or at the mercy of server load, or the number of developers on hand. Just like marketing strategy should not be at the mercy of what bugs are being reported; If that is the lens we used and the only thing focused on, then, of course, I would be fearful too; the fear of a project becoming so big it becomes unmanageable and we are crushed under the weight of its own success is very real....unless we grow with scale in mind.

    Thankfully, we don't HAVE to think that way.

    When looking at the big picture, it is important to take into account other "arms" of the project that are designed to address these matters...yes, like Marketing and Communications. Not saying it happens here, but there is a level of disrespect for Marketing and Communication in many FOSS projects, and we are paying the price for it.

    Marketing and Communications would be the ones listening to developers and blasting out info to people to help shape how they SHOULD be thinking about the project (e.g. Like mentioning all the important bullet points shared by @Flohack) on the website, mailing lists, telegram/irc, ubuntu users, etc.) so we proactively scale, but in a way that is throttled for sustainability.

    I think we are at a special time in history right now where non-techy people are becoming more and more concious of the issues they face for mobile OS choices...

    For example, I don't own a UBport supported device.

    I NEVER flashed my phone to run an alternative OS like lineage etc.

    I support UBports for its potential and excited about the progress...as well as others.

    For this reason, I think that MORE people are out there like me, and more ideas to penetrate that demographic should be shared and backed concrete support....it should be considered more seriously and carefully; and even pitched to experts in this domain. I rather @Flohack focus on server bandwidth and developer management, as suppose to marketing pitches. ;) I believe scaling up is not a matter of if but when...and we need those systems to be ready for it. :D

    -Profetik777


  • Infrastructure

    @profetik777 Hmm there is a marketing team already, and it has a bunch of people in it, maybe you should join them? Also, we have marketing campaign upcoming, so there is happening a lot behind the scenes :)

    Contact @wayneoutthere for an application for the marketing team.

    BR


  • Banned

    Hey @Flohack , it is understandable that you don't recall, but I was on the original marketing team for UBports...remember the time it took to get email opt-in page on the home page? I had to push for that, along with others. Once there was a shift in who decided the creative direction of marketing I had to step down...I didn't really agree with the way it was handled (a little shady to be honest, not enough open or consistent communication at the time in my opinion), let alone how that information was delivered to me, so it became obvious it wasn't a good fit to continue, hence me stepping down.

    While I am happy to support where I can, I think providing my two cents here and there is the only thing I can do for now...and bring them to the open before the community, so if it is something marketing wants to pick up on, great...if not, no biggie. Thanks for the suggestion!


  • Infrastructure

    @profetik777 I am sorry I did not follow the evolution of marketing team and so I cannot comment on these things. But it would have been better you would have tried to stay in, accept the change of direction as in such project you have to accept compromise or detrimental directions. As soon if you feel personal frustration you are doing it wrong. I am also not happy with a lot of things, but I accept them.

    BR



  • Reading this and throwing in my experience with dis-located teams.
    I strongly urge for regular meetings. I mean live meetings. Where the community comes together and talks face-to-face about topics.
    Additionally I'd say a roadmap is due or a process on getting the todos for the next step.
    I also felt now and then ignored or misunderstood or irrelevant. Still do as I am if at all percieved only as consumer.
    But for example having the workshop at locations (see another topic) will help. Especially when really active community members join :)

    I do understand that most active people do this in their spare time therefore the perception of what is important differs quite a bit.

    I do believe that the step to create a foundation will help and is a good one. But it needs a more transparancy as what is going to happen and when :)


  • Banned

    @flohack - yeah I respectfully disagree but see where you are coming from. For the sake of the community, I think this is a great conversation to be had since it would be helpful for others to examine (or re-examine) their own unique circumstances and tolerance levels that impact commitments to projects.

    As a general rule of thumb, progress > perfection....and 100% agree with you. Compromise will always be needed to move forward in projects like this. Of course, just like with anything, there are always exceptions. For me, when over a course of a period you ask for basic things (like embed codes / unique tracking links to measure our efforts for financial sustainability campaign that never happened) and they go ignored, it becomes pretty challenging to tell yourself "Well, it is a compromise, you can't have it all!". The trust and belief of those making decisions begins to diminish when thinking about compromise. After all, you could only get ignored on telegram for so long. And when you do get a word, it is completely out of left field and mishandled with no room for discussion.

    On your point about not being happy with a lot of things....this may sound funny but, I would be happy to be unhappy if folks on the marketing team at the time knew our cases were heard, considered, and met halfway...and discussions were going on in a transparent manner...and not just with those who had more access to Marius than others...

    So, to summarize, it is hard to ask and reach a compromise without conversations

    And I think that is a healthy marker for deciding to step away from something, especially when you are doing it as a volunteer position.

    @Flohack , your experience might be different given your position. I understand that in this early stage in the project, those touching core technical components probably have more "time at the table" to discuss things and have a healthier more robust back and forth...that was certainly not my experience (and also, based on the @twinkybot 's post, not his either).

    So, for the community, it is important to:

    1. Know what are your own personal "deal breakers" are. For me, it was long periods of little to no communication and mishandled communication (which, by the way, caused mishandlings of my own).

    2. Voice all concerns appropriately, and know what personal timetables you have before moving on to another issue worth fighting for, or moving on altogether.

    3. Seek to find ways to support in more ways that are not "fixed point" (projects that are time-bound)...but can happen whenever and however (promotion on social media for example). Or even financially....or encouraging others to donate (which I think could happen more often).

    Lastly, I just have to add this in there, this is a point that really made me scratch my head...

    "As soon if you feel personal frustration you are doing it wrong."

    Again, just my opinion, but I personally feel this is the completely wrong way to look at it...this might be your case, for you...which I am happy for you about....but I can't imagine this being the case for everyone...esp. those who are passionate about projects that are so important, like this one.

    On a more macro level, I've seen some of this from some segments of the gnu/linux community....on one hand, they cry about not having enough options for free or open options for linux on mobile, the outcry for privacy and having control of our devices, etc etc....yet, so lax on discovering ways to improve our methods or models for scaling and sustainability...like, why would you NOT rush to discover industry best practices and not seek the best help in implementing them in a healthy way to speed track advancement? I am sure I am not alone when I say we are tired of projects being too little too late, meanwhile, proprietary solutions make the next leapfrog (e.g. Samsung - DEX). Even if it isn't the exact solution, it keeps people from looking elsewhere.

    I don't know about you @Flohack , but when Canonical announced they dropped convergence, UT, and convergence overall, it crushed me, but then FIRED ME UP to do something about it. So yeah, I'm going to be a little frustrated if I find that those who are in the best position to do the greatest good in this area are fumbling a bit in certain areas...e.g. using becoming a foundation as a reason/excuse for not engaging in year-round funding initiatives or hiring more full time or part time devs.


  • Banned

    @twinkybot said in Organize and stimulate promotion of UBports Ubuntu Touch:

    Reading this and throwing in my experience with dis-located teams.
    I strongly urge for regular meetings. I mean live meetings. Where the community comes together and talks face-to-face about topics.

    Agreed, although very difficult to do given the global community...I think regular team meetings that have structure, agenda, minutes, and open to listen in on like Firefox can go a long way until more LoCo events can pop up.

    Additionally I'd say a roadmap is due or a process on getting the todos for the next step.

    I agree, even if it is just for 3 month stretches. I think everyone knows you can never hit goals 100%, bc it would then mean you are shooting to low and its too easy...it should stretch the team but still be attainable...and those roadmaps should be per team (e.g. Dev has one, Marketing has 1 etc.).

    I also felt now and then ignored or misunderstood or irrelevant. Still do as I am if at all percieved only as consumer.

    I feel the same way sometimes, thankfully, we have platforms like this in place that hopefully, could make some traction and positive influence.

    But for example having the workshop at locations (see another topic) will help. Especially when really active community members join :)
    I do understand that most active people do this in their spare time therefore the perception of what is important differs quite a bit.

    Agreed. That is why continuous discussion and negotiation of priorities are a MUST HAVE so all those involved can get on the same page.

    I do believe that the step to create a foundation will help and is a good one. But it needs a more transparancy as what is going to happen and when :)

    Agreed. Thanks for chiming in. I would like to know what exactly is it about a foundation that prevents UBports for wanting to seek MORE funding in the meantime?


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