Speakers' Corner - Dave Neary

Dave Neary - Marketing an Open Source Project

1. Could you briefly introduce yourself?
I've been involved in free and open source software communities since about 1999, and in that time I've done just about every job you can think of in a project. I started as a developer in the GIMP, and have been involved in a number of projects, both as a volunteer and professionally, since then. I currently work for Red Hat in the Open Source and Standards group, helping projects Red Hat invests in be more successful.

2. You have been involved in open source for a long time. Why is marketing open source so important?
In the broadest sense, marketing is about understanding the needs of your users, making something that addresses those needs, and then letting your target audience know about your solution. In open source, there are lots of great projects that fail because they have not clearly stated the problems they solve, and the people with those problems never hear about them.

3. Who is your target audience for this talk?
If you're a contributor to an open source project, and you are wondering what you need to do to get people to notice your project, then I will give you some tools that can help you do that.

4. What are the top 3 things someone needs to do to market a project?

  • Know your target audience: what problem does your software solve, and who has that problem?
  • Put yourselves in the shoes of a target user: how do you find out about new technology?
  • Track what you do: Make sure that when you do something, that it's achieving the results you expect.

5. What is the best thing about open source conferences?
The hallway & evening track. The energy you get from meeting new people. Not the food :-)

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