PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Here you can discuss ReactOS related topics.

Moderator: Moderator Team

Webunny
Posts: 1201
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:30 pm

PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by Webunny » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:19 pm

As we've all been aware for the last months/years, there is some feeling among many of the ordinary forum- and ROS users, that little thought is given, or interest shown, to any side-projects or offers of help, from the dev-team or ROS 'officials'.

I recently had a long conversation about this with Amine, and he was a bit surprised by this, and not completely aware of this situation. First of all Amine wishes to express an apology on his behalf for not keeping up with the forums. He is pretty busy it would seem, and so is z98. He also wants to assure that everyone who contributed to ROS, as a user, forumposter, tester, translator, etc. has equal standing as a ROS-member, in his eyes. He deplores the feeling of we (non-coders) vs. them (coders) that has slowly creeped up. With his permission, I'll post the relevant parts of our conversation here, so that others can read and comment on it, as they see fit.


1) About the absence of him/many coders on the forum:

<AmineKhaldi> I see a big problem here
<AmineKhaldi> let's start from the last point: the forum
<AmineKhaldi> please note that the (little) free time I have goes into dealing with many fronts related directly and indirectly to ros (ie in and outside of the project, into other projects and so on)
<AmineKhaldi> I really tried to get into the forum, I even posted once or twice or so, but I couldn't add it into the list of things I do continuously
<AmineKhaldi> that's why I know nothing about the forum until someone informs me about it (usually here, over IRC PMs)
<Webunny> look, I'm not blaming you; i know you are busy. But I didn't even know who was going to deal with it; for the same token, you could have delegated it to someone else of ROS
<AmineKhaldi> I was informed about jim's statement in the forum about the closed team principle => I spoke to him and showed him that I even created an irc channel to help our PR guys
<AmineKhaldi> and asked Z to relay this plan to the forum members who were interested
<AmineKhaldi> (and no one came)
<AmineKhaldi> jim relayed this to the forum => you showed up
<Webunny> true


2) About equality and how he sees PR.

<AmineKhaldi> now, let's address the big problem that I saw:
<AmineKhaldi> you seem to think of yourself less than a community member, and I want to pinpoint the issue here
<AmineKhaldi> we are all equal, and the concept of "loop" applies only when sensitive info is involved (like the foundation stuff, internal development stuff, and things like that)
<AmineKhaldi> anything normal is available for everyone, and we can all work on things equally
<Webunny> well, I may be a community member in some respcts, but I'm no coder
<AmineKhaldi> re. PR, all what was required (by the devs) is to let the official stuff out of the way
<Webunny> hmm, amine, I appreciate the thought, but in reality that is never actually true
<AmineKhaldi> ie when anyone does anything, he just explicitly says it's his own thing, not related to official ros in any way
<AmineKhaldi> this way, it can cause no harm to the project, only benefits
<AmineKhaldi> (even if people mess things up, it would be their own views/actions, it wouldn't represent the project)
<AmineKhaldi> and the plan was always that, when good actions shine, the official guys approve/share them...etc
<AmineKhaldi> "well, I may be a community member in some respects, but I'm no coder" anyone who contributes *anything* to the project is a member in my eyes
<AmineKhaldi> even the guy who provides nothing but *constructive* criticism
<Webunny> Yes, but aren't you being a bit to theoretical about it? 'Equal for all' is very nice, but I mean: just look at the amount of emails I had to spend with you and z98, just to get a minor side-project started
<AmineKhaldi> and to some levels I can even take the good bits of non-constructive ones too, when I have the resources to do so
<AmineKhaldi> well, you need to not count the other emails, just mine
<AmineKhaldi> because I had no idea what was going on before
<AmineKhaldi> I'm an actions guy, I don't like to talk too much unless the extensive planning is required


3) About criticism and how to handle that

<AmineKhaldi> I'm saying this because I get the impression that the dev team is restricting progress in other areas (except code)
<Webunny> well, my criticism as of late is, that non-coding people really feel like it's an uphill battle if they want to do stuff
<Webunny> like translating
<AmineKhaldi> while all they asked for is to use "official" presence/actions/opinions only when one of them is allowed
<AmineKhaldi> and for the rest, an explicit mention of the lack of this official thing is required, other than that everything is permitted
<AmineKhaldi> isn't that reasonable to ask for ?
<Webunny> hm, well, for the dvd project, of course, it was official
<AmineKhaldi> (speaking officially required a certain awareness in one or several levels, thats the only reason it's restricted)
<AmineKhaldi> no no, in general
<AmineKhaldi> the us vs them thing that I get the vibes of
<AmineKhaldi> especially in PR
<AmineKhaldi> (because that didn't amount to anything sadly)
<AmineKhaldi> I mean, jim thought we're acting like a closed team, that raised the alarm for me
<Webunny> well, PR really doesn't seem the forte of ROS, to be honest
<AmineKhaldi> confirmed by your statement earlier
<Webunny> have you read the posts on the forum about that?
<AmineKhaldi> that's understandable and expected given our resources
<AmineKhaldi> nope
<Webunny> many (non-coders) seem to feel like that
<AmineKhaldi> yeah, I wasn't addressing just you
<AmineKhaldi> but you're the only forum guy around
<Webunny> I don't agree with all of them on all points, but I can see where it's coming from
<AmineKhaldi> so I was hoping to relay the message to not only you, but also to anyone like you
<AmineKhaldi> (over there)
<AmineKhaldi> it's a pretty simple request, that you guys seem to think of as a severe restriction ?
<AmineKhaldi> and as a result, nothing came out of you in terms of PR ?
<AmineKhaldi> ie that's what's blocking the guys from doing PR ?
<Webunny> hm
<Webunny> well, amine, it depends on how restrictive it becomes when one considers it has something to do with it being 'official'
<Webunny> maybe we should look at it in a pragmatical way
<Webunny> it goes like this:
<AmineKhaldi> it's easy: something like disclaimer: I am not affiliated with ReactOS, I'm just a fan/supporter, or anything that explicitly says something along these lines
<AmineKhaldi> ie this is my own view/action, not theirs
<AmineKhaldi> as simple as that
<Webunny> people (non-coders) propose something to do to help ROS
<AmineKhaldi> they don't need to, if they respect this
<Webunny> but there is either no official reaction, or a negative one
<AmineKhaldi> they may only *inform* us before/after they do it
<AmineKhaldi> just so we endorse/share/adopt it if it's good



4) Why no response or a negative reply from a dev here should not be interpreted as an official response of ROS.

[Of course, the question then remains when/how DO you get an official response/endorsement?]

<AmineKhaldi> you seem to compact the whole dev team into one or several persons who go to the forums ?
<Webunny> even though it's ambigous, because 'they' are also the ones making the actual code
<AmineKhaldi> but each one of them speaks for himself usually, no ?
<Webunny> well, everyone does
<AmineKhaldi> that's why pushed for monthly meetings
<AmineKhaldi> so that we can get our plans together
<AmineKhaldi> and it's working nicely
<Webunny> look,if you have only 2 or 3 persons of the coders actually dealing with the forum, it's natural for all the rest of the non-coders there, to go with what they say
<AmineKhaldi> that makes sense, but did any of those devs suggest that you guys are allowed to PR for ros without that rule ?
<AmineKhaldi> (without the explicit mention that we talked about ? )
<AmineKhaldi> because only then they would be wrong
<AmineKhaldi> if they discourage you or anything, that's just the result of *their* views
<Webunny> example: you yourself said that you don't frequent the forum much. Now, this is understandable, but it still means that there is little mutual conversation with different actors on it.
<AmineKhaldi> not the whole team certainly
<AmineKhaldi> because simply, we have different opinions
<AmineKhaldi> and when we meet, we discuss things, and settle on one
<AmineKhaldi> either everyone agrees, or we vote
<AmineKhaldi> (usually we always agree with the one with the best point)
<Webunny> that may be, but that's not something the endusers on the forum notice
<AmineKhaldi> no, I am one of the rare team members who can talk to *everyone* here
<AmineKhaldi> that's needed in order to be able to help coordinating and managing stuff
<AmineKhaldi> I just can't add the forum to my system yet, despite my intention to
<AmineKhaldi> (I tried, trust me)
<Webunny> http://www.reactos.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 9&start=15
<Webunny> there you see an example
* AmineKhaldi checks
<Webunny> I think the original proposal was something for a PR thing with non-profit orgs on youtube
<AmineKhaldi> what should I be looking at ?
<AmineKhaldi> (it's too much to read carefully)
<Webunny> but people either get no response, or a negative one. Same with offers of translation.
<Webunny> well, that of bernardtt, for instance
<AmineKhaldi> ok, let me see
<AmineKhaldi> ok, I see a tiny problem here


5) The tiny problem: when does one let people do something officially (and/or unofficially)?

<AmineKhaldi> "This will indirectly help "users" engage with other "users" and not "users" to "devs" "
<Webunny> he indicates that that particular topic (of (the lack of) involving non-coders) is pretty common
<AmineKhaldi> so why do we have official twitter/facebook/whatever presence ?
<AmineKhaldi> if these means aren't enough to share stuff about ros ?
<Webunny> ah, you mean the proposal for a fan-site
<Webunny> I'm not too keen on that myself
<AmineKhaldi> I mean this lack of understanding of how "fans" work in foss
<Webunny> no, I just wanted to indicate a lot of people feel a bit neglected
<AmineKhaldi> I understand, but are they tackling things correctly ?
<AmineKhaldi> if I want to help ros with PR, I would need to share/retweet/blog/anything about ros stuff, no ?
<Webunny> see DOSguy too
<AmineKhaldi> and *if* something requires an official action, like joining an event or so, *then* I go to the ros guys
<AmineKhaldi> am I misunderstanding how PR works ?
<Webunny> ? well, that's talking on the principle of the matter, but on itself, the problem is this: the original post of that thread was about making a PR for a non-profit youtube thing
<Webunny> and I don't think he got any response, or maybe a negative one


6) Determing the worth of help, and: why don't people go for it themselves?

[A tricky business indeed.]

<AmineKhaldi> that's *one* PR thing
<AmineKhaldi> what else is going on by this guy for example ?
<AmineKhaldi> or was it a one time thing then "hmm, these guys don't care, so I won't PR on myself either" thing ?
<AmineKhaldi> ie if we neglect PR due to our lack of resources, so should the community ?
<Webunny> you can't really expect the community to go through with anything, if they don't know if it's ok with the ROS team
<AmineKhaldi> because PR certainly can be done without even involving ros officially
<AmineKhaldi> that's the thing !
<AmineKhaldi> that's the source of the problem, in my view
<AmineKhaldi> why is that ?
<AmineKhaldi> the only thing they need from the official side, is official presence/actions
<AmineKhaldi> like the event example I gave
<AmineKhaldi> because one can't simply join an even with his friends, and does a presentation, and goes like: "this is not affiliated with ros, we're just some fans supporting ros, and we're participating in the event in their name"
<AmineKhaldi> you see ?
<AmineKhaldi> only a tiny bit of PR needs official involvement
<Webunny> I don't think it works that way
<AmineKhaldi> the rest can be freely done, just with the explicit disclaimer that we went over
<AmineKhaldi> if you want to blog about something in ros, do so
<AmineKhaldi> if you want to tweet about it
<AmineKhaldi> facebook share stuff
<AmineKhaldi> like stuff
<AmineKhaldi> ..etc, you don't need the official channels
<AmineKhaldi> hm ?
<AmineKhaldi> what doesn't work this way ?
<Webunny> from the stance of a simple user, they regard the dev-team as something that has to approve or at least acknowledge things. This impression is sometimes enforced by a few negative comments of devs, I guess.
<AmineKhaldi> then we need to fix that
<AmineKhaldi> my understanding is: just mention explicitly that this wasn't official, and you're good to go
<AmineKhaldi> how do you guys see it ?
<Webunny> I dunno. Maybe you should place a post there, then, explicitly saying so



7) Speaking on behalf of ROS.


<AmineKhaldi> I believe that Z and vic already did so ?
<AmineKhaldi> because when they were into the PR team thing, they told me that some members wanted to be part of the official thing
<AmineKhaldi> (not just fans, but fans who can speak on behalf of ros)
<AmineKhaldi> that, obviously, needs at least some training, don't you think ?
<AmineKhaldi> ie you can't be expected to speak on behalf of ros, without knowing what you're doing
<Webunny> well, depends on the level
<Webunny> not as such, no
<Webunny> but you have gradations or levels to that
<Webunny> for instance, as I said:
<AmineKhaldi> so when I saw that training was needed...etc, I set up this channel
<AmineKhaldi> so that anyone who has questions...etc would find help here
<AmineKhaldi> until they become ready to speak on behalf of ros, in an organized manner
<AmineKhaldi> (going through Z and vic)
<AmineKhaldi> => no one showed up
<Webunny> if someone was proposing to translate the site, I would say: ok, do it. If after a month it was unsatisfactory, I would revoke his translation rights
<Webunny> nothing more, nothing less
<Webunny> but if one comes up with a whole plethora of 'tokens' one has to prove oneself, before even being to able to help, people are just going to feel it as being difficult
<AmineKhaldi> and now I see stuff like "I really wanted to join the PR team, but the devs themselves never wanted anyone w/o technological knowledge to join the PR team"




8) How to communicate to others and ones' presence on the forum, irc, etc.

<Webunny> amine; it's all good and well you tell me, but I'm not part of the PR (yet ;-)) , so I can't speak for neither the devs nor for all non-coders, of course. I really think what you say to me here, should be said to all those people there too
<AmineKhaldi> what is PR that you're not part of ?
<AmineKhaldi> we certainly don't have a PR team
<Webunny> true
<AmineKhaldi> there's just vic and Z who are able to blog and write...etc about ros
<AmineKhaldi> the forum guys who are interested in PR, what do they have in mind ?
<Webunny> well, maybe some effort could be done there, and let more people post things?
<AmineKhaldi> they're certainly not exploding the ros pages/stuff in social networks
<AmineKhaldi> so what are they planning exactly ?
<AmineKhaldi> let more people write in the official website of ros, just like that ?
<AmineKhaldi> (without technical awareness of what they're writing about ? )
<AmineKhaldi> because if you mean writing things to be reviewed by Z/vic, this was already suggested
<AmineKhaldi> I remember one guy refusing to go through that
<Webunny> well, what do you mean with 'just like that'. Are there no non-coders with technical awareness?
<AmineKhaldi> so who's unreasonable in this case ?
<AmineKhaldi> just like that as in directly
<AmineKhaldi> write, publish, it's on behalf of ros
<Webunny> maybe they could just send an example, and if it's good enough, it gets posted, or something?
<AmineKhaldi> that's exactly the plan
<AmineKhaldi> but good luck convincing them of this
<AmineKhaldi> the guy I mentioned, I can't remember his name
<AmineKhaldi> but he was constantly complaining about our news...etc
<AmineKhaldi> so I offered him exactly that
<AmineKhaldi> he said he can't do it
<AmineKhaldi> I even asked him to consider writing 160 chars max snippets (for twitter) to no avail

[I'm not sure who he means; can anyone fill me in?]

<Webunny> Anyway, I think a more pronounced presence of devs/or officially-related persons on the site/forum would be a good thing. Even if only a go-between between the two.
<AmineKhaldi> well, let me suggest the inverse
<AmineKhaldi> not just this
<AmineKhaldi> ie you guys are free to come to irc, where the real action is
<AmineKhaldi> because not all of us have the resource to be in both
<AmineKhaldi> (personally I couldn't, as I mentioned)
<Webunny> hmm...well, see, that's already one extra hurdle
<Webunny> I'm into the IT sector myself, Amine (not as a coder, however), and I know one thing: endusers can be really ignorant in that regard
<Webunny> ask yourself: how many normal persons can go to a forum? A lot. How many would know how to go to irc? not many.
<AmineKhaldi> not anymore
<AmineKhaldi> now irc is clicks away
<AmineKhaldi> web interface => #reactos + nick => connect
<AmineKhaldi> (http://webchat.freenode.net/)

[Which is true, I noted that myself too, recently. Still, IRC is a fleeting medium; I'm not TOO keen on it myself. Fora are still more easy to use, and people are more comfortable with it, imho]


10) About commitment and a solid community. Also: the big picture. And the lack of resources. And what was first: the egg or the chicken?


<AmineKhaldi> considering how much "commitment" we receive, it makes you really skeptic
<Webunny> cautious is good, overcautious makes it give a wrong vibe, though
<AmineKhaldi> nah, please consider history
<AmineKhaldi> so please treat our overcautious is a normal one
<AmineKhaldi> with nothing as personal or so
<AmineKhaldi> you can probably sense it, because a project with a solid community wouldn't be in the shadows for 10 years
<Webunny> I do understand that sometimes the offered help doesn't pan out
<Webunny> I said so myself in a post
<AmineKhaldi> people don't even retweet us
<Webunny> but then again, if you don't risk much, why not let people try?
<Webunny> say you have ten people, and 7 amount to nothing, you still have 3
<Webunny> if you're overcautious and let none of them do it, you get 0



<AmineKhaldi> please look at the big picture:
<AmineKhaldi> our frontpage is lacking severely
<Webunny> obviously, you can't be too lenient an,d free-wheeling with core-coding...
<AmineKhaldi> (the english one, that is, the main route)
<Webunny> but for all the rest, like a translation? Should be doable.
<AmineKhaldi> we went with drupal, and that didn't solve our problems
<AmineKhaldi> because when I planned and coordinated the website revamp, the goal was a live frontpage
<AmineKhaldi> one that immediately shows you that ros is alive and kicking
<AmineKhaldi> (realtime updates of all our activities: commits, bugs, news...etc)
<AmineKhaldi> but the technical side of things didn't deliver
<AmineKhaldi> we went from RosCMS to Drupal, and we're still far from our goals
<Webunny> hmm, yes
<AmineKhaldi> so you can see that, compared to this big problem, translations seem like a trivial matter
<Webunny> I filed a bug today about that
<Webunny> the comments section on the mainpage doesn't work well
<AmineKhaldi> we need some activity streams, linking social media to the articles/frontpage...etc
<AmineKhaldi> so much to take care of
<AmineKhaldi> you see ?
<AmineKhaldi> so anything extra would require more supervising...etc
<AmineKhaldi> (Z would need to check the status of translations for example)
<AmineKhaldi> hence being cautious
<Webunny> well...checking translation COULD be done by someone else too
<AmineKhaldi> speaking of which, if you happen to know any drupal gurus, please send them our way
<AmineKhaldi> nah
<AmineKhaldi> look around
<Webunny> I think z98 is doing too much to be properly doing all of it
<AmineKhaldi> that's exactly what I call "lack of resources"
<AmineKhaldi> people are not stepping up
<AmineKhaldi> all I see is talking
<AmineKhaldi> what we need is commitment (like yours) and actions
<AmineKhaldi> you seem to be the only one who has that
<AmineKhaldi> where are the others ?
<Webunny> yeah, but you get into a chicken or egg problem
<AmineKhaldi> well, let's break it
<AmineKhaldi> can you please guide as many of them as possible, to come here ?
<Webunny> no-one steps up, and thus it's not offered, and no-one offers it, because no one steps up
<AmineKhaldi> I will be here, helping as much as I can
<Webunny> I think you still miss the importance of having an offical air about you/it/a proposal/suggestion
<Webunny> if you ask to come here, it will have far more effect than if I ask it
<AmineKhaldi> well, please feel free to quote anything from our discussion


Anyway, that was the gist of the conversation, and I didn't feel like summarising the whole thing. If you have any remarks, comments, solutions, let it be heard (well, written). I'm sure I can relay the most important parts to Amine if needs to be, the next time I talk to him. Or, ofcourse, you can go directly to the irc-pr chan yourself. He seems to be waiting for more people there, after all. For less transient talks a forum is better, though.
Last edited by Webunny on Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:43 am, edited 3 times in total.

milon
Posts: 969
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:26 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by milon » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:01 pm

Webunny wrote:[Which is true, I noted that myself too, recently. Still, IRC is a fleeting medium; I'm not TOO keen on it myself. Fora are still more easy to use, and people are more comfortable with it, imho]
I agree. I often don't have time to commit to an IRC session, but I can sneak in a few minutes here and there and read the forum. For me, IRC isn't great. I think I've been on the ROS IRC once or twice, but definitely not more than that. Slightly off topic, but I think we need someone to act as liaison between the forum and IRC. We can't all do both, but having 1-3 people do both and report summaries on both ends could be very helpful.

ArmyMan007
Posts: 224
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:05 am

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by ArmyMan007 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:45 am

First of all, thank you Webunny for bringing the PR issue to the devs attention. I think that was a nice idea of trying to bridge the gap between the two "sides" in this dilemma.

While I read the gist I can't help but think about the "distance" between the devs and the users: While I use IRC myself and I understand the concept of it, and while I understand that Amine can't always be around the forums (and I appreciate his sincere admission of this problem), the need for approval from the team, as mentioned, is the only thing that causes many ideas to stuck. Amine seems to be naive around this topic and I feel as if he doesn't really understand the problem.

Regarding my topic (Youtube Non-profit program): the "bump" act wasn't just to raise awareness among the users but also among the devs, since, as mentioned before, every single "user project" requires an approval from the ROS team. Even if I wanted to do so on my own, the project would disavow any knowledge to my project and would reject me, only because I have no knowledge about coding. Amine pointed that coding is necessary in order to promote the project, but I say otherwise: it's the general idea that promotes projects, not what's "under the hood".

The disclaimer idea is a good one and I fully support it. However if I do act under the disclaimer paragraph (which should be drafted by both devs and users) I want to feel as if I receive a degree of support from the devs, or at least a "pat on the back". If Amine really gives me the liberty to do such projects then I wish to do so directly, without any sanctions from the devs (including fund-raising projects, interviews, reviews and what not).
ReactOS - Open Your Windows to Freedom

AmineKhaldi
Developer
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:01 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by AmineKhaldi » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:54 pm

Okay, let me clarify some things here:

First of all, the original post is too long, so please forgive me for not reading it, I'll just start from ArmyMan007's reply:
ArmyMan007 wrote:First of all, thank you Webunny for bringing the PR issue to the devs attention. I think that was a nice idea of trying to bridge the gap between the two "sides" in this dilemma.
That was actually my initiative. I noticed that something was wrong while I was discussing the DVD matter with him, so I wanted to get this issue addressed because it seems to be an important one. I also told him that the IRC discussion between us is free to be quoted, because I speak my mind when I talk, so I don't mind being quoted even thought realtime discussions tend to be spontaneous (no preparations) which can reduce their quality.
ArmyMan007 wrote:While I read the gist I can't help but think about the "distance" between the devs and the users: While I use IRC myself and I understand the concept of it, and while I understand that Amine can't always be around the forums (and I appreciate his sincere admission of this problem), the need for approval from the team, as mentioned, is the only thing that causes many ideas to stuck. Amine seems to be naive around this topic and I feel as if he doesn't really understand the problem.
The "distance" is obviously a result of (mutual ?) misunderstanding between the devs and the users. What looks naive to me is that you are discussing advanced PR matters/ideas, while ignoring the most basic PR tools that pretty much all the other open source software communities are excelling at.

ReactOS has been around for more than 10 years, but if we examine its social networks presence, it wouldn't reflect what the project deserves, and it wouldn't give a clear indication that the project has a massive community backing it up. That includes, for example, the tweets/retweets, the facebook shares/likes, the +1's, the personal blog posts, personal reviews, personal interviews (as a fan/supporter, not as an official interview), the devs interviews (either by the fans then posted on the official website, or by other parties attracted/recruited by the fans/supporters, for example the media)... and the list goes on.

When the community doesn't focus first on these relatively basic notions/tools to help raise awareness and attract interest and newcomers to the community and the project, the devs (well, me personally, since I'm speaking for myself here as usual) can understandably find it hard to jump directly to futuristic, more advances steps of PR like the mascot and so on.

Let's not forget that our official PR staff consists of two, very busy guys: Z and Vic. You know very well the situation that both are in (one is drowning in work obligations, the other has health problems and we all are patiently waiting for his soon recovery). It's only understandable to see limited official PR action, and instead of complaining about the obvious, how about considering to step up and help ? I remember that there was an initiative to train new PR team members to help with the news pieces, the tweets...etc, and that initiative was the reason why I created the #reactos-pr channel, so that if anyone needs help, I would do my best to get him/her that (I'll let you guess how many members there are in that channel). It's not really hard to draft something and send it to the actual team members (Z and Vic) in an organized/efficient manner, and they review it and build up on it. Over the time the newcomers will get a good grasp and hopefully be finally able to act on their own, as a full-fledged official PR members.

There is really so much in my mind I want to articulate, but I just don't get this forums thing, it would be great if the community members who really care, could join the IRC channel and interact with us, so that I could answer about specifics and try to pass the messages I have. It's not tricky anymore to join IRC, it's as simple as visiting any website: you put your preferred nickname and #reactos-pr in http://webchat.freenode.net/ and you connect, then you say something and wait for the other persons to reply (sometimes people are aware from keyboard, so no one replies, which is normal in that context).
ArmyMan007 wrote:Amine pointed that coding is necessary in order to promote the project, but I say otherwise: it's the general idea that promotes projects, not what's "under the hood".
Please point me to where I said that. This is wrong on so many levels and it's making me question your understanding and/or Webunny quotes of me.
ArmyMan007 wrote:The disclaimer idea is a good one and I fully support it. However if I do act under the disclaimer paragraph (which should be drafted by both devs and users) I want to feel as if I receive a degree of support from the devs, or at least a "pat on the back". If Amine really gives me the liberty to do such projects then I wish to do so directly, without any sanctions from the devs (including fund-raising projects, interviews, reviews and what not).
The most important point I want to clarify is that the explicit mention is not a new idea, it's common sense, and it's what's expected from anyone who's not a dev, but wants to have actions/views related to ReactOS. I'm very surprised to see it being considered as a new idea, to be honest.

If you don't do this explicit mention, you would easily generate confusion and seem to be speaking on behalf of the project. I don't see how that resulted in me giving you guys the liberty to do fundraising, interviews..etc, because common sense dictates that the official project is the one that initiates fundraising, and common sense also dictates that interviews involve speaking about/on behalf of the project, which would require official endorsement (unless they're interviewing fans of course). I see that as a naive interpretation of whatever Webunny may have quoted.



This is becoming a very long reply to my taste, to the point that I lost even the will to reread it, or add the tons of points I have in mind in this subject, so I'll just stop here and hope that the people who care will show up with questions and reactions (in the IRC channel hopefully).

fred02
Posts: 551
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:54 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by fred02 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:36 pm

AmineKhaldi wrote:hope that the people who care will show up with questions and reactions (in the IRC channel hopefully).
First of all, thank you for taking time to clarify some of the points.
I tried the web irc client you suggested, and indeed it was easy to join the room.
Hence the first question: can direct links to the chat rooms be added to this page, so users can join in 1-Click®?
Also, a link to the #reactos channel could be added to the main page. Or maybe even a ticker/scroller, to increase people's awareness/interest to this media.
Speaking of which.
AmineKhaldi wrote:I created the #reactos-pr channel
May be it should be added to the above page too, to increase visibility? #reactos-testers is missing too.

Webunny
Posts: 1201
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:30 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by Webunny » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:04 am

double(triple?) post (the site borked when I placed the comment, but aparently it went through after all.

PS. It did it again; I post, and it keeps hanging for a long time, and then it says something about the gateway timed out.
Last edited by Webunny on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

Webunny
Posts: 1201
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:30 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by Webunny » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:07 am

double(triple?) post (the site borked when I placed the comment, but aparently it went through after all.
Last edited by Webunny on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Webunny
Posts: 1201
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:30 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by Webunny » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:09 am

AmineKhaldi wrote:Okay, let me clarify some things here:

First of all, the original post is too long, so please forgive me for not reading it, I'll just start from ArmyMan007's reply:
ArmyMan007 wrote:First of all, thank you Webunny for bringing the PR issue to the devs attention. I think that was a nice idea of trying to bridge the gap between the two "sides" in this dilemma.
That was actually my initiative. I noticed that something was wrong while I was discussing the DVD matter with him, so I wanted to get this issue addressed because it seems to be an important one. I also told him that the IRC discussion between us is free to be quoted, because I speak my mind when I talk, so I don't mind being quoted even thought realtime discussions tend to be spontaneous (no preparations) which can reduce their quality.

Heh...well, it was my initiative to go to the chan and talk to you, and to post it here. I think that's what he meant by trying to bridge the gap. But anyhow, it's not about who's initiative it was, but rather about how to close the gap, I think we all agree on that. As said in the irc-chan; you should not look upon making a post here as 'wasting your time' (in fact, that alone shows the gap is still there)...rather you should see it as a helpful way to interact with the users/non-coders. We all understand you are busy, but some posts now and then of you and other devs, even if sporadic (but with a bit more frequency than now), would already go a long way to make the gap a bit shorter.
ArmyMan007 wrote:While I read the gist I can't help but think about the "distance" between the devs and the users: While I use IRC myself and I understand the concept of it, and while I understand that Amine can't always be around the forums (and I appreciate his sincere admission of this problem), the need for approval from the team, as mentioned, is the only thing that causes many ideas to stuck. Amine seems to be naive around this topic and I feel as if he doesn't really understand the problem.
The "distance" is obviously a result of (mutual ?) misunderstanding between the devs and the users. What looks naive to me is that you are discussing advanced PR matters/ideas, while ignoring the most basic PR tools that pretty much all the other open source software communities are excelling at.

ReactOS has been around for more than 10 years, but if we examine its social networks presence, it wouldn't reflect what the project deserves, and it wouldn't give a clear indication that the project has a massive community backing it up. That includes, for example, the tweets/retweets, the facebook shares/likes, the +1's, the personal blog posts, personal reviews, personal interviews (as a fan/supporter, not as an official interview), the devs interviews (either by the fans then posted on the official website, or by other parties attracted/recruited by the fans/supporters, for example the media)... and the list goes on.

When the community doesn't focus first on these relatively basic notions/tools to help raise awareness and attract interest and newcomers to the community and the project, the devs (well, me personally, since I'm speaking for myself here as usual) can understandably find it hard to jump directly to futuristic, more advances steps of PR like the mascot and so on.
Amine, I know you're all hung up on that retweeting-thing (I suppose something happened with someone that really bothered you about it) and for sure, social media are important nowadays in the overall PR strategy, I think most will acknowledge that. However, this does not mean one HAS to do it before you can do something else. I'm somehow noting the tendency you have to go for an 'everything-or-nothing' approach. You go like: PR must do this, that, and that. But...the point is, we're all volunteers here, and just like you prefer coding a certain part of ROS, but less another (and you certainly aren't equally interested in posting posts on the forum, for instance), so do all other people have likes and dislikes. On itself, there is nothing wrong with that, and I think most open source projects work like that: people do what they like to do best. To not offend anyone, I'll take myself as an example: I'm primarily interested in translating the website, and the PR-DVD-project (as you know). Those things peak my interest, and some side-projects I and others have suggested, like the mascot, I can see myself helping out too. However...personally, I despise most social media. I don't have FB, and I doubt I ever will (I tried out google+ just for the technical side of it, but I'm not really using that neither). I'm simply NOT interested in those things. I don't twitter, tweet, retweet, or whatever neither. I think tweets are silly. Yes, I know: everyone does it these days. Reason the more for me not to use it - apart from the fact that, even while joe doe to presidents use FB and tweet/twitter away, I remain of the opinion it's stupid, shallow and silly. That's a personal opinion; it's just the way I think about it. Others can have other opinions about it.

And that's just it: let those that find it interesting, do it. But it can't be a *prerequisite* for doing something else, however. If that were the case, I couldn't/wouldn't involve myself in the translation-part or the DVD-project, before I made a retweet? Ermm...right. There is something wrong with that reasoning. No, just like ROS exists of a TEAM of developers, I envisage a TEAM of people doing PR. And just like all coders have their preferences and concentrate on the things they're best at and are most interested in, so can different people in PR do what they are best in and like to do the most. If someone wants to facebook (is that a verb, actually?) or to twit&tweet, then fine; let him do it. That's PR, indeed. Does someone wants to do a DVD-project or slogan or mascot, well that's fine too: that is ALSO PR.

There is no need that only one man should do everything, nor that he should make a facebook before he can be interested in drawing a mascot. That there is little interest, or lack of response in the domains you feel are important, like the social media, is, to be frank, quite understandable. At least from my stance. I wouldn't do it, because I find it boring and stupid. Yes, I can see, rationally, that it's a good thing if it would be done, as PR. It still doesn't appeal to me, just like it doesn't appeal to you to post here. I can't speak for everybody, of course, and I hope some people will turn out to BE interested in this social digital media thing, but on itself, from my stance it's no surprise that such things get little response. It's like asking people to do a tedious or boring job: you do that, if your paid for it, you don't do it for your free time. No; during free time, you do what you want to do. As a volunteer, the 'pay' you get for doing things is fun. Nothing more, nothing less.

Well, that's my theory for why there are, apparently, so few people interested in having it on FB or twitter. I could be wrong, of course. Maybe it's because they didn't think about something that obvious. That could be. Come to think of it, seen the fact people find it interesting enough to put on FB what they had for breakfast, and tweet the most superficial and shallow crap as if it were worth reading, I guess mentioning ROS would already be an improvement. ;)


Let's not forget that our official PR staff consists of two, very busy guys: Z and Vic. You know very well the situation that both are in (one is drowning in work obligations, the other has health problems and we all are patiently waiting for his soon recovery). It's only understandable to see limited official PR action, and instead of complaining about the obvious, how about considering to step up and help ? I remember that there was an initiative to train new PR team members to help with the news pieces, the tweets...etc, and that initiative was the reason why I created the #reactos-pr channel, so that if anyone needs help, I would do my best to get him/her that (I'll let you guess how many members there are in that channel). It's not really hard to draft something and send it to the actual team members (Z and Vic) in an organized/efficient manner, and they review it and build up on it. Over the time the newcomers will get a good grasp and hopefully be finally able to act on their own, as a full-fledged official PR members.
I do understand the basis of a meritocracy. Only, As I and others alluded at, maybe it's too strict, in some cases. Take the mascot idea, for instance. You say that's 'official'; well, then, how about giving the 'official' nod to the people wanting to have a go at it? Don't ask that they do retweets first, or have to prove themselves another way: you risk virtually nothing, by letting them try to find artists who want to draw a few mascots. Give them an approval, and see what comes of it. If nothing: well, nothing gained, nothing lost. This is the main difference between a side-project and core-coding: there, when you really mess up, you bork everything. If the mascot thing doesn't pan out...well, no biggie.

I'm not sure why you can't seem to acknowledge this fact.


There is really so much in my mind I want to articulate, but I just don't get this forums thing, it would be great if the community members who really care, could join the IRC channel and interact with us, so that I could answer about specifics and try to pass the messages I have. It's not tricky anymore to join IRC, it's as simple as visiting any website: you put your preferred nickname and #reactos-pr in http://webchat.freenode.net/ and you connect, then you say something and wait for the other persons to reply (sometimes people are aware from keyboard, so no one replies, which is normal in that context).
Amine...just like you 'just don't get this forum thing', other people 'just don't get that irc thing'. You should try to see it from their stance/viewpoint too, if you really want to close the gap.
ArmyMan007 wrote:Amine pointed that coding is necessary in order to promote the project, but I say otherwise: it's the general idea that promotes projects, not what's "under the hood".
Please point me to where I said that. This is wrong on so many levels and it's making me question your understanding and/or Webunny quotes of me.

ArmyMan007 wrote:The disclaimer idea is a good one and I fully support it. However if I do act under the disclaimer paragraph (which should be drafted by both devs and users) I want to feel as if I receive a degree of support from the devs, or at least a "pat on the back". If Amine really gives me the liberty to do such projects then I wish to do so directly, without any sanctions from the devs (including fund-raising projects, interviews, reviews and what not).
The most important point I want to clarify is that the explicit mention is not a new idea, it's common sense, and it's what's expected from anyone who's not a dev, but wants to have actions/views related to ReactOS. I'm very surprised to see it being considered as a new idea, to be honest.

If you don't do this explicit mention, you would easily generate confusion and seem to be speaking on behalf of the project. I don't see how that resulted in me giving you guys the liberty to do fundraising, interviews..etc, because common sense dictates that the official project is the one that initiates fundraising, and common sense also dictates that interviews involve speaking about/on behalf of the project, which would require official endorsement (unless they're interviewing fans of course). I see that as a naive interpretation of whatever Webunny may have quoted.
Almost all of it are just literal quotes. I changed some spelling mistakes, and minor things for the sake of clarity and a few mergers of separated quotes, but that's all.

But the point I would like to see clarified: what *about* the projects that need or seem to need some endorsement? Contacting the devs is all good and fine, but since no dev can speak for all (dixit yourself), how and when DO people know if it's approved or not? The real problem is, there is little to no conduit, go-in-between, communication, etc. going on between most normal users and devs. For instance: there are now, and in the past, been topics of finding a slogan, mascot, crowdfunding, etc. Was ANYONE of those proposals EVER mentioned and put to vote in a general dev-meeting? Apart from my DVD project, which I really had to pull through (the uphill battle I talked about), I think none ever was. And that's just one of the biggest problems: there is very little 'conductivity' between devs and non-coders/forumusers. There is no flow between the two, concerning these PR ideas. When people ask what you (aka, the devs) think of it, it's in the expectancy to get some answer. If they don't get anything, or a negative reply - even though an individual dev does not represents ROS, it is easy to understand why one would feel discouraged after a time.

This is becoming a very long reply to my taste, to the point that I lost even the will to reread it, or add the tons of points I have in mind in this subject, so I'll just stop here and hope that the people who care will show up with questions and reactions (in the IRC channel hopefully).
Well, see my response above. Though do know we appreciate the effort of making this post. I still think you are underestimating such things. While you have rationally and legally many good and logical correct points, the fact of the matter is, that he forum, and, in fact, every project or endeavour where a group of people is present ALWAYS has a social hierarchy, be it formal or informal. And recognition or a show of enthusiasm of peers, and certainly of those who have a say, always has social and psychological importance. Giving a nod, even to an idea that strictly speaking doesn't need a nod from the devs, show appreciation and can go a long way to encourage people to go for it. It's something to keep in mind, imho.

Z98
Release Engineer
Posts: 3379
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 8:16 pm
Contact:

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by Z98 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:34 am

This is going to be very blunt. And probably sound harsh. But quite frankly, the "hands off" and "don't say anything if I have nothing nice to say" approach is obviously too lenient.

There are at least three active developers that browse the forum on a regular basis and at least four non-developers but trusted team members that do the same. We see basically every idea that is proposed, so if there seems to be a distinct lack of ideas being presented to the rest of the team or adopted, it's not because we're not noticing the proposals, it's because based on our judgment an overwhelming percentage were found wanting. In fact, considering our differing opinions and points of view, it says a lot that we so uniformly decline to forward so many proposals to the rest of the team. Of the few that we bothered responding to, when we discussed the issues we saw, few were ever actually resolved. Off the top of my head, I can only think of maybe one or two successful initiatives that were originally proposed on the forum during my time with the project. If all of you so desire, I could be considerably more openly judgmental and shut down every idea that I consider infeasible the moment it's brought up instead of allowing people to talk amongst it themselves and only intervening if I see it going down a really problematic route. The hope, one which has not been fulfilled by the way, was that letting the internal discussion within the community play out would eventually result in something that was actually actionable on the part of the team.

Regarding IRC, so far what the team has seen is pretty much a complete mental blindness amongst people who 'don't get IRC' as to why we use it. We use it to facilitate real-time discussions between multiple people around the world. The key point here being REAL-TIME. There are times when we are trying to carry out an actual conversation and need responses quickly and seamlessly. Why the blazes would we use a forum for that? Every time a developer or team member has invited someone into IRC to discuss something, it is because we feel that the response delay to using something like the forum or email is detrimental to the progression of the conversation or discussion. It's not because we don't get the forum, it's because the forum doesn't offer an environment we feel is suitable for the discussion that needs to take place.

mametoc
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:31 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by mametoc » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:44 pm

But this is not reflected in the main page as don't appears any "Enter Chat"/"Enter IRC" tab alongside "Forum", "Wiki", etc... or elsewhere.

milon
Posts: 969
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:26 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by milon » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:11 pm

mametoc wrote:But this is not reflected in the main page as don't appears any "Enter Chat"/"Enter IRC" tab alongside "Forum", "Wiki", etc... or elsewhere.
It's under the Community tab. I think it's good where it is.

mametoc
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:31 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by mametoc » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:48 pm

Yes, is a "good" stash.

fred02
Posts: 551
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:54 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by fred02 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:00 pm

milon wrote:
mametoc wrote:But this is not reflected in the main page as don't appears any "Enter Chat"/"Enter IRC" tab alongside "Forum", "Wiki", etc... or elsewhere.
It's under the Community tab. I think it's good where it is.
Sure, but since IRC is so important to reach the developers, shouldn't it be more visible?

EmuandCo
Developer
Posts: 4357
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:52 pm
Location: Germany, Bavaria, Steinfeld
Contact:

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by EmuandCo » Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:45 pm

Nope, if someone cant find a way to connect to IRC, he should NOT be released on our devs ^^
Image
ReactOS is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not feature-complete and is recommended only for evaluation and testing purposes.

Webunny
Posts: 1201
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:30 pm

Re: PR and all help-related suggestions/offers/proposals

Post by Webunny » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:38 pm

Z98 wrote:This is going to be very blunt. And probably sound harsh. But quite frankly, the "hands off" and "don't say anything if I have nothing nice to say" approach is obviously too lenient.

There are at least three active developers that browse the forum on a regular basis and at least four non-developers but trusted team members that do the same. We see basically every idea that is proposed, so if there seems to be a distinct lack of ideas being presented to the rest of the team or adopted, it's not because we're not noticing the proposals, it's because based on our judgment an overwhelming percentage were found wanting. In fact, considering our differing opinions and points of view, it says a lot that we so uniformly decline to forward so many proposals to the rest of the team. Of the few that we bothered responding to, when we discussed the issues we saw, few were ever actually resolved. Off the top of my head, I can only think of maybe one or two successful initiatives that were originally proposed on the forum during my time with the project. If all of you so desire, I could be considerably more openly judgmental and shut down every idea that I consider infeasible the moment it's brought up instead of allowing people to talk amongst it themselves and only intervening if I see it going down a really problematic route. The hope, one which has not been fulfilled by the way, was that letting the internal discussion within the community play out would eventually result in something that was actually actionable on the part of the team.

Regarding IRC, so far what the team has seen is pretty much a complete mental blindness amongst people who 'don't get IRC' as to why we use it. We use it to facilitate real-time discussions between multiple people around the world. The key point here being REAL-TIME. There are times when we are trying to carry out an actual conversation and need responses quickly and seamlessly. Why the blazes would we use a forum for that? Every time a developer or team member has invited someone into IRC to discuss something, it is because we feel that the response delay to using something like the forum or email is detrimental to the progression of the conversation or discussion. It's not because we don't get the forum, it's because the forum doesn't offer an environment we feel is suitable for the discussion that needs to take place.

Not at all; I don't think it's blunt; it's honest. I for one, welcome such honest debate, and I'm sure a lot of others appreciate it too.

Now, as I said before: I understand the principle of a meritocracy, I really do. It makes sense, in a lot of areas. Only, I think there should be different levels of 'prerequisites', according to the risk ROS is taking. For most side projects, there is hardly any risk involved, so I think it's perfectly possible to be a bit more lenient there, as in contrast too, for instance, core-coding.

As for who doesn't get what; irc or forum; I was just saying it goes both ways. Sure, irc has it's advantage for some things. As you say, it's easy to rapidly talk out things 'live'. It is also a rather fleeting, and for some users, unfamiliar environment. Even Amine said literally that his thoughts are presented less structured there. So it has good things and bad things going for it. So does the forum. For organising a poll about, for instance, a slogan or a mascot, or for just explaining it more elaborately, in depth and with more structure of one's thoughts, it is clear the forum is better. Coders and users should 'get' *both* things, really.

But anyway, continuing, since we're being open about it too: "it's because based on our judgment an overwhelming percentage were found wanting" you say. Ok, fair enough. But than this contradicts what Amine says that EVERY member, even if it's just a user/translator/etc. has *equal* standing in his eyes. (Or, you disagree with him on this.) This is why I told him 'but in reality that is never actually true' when he said 'we are all equal'. And you just proved my point. Because, let's face it; if we were TRULY 'all equal', then a decision - certainly without any elaboration, communication, let alone general consent - like: 'we (the devs that roam the fora) decided the suggestions are found wanting and therefore it's a NO ' couldn't be made. Agreed?

And another thing; even when would say that the 3-4 devs here have enough clout to represent ROS and thus can decide for ROS itself if something is worthwhile or not (which also contradicts what Amine said, but which is, I think how it in reality works here, indeed), then still that does not mean one can't discus this. For instance, it would be quite worthwhile, informative and certainly close the gap a bit to explain WHY one thought it not even worth presenting the idea to the other devs.

Don't take it personally, but if I may use you as an example, in the whole discussion about the mascot, you only said three things: "That previous topic was from eight years ago. What have I said about resurrecting topics that old?" after it was just proposed, and "Or lock this topic.........' and 'Or I kill it now explicitly.' In no way was that constructive, helpful or even informative; certainly you can see and realise that? It does not explain, for instance WHY you think it's a worthless suggestion.

Ok, I know that thread wasn't started all that seriously, and we had a bit free running fun with it (even I goofed along a bit :-) ), and there is nothing wrong with that, but YOU seemed to be serious about it (locking it), so why then not explain your reasons? I mean, is it the very notion of a mascot you deem unworthy as a suggestion/proposal? Was it the way it was presented and people got on the bandwagon to joke around? Is there some other reason?

1)If the first, then I don't quite understand, since almost EVERY OS out there has one, end certainly lot's of open source ones. open BSD has one, NETBSD has one, LINUX has one, Freedos has one, etc. Almost all open source projects have one. So why wouldn't we go for one too? The same with a slogan. And many of those projects developed one before they arrived at full maturity, so the reason that it's 'too soon' seems a bit superfluous.

2)If the second, than I have a remedy; why don't you or some other dev/ROS member start a post with the suggestion for searching a slogan or mascot? I see VERY LITTLE initiative coming from the devs, in this regard. It would serve the purpose of closing the gap considerably, though, and at the same time, it would make things more serious and less frivolous, if you requested it to be such.

3)If the third, then: what reason(s)? Maybe you have a plethora of very good reasons that we don't know or realise. Why not share them? I mean, it must be more than just 'we don't like it, period', surely you can see that? But if you have rational reasons, well, why not make an effort to impart it to us? It could be, even, that we could remedy some of your concerns or comments about it, if we brainstorm about it all together. And if nothing else: again, it would close the gap a bit. Surely you must understand that very short, uninformative one-liners do not make for an impression of mutual understanding and thus does not contribute to diminishing the 'us vs.them' feeling. Which was the gap Amine talking about and wanted to close (and, I presume, so do you/other devs).

edit: z98; hmm, this is strange; it looked like you posted (when viewing the 'active topics', but I don't seem to be able to see your post? Or did you delete it?
Last edited by Webunny on Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], DotBot [Crawler], emilydun and 4 guests