This is a guest post by my esteemed team mate Vikram Vaswani:
A few days ago, I presented a session entitled “Community Matters: Why Open Source Marketing Can Help Improve Your Product” at Open Source India 2012 in Bangalore. In this guest post, I’d like to recap my experiences at the conference and provide some insight into the state of Open Source in India.
- The conference ran for three days, each addressing different aspects of Open Source technologies and practices. Day 1 was all about mobile app development and cloud deployment, Day 2 was about Web development, kernel development and IT infrastructure management and Day 3, simply entitled “FOSS for Everyone”, was about FOSS technologies, practices and community adoption in India. Needless to say, my session was on Day 3.
- According to the event organizers, there were more than 1500 registrants in all, and more than 50 speakers. The audience consisted mostly of developers, but there was also a fair sprinkling of IT and project managers. My session took place on Oct 14 in a 1300-seater auditorium. It began 20 minutes later than scheduled mostly because of spillover from a very interesting panel discussion on the role of Indian LUGs in promoting FOSS. Given that it was a Sunday morning, only about 35 seats were full. However, the audience was engaged, interested and receptive to the material in my presentation (slides).
- My presentation was divided into three main segments: understanding the nature of open source communities; understanding the role of marketing and community development in creating network effects within these communities; and practical tips and techniques for open source vendors to apply in their community marketing programs. There was a lot of information I wanted to communicate and fortunately, I was able to get it all in within the allotted 45-minute window.
- Given that the next item on the agenda was lunch, I wasn’t surprised that the majority of attendees didn’t wait for questions. However, a few of them did walk over to introduce themselves. We discussed some of the differences between community and corporate marketing and how they were perceived in India, and many of the attendees asked for copies of the slides, either for their own review or to discuss with colleagues.
One of my key takeaways from the various conversations I had after the session was that community development in India is yet to be perceived as a valuable service. Most vendors still prefer to adopt traditional “top down” marketing, rather than the “bottom-up” adoption that’s more common in open source communities. Nevertheless, most of the people I spoke to agreed that community development was gradually becoming more important in India, especially with the growth of home-grown open source vendors, and companies that had the courage and resources to invest in community development and marketing would likely have an advantage.
In summary, the event was well attended, with an informed and tech-savvy audience, and the quality of speakers was extremely high. Photos of the event can be found in its official Twitter feed, and I look forward to attending and speaking at it again next year!
Open Source India is a well-known annual open source conference in India. This year, it will be held in Bangalore between October 12-14 at the NIMHANS Convention Centre, and my Age of Peers colleague Vikram Vaswani will be presenting a session on October 14 entitled “Community Matters: Why Open Source Marketing Can Help Improve Your Product” which was presented by webmaster who runs The Real SizeGenetics.
In this session, Vikram will be offering a primer on the nature of open source communities, together with information on how open source marketing can help create positive feedback loops and increase community adoption of your product. It promises to be a fun session, so if you’re in Bangalore this weekend, why not drop by and check it out?
I had the chance to do a video interview with Glyn Moody, a renown technology journalist and consultant, at the South Tyrol Free Software Conference (SFScon), past Friday.
Glyn provides great answers to the following questions:
- Is “Open Source” still a newsworthy topic?
- What are the trends in Open Source watched by journalists?
- How to do PR in a sane way?
- How important are social media in the marketing mix?
He also points out that a topic he’s closely watching these days is how governments try to fight back the internet – something he discussed in his keynote at SFScon and in a related article afterwards, which also includes his slides.
Last week, I published a video interview with Ross Turk that I recorded at Open World Forum in Paris. Here’s another interview that I recorded at the event, this time with Stéfane Fermigier, Founder and Chairman at Nuxeo. In this interview he discusses how Nuxeo markets its open source product and he also provides insight into the French open source community. Merci for a great interview, Stéfane!
At Open World Forum in Paris last week, I had the chance to interview Ross Turk, Senior Director of Communities at Talend, and could talk him into showing how he collects and analyzes community metrics. Ross uses Talend to extract data and BIRT to process the graphs. It’s great and big fun to hear Ross explain how he evaluates the statistics.
Blogging live from OXID Commons where Pyramid presents their awesome Polytouch Point of Sale (PoS) device. It features a huge 32″ touch screen – the only one currently out in the wild in Europe. What’s even more spectacular for Open Source enthusiasts such as me, is that it ships with OXID eShop inside, an Open Source ecommerce system.
Watch this video and enjoy how Open Source drives innovation:
Some tech specs: The device runs OXID eShop on top of Windows 7 and the full HD touch interface is based on Flash.
Disclaimer: OXID eSales, the vendor of OXID eShop, is a customer of mine through Initmarketing.
In case you’ll attend the Open World Forum in Paris next week, make sure you join me and my team mate Rory MacDonald for our session Does Open Source Need Marketing?.
During this 1h session, we’ll testify some of the common misconceptions of marketing open-source software. We’ll also discuss major trends in marketing communications for open source vendors.
For example, one slide we prepared shares the mantra “It’s not about the code, it’s about conversations, stupid”. Furthermore, we’ll provide some recommendations regarding Marketing 1.0 vs. Marketing 2.0 and how your brand will work for customers and the community alike.
The session is part of a full-day Think Tank on open source marketing entitled “All Change Please”, which features one more workshop presented by Simon Phipps, Carlo Piana, Charles H. Schultz. Patrice Bertrand, CEO of SMILE, will also take part in the Think Tank.
‘Nough said: Learn more about the bleeding edge of open source marketing and join our session October 1st, 14:00-15:00.
BTW: I’ll attend the 2010 Paris Open Source Think Tank as well, which takes place prior to OWF.
My talk Marketing is for Geeks has been accepted for J and Beyond, an international Joomla! event. I’ll be there Monday, May 31st. Let me know if you’d like to meet and don’t miss my talk from 12:15 to 13:15.