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-   -   Status of the Free Media Program (http://www.linux-archive.org/fedora-advisory-board/282746-status-free-media-program.html)

John Poelstra 11-18-2009 09:57 PM

Status of the Free Media Program
 
Hi Free Media Leaders,

I ended up on some of the Free Media program pages yesterday as I
followed some of the release links from

http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora

At first I thought the program had ended (as in permanently terminated)
because the pages I ended up said the program was closed. This led me
raise this as an issue the board should get status on. Then Paul
Frields told me privately that the program is very much alive and
suggested sending my questions to a wider audience who might be
interested and able to respond here.


1) What is the state of the Free Media program and how is it going?

2) Do you think the wiki page and the form are getting people to the
right place effectively and giving them the right information? I was
little confused when I ended up at
https://fedoraproject.org/freemedia/FreeMedia-form.html and it said
"Fedora Free Media form is now CLOSED" but there was no mention of when
it would open and there are 90 different people to contact in my country
:-/ Do we really want random people emailing a random ambassador?


I also wondered if it was a good idea to be pointing people to something
they can't have or even request on our main "Day of Release" page:
http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora ?


3) Realizing that all the people giving their time and money to the Free
Media program are doing this out of their own resources (which I think
is amazing), do the Free Media project leaders feel that free media is
getting to the right people--people that can't get it any other way?


4) Lastly, how can the board help drive more participation and
involvement in the great work that you do in the Free Media program?


Thanks for all that you do!
John

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inode0 11-19-2009 12:03 AM

Status of the Free Media Program
 
On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 4:57 PM, John Poelstra <poelstra@redhat.com> wrote:
> Hi Free Media Leaders,

I'm not a FreeMedia leader but this program is close to my heart and I
have strong feelings about it so I'll share my perspective of it with
you.

> I ended up on some of the Free Media program pages yesterday as I followed
> some of the release links from
> http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora
>
> At first I thought the program had ended (as in permanently terminated)
> because the pages I ended up said the program was closed. *This led me raise
> this as an issue the board should get status on. *Then Paul Frields told me
> privately that the program is very much alive and suggested sending my
> questions to a wider audience who might be interested and able to respond
> here.

You are not the first to think that the FreeMedia program had closed
up shop. I encounter that on a regular but infrequent basis.

> 1) What is the state of the Free Media program and how is it going?

We do the best we can filling requests but it is just a fact of life
that we get overwhelmed if we leave the request form open for very
long. So it pops up early each month and is closed when we have so
many requests we can't handle them all. It normally is only open for a
few days. Can we improve in this regard? I think we can but currently
we are a bit limited by the fact that all contributors can't
contribute everywhere in the world. So when one location is
overwhelmed we stop even when other locations could handle more
requests. We are working on ways to fix this issue now so that going
forward we can keep the form (or some regional form) open as long as
the contributors involved can keep up.

> 2) Do you think the wiki page and the form are getting people to the right
> place effectively and giving them the right information? *I was little
> confused when I ended up at
> https://fedoraproject.org/freemedia/FreeMedia-form.html and it said "Fedora
> Free Media form is now CLOSED" but there was no mention of when it would
> open and there are 90 different people to contact in my country :-/ *Do we
> really want random people emailing a random ambassador?

No, we don't want anyone contacting ambassadors directly for
FreeMedia, at least I don't. The closed version of the form used to
suggest trying back again early in the next month and I think it still
should. There are other areas in the world where direct contact of
ambassadors for getting media is more agreeable. I think it is
important to remember that only a small number of ambassadors are
FreeMedia contributors. There is no direct connection between the two
programs. Everyone is welcome to be a FreeMedia contributor. If you
have a DVD/CD burner and are willing to share a couple of pieces of
media each month with others please join us!

> I also wondered if it was a good idea to be pointing people to something
> they can't have or even request on our main "Day of Release" page:
> http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora ?

Probably not.

> 3) Realizing that all the people giving their time and money to the Free
> Media program are doing this out of their own resources (which I think is
> amazing), do the Free Media project leaders feel that free media is getting
> to the right people--people that can't get it any other way?

Mostly I do. Not very many people are so lazy they would request I
burn one and mail it to them if they could easily get it any other way
(speaking from a North American perspective). A few probably think it
is like a different media program where you get nice fancy pressed
media, but I don't think there is a lot of that happening.

> 4) Lastly, how can the board help drive more participation and involvement
> in the great work that you do in the Free Media program?

I think we need to solve a structural problem (how to manage the
request pipeline regionally) before we need to attract more
contributors. In North America new contributors can get bored quickly
because others fill the requests before they try, and they feel like
they aren't needed and move on to other things. So I really want eager
new contributors to be greeted by open requests that they can fill.
That doesn't really give any clue about how the board can help. But if
you know anyone who would like to help design/implement a more useful
interface to the program we'd love to meet them.

John

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sankarshan 11-19-2009 12:17 AM

Status of the Free Media Program
 
On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 4:27 AM, John Poelstra <poelstra@redhat.com> wrote:
> Hi Free Media Leaders,
>
> I ended up on some of the Free Media program pages yesterday as I followed
> some of the release links from
> http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora
>
> At first I thought the program had ended (as in permanently terminated)
> because the pages I ended up said the program was closed. *This led me raise
> this as an issue the board should get status on. *Then Paul Frields told me
> privately that the program is very much alive and suggested sending my
> questions to a wider audience who might be interested and able to respond
> here.

I am not a Free Media Leader, and, without providing direct responses
to the queries <http://sankarshan.randomink.org/blog/2009/04/12/some-bytes-about-fedora-bits/>
is a run down of how things were during April. Since then we have
produced media in bulk to offset the issue of folks not receiving
media. There are certain approaches that I noted on the blog post that
seems to be working for India.

--
sankarshan mukhopadhyay
<http://sankarshan.randomink.org/blog>

Sent from Pune, MH, India

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susmit shannigrahi 11-19-2009 01:35 AM

Status of the Free Media Program
 
Hi,


> At first I thought the program had ended (as in permanently terminated)
> because the pages I ended up said the program was closed. *This led me raise
> this as an issue the board should get status on. *Then Paul Frields told me
> privately that the program is very much alive and suggested sending my
> questions to a wider audience who might be interested and able to respond
> here.
>
> 1) What is the state of the Free Media program and how is it going?

It is going great. :)


> 2) Do you think the wiki page and the form are getting people to the right
> place effectively and giving them the right information? *I was little
> confused when I ended up at
> https://fedoraproject.org/freemedia/FreeMedia-form.html and it said "Fedora
> Free Media form is now CLOSED" but there was no mention of when it would
> open and there are 90 different people to contact in my country :-/ *Do we
> really want random people emailing a random ambassador?

Please note, the page talks about getting availability information
from ambassadors, not disks. An ambassador knows where the events are
etc.But this is only a temporary solution.
I am working on getting an app ready for integrating the whole
distribution thing and the mockup is here
http://susmit.fedorapeople.org/freemedia/output.pdf. This will be
worked on at foss.in (12 days from now) and I hope to solve it once
and for all.


> I also wondered if it was a good idea to be pointing people to something
> they can't have or even request on our main "Day of Release" page:
> http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora ?

It is not, but the cycle is different. Freemedia opens at the
beginning of each month and this does not coincide with release.


> 3) Realizing that all the people giving their time and money to the Free
> Media program are doing this out of their own resources (which I think is
> amazing), do the Free Media project leaders feel that free media is getting
> to the right people--people that can't get it any other way?

The app I talked about can solve this problem to some extend. If
required, we sometime challenge some requests for verification, but
given the volume of the requests, we can not do it for each and every
request. We have to trust people to some extend, no other way and no
way to be cent percent sure about the media reaching right people or
not.


> 4) Lastly, how can the board help drive more participation and involvement
> in the great work that you do in the Free Media program?

Yes, thanks for bringing this up.

My initial though was to integrate freemedia with ambassadors project
and get it under FAmSCo. On a second thought, I think we can do well
with a elected body for exclusively distribution. Entry into
ambassadors group is no longer low-barrier and those who want to send
only two dvds/month need not go through all the formalities of it.

But notwithstanding the ease of job, we need dedicated people who can
take care of the freemedia and distribution process, get new vendors
and contributors signed up, work with LUGs and magazines to carry
fedora and work on other things to ensure availability. In short, I am
thinking of an elected body to take care of distribution process.
Also, we have started receiving donations[1]once again and I have
requested Max to take charge of the donations (only if he agrees). An
elected body will be able to decide on the best way to spend the
donations.

However, I am yet to take this discussion to the freemedia list, and
once that is done anf if the proposal is agreed upon, we can come up
with a formal proposal to the board. This we will talk about in
details after getting the app ready.

[1] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Distribution/FreeMedia/Donation#Donation_History

Thanks.

--
Regards,
Susmit.

=============================================
http://www.fedoraproject.org/wiki/user:susmit
=============================================

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susmit shannigrahi 11-19-2009 01:57 AM

Status of the Free Media Program
 
> But notwithstanding the ease of job, we need dedicated people who can
> take care of the freemedia and distribution process

One thing I need to clarify. This is not to mean the current
contributors are not dedicated enough. By "dedicated" I meant whose
"job" is to lead distribution process. Neville and Frank is doing a
*GREAT* work with freemedia's administrative as well as other
activities. Without their help, we did not stand any chance of turning
around. And so are other contributors. The only goal of my proposal is
to easy their burden and to ensure we are doing well in all regions.




--
Regards,
Susmit.

=============================================
http://www.fedoraproject.org/wiki/user:susmit
=============================================
Sent from Calcutta, WB, India

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Yuan Yijun 11-19-2009 12:00 PM

Status of the Free Media Program
 
2009/11/19 John Poelstra <poelstra@redhat.com>:
> Hi Free Media Leaders,
>
>
> 1) What is the state of the Free Media program and how is it going?
>

The use of Trac greatly simplified my work -- I always need to ping
each recipient to get their exact post address as well as their phone
number. The phone number is very important because without it, the
media may get returned (because the post office cannot find the
recipient). With a trac system I no longer need to send emails by
hand. One problem with Trac is they no longer reply my email.. maybe
they are scared by this advanced tool.

Since susmit and inode0 are creating new rules for FreeMedia, I'll
barely follow. My suggestion is as efficient as possible. Thus I don't
want to send it to individuals -- and I haven't done that this year,
only distributed some goodies at local events (release party, SFD and
others). I got no indication that these media I sent are valuable.
Last year only very few people gives feedback. Most think I am one
agent or sales of RH, do you believe that? If a new website is going
to be designed, please add more steps to make sure they know who we
are.


> I also wondered if it was a good idea to be pointing people to something
> they can't have or even request on our main "Day of Release" page:
> http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora ?
>

I also sent email to tell them where to buy. It is fairly easy to buy
a boxed version of Fedora 12 at either a book store or
http://amazon.cn at a very reasonable price. Also there are sellers on
Taobao (like eBay) who offer Fedora discs -- these sellers can get a
better discount from ems system while I cannot.

In one word: if one has a computer that you can install Fedora on it,
then the price of Fedora is no longer a concern. So just point them to
some faster and more reliable way.

One possible enhancement is to allow pre-sale, selling other items
related to Fedora, or find a sponsor and distribute with AD. The cost
is too much for anyone who want to make AD though.. Another dream is
if 1GB SD card was as cheap as a CD, we could send SD card instead.




--
bbbush ^_^

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John Poelstra 11-23-2009 11:17 PM

Status of the Free Media Program
 
On 11/18/2009 06:35 PM, susmit shannigrahi wrote:

Hi,



At first I thought the program had ended (as in permanently terminated)
because the pages I ended up said the program was closed. This led me raise
this as an issue the board should get status on. Then Paul Frields told me
privately that the program is very much alive and suggested sending my
questions to a wider audience who might be interested and able to respond
here.

1) What is the state of the Free Media program and how is it going?


It is going great. :)



2) Do you think the wiki page and the form are getting people to the right
place effectively and giving them the right information? I was little
confused when I ended up at
https://fedoraproject.org/freemedia/FreeMedia-form.html and it said "Fedora
Free Media form is now CLOSED" but there was no mention of when it would
open and there are 90 different people to contact in my country :-/ Do we
really want random people emailing a random ambassador?


Please note, the page talks about getting availability information
from ambassadors, not disks. An ambassador knows where the events are
etc.But this is only a temporary solution.
I am working on getting an app ready for integrating the whole
distribution thing and the mockup is here
http://susmit.fedorapeople.org/freemedia/output.pdf. This will be
worked on at foss.in (12 days from now) and I hope to solve it once
and for all.



I also wondered if it was a good idea to be pointing people to something
they can't have or even request on our main "Day of Release" page:
http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora ?


It is not, but the cycle is different. Freemedia opens at the
beginning of each month and this does not coincide with release.



Can we have a solution in place by the Fedora 13 Alpha release so that
people have a better user experience downloading the Fedora 12 Release?
I understand that you do not provide media for the test releases, but
it is a natural milestone.



3) Realizing that all the people giving their time and money to the Free
Media program are doing this out of their own resources (which I think is
amazing), do the Free Media project leaders feel that free media is getting
to the right people--people that can't get it any other way?


The app I talked about can solve this problem to some extend. If
required, we sometime challenge some requests for verification, but
given the volume of the requests, we can not do it for each and every
request. We have to trust people to some extend, no other way and no
way to be cent percent sure about the media reaching right people or
not.



4) Lastly, how can the board help drive more participation and involvement
in the great work that you do in the Free Media program?


Yes, thanks for bringing this up.

My initial though was to integrate freemedia with ambassadors project
and get it under FAmSCo. On a second thought, I think we can do well
with a elected body for exclusively distribution. Entry into
ambassadors group is no longer low-barrier and those who want to send
only two dvds/month need not go through all the formalities of it.

But notwithstanding the ease of job, we need dedicated people who can
take care of the freemedia and distribution process, get new vendors
and contributors signed up, work with LUGs and magazines to carry
fedora and work on other things to ensure availability. In short, I am
thinking of an elected body to take care of distribution process.
Also, we have started receiving donations[1]once again and I have
requested Max to take charge of the donations (only if he agrees). An
elected body will be able to decide on the best way to spend the
donations.

However, I am yet to take this discussion to the freemedia list, and
once that is done anf if the proposal is agreed upon, we can come up
with a formal proposal to the board. This we will talk about in
details after getting the app ready.

[1] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Distribution/FreeMedia/Donation#Donation_History

Thanks.



Thanks for all of your detailed information. I understand that right now
the board cannot help you and that you will submit a proposal to the
board once you have discussed with the team.


Thank you,
John

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susmit shannigrahi 11-24-2009 06:41 AM

Status of the Free Media Program
 
> Can we have a solution in place by the Fedora 13 Alpha release so that
> people have a better user experience downloading the Fedora 12 Release?

We shall probably have it much before that if everything goes as planned.

> Thanks for all of your detailed information. I understand that right now the
> board cannot help you and that you will submit a proposal to the board once
> you have discussed with the team.

Right.

Thanks.


--
Regards,
Susmit.

=============================================
http://www.fedoraproject.org/wiki/user:susmit
=============================================

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