How To Throw A Smashing Fedora Release Party

I am into organizing Fedora 18 release party in Prague this month and I though it’s time to share my ideas about a smashing Fedora release party.

Fedora 18 on Techbeat.com

Engage

I know most people are busy, especially in big cities. Start your engagement process at least 3 weeks before the release party.

Whom to target:

  • All Gnu/Linux users – we are on the same side of the “war” :)
  •  Journalists – create a mini-press release and send it to all journalist friends you know and ask them for help. Most of the time they react really quick. This is a news, anyway and a good one, though :)
  • Your colleagues – common, you can find at least 3 people to share the news with and they can find 3 more people to share it with. IM tools are powerful these days. Your colleagues are spending a lot of time in jabber or skype during the work time :)
  • Programmers and Designers (yes, Fedora is not just for geeks)
  • Try your local Hackerspace
  • Try your local GNU/Linux and FLOSS related websites. In exchange for the news you can promote them as “media partner” or just call them friends :)
  • Create an identica/ twitter/ FB account and #hashtag and use to spread the word about your party.
  • Create simple badges and ask people to put them on their blogs
  • Create a mini-website (you can use wordpress.com for a free blog for example)

Schedule and timing

  • Try to find out what groups you are targeting – hackers. teachers. programmers, designers … and put at least one topic for every group. Keep them under 20 min.
  • Ask people to RSVP to the event and to share it at least 2 weeks before the event.
  • Good idea is to use name tags. Just provide some empty white stickers and a pen – let them to the rest.
  • Start with asking every person to introduce himself/herself shortly. What’s your name, what you do, and why are you here today…
  • Start with an introduction – “What is Fedora and Why all we are here today”. Some people may not know anything about it.
  • Combine the talks with free discussions – let people to talk to each other, let the knowledge flows. Ask if someone wants to share how they are using Fedora in their work, life, device or just for fun.
  • Have a beer and pizza in the venue if possible. It helps! Especially the beer.
  • Bring something to giveaway: buttons, stickers, DVD, brochures.

Collaboration

  • Don’t do anything alone, find friends/fans/ambassadors to help you out
  • Use agile tools like trello to plan and execute your event. Create tasks and ask people to take the ownership and to do it. Community, community, community

Goal

  • Define your goal. Why you are doing this? If you spread 50 DVDs what will be the impact?
  • What about if you ask your attendees to do something? For example in the next meeting to bring someone with them or in one month to share their story about Fedora 18.
  • Give knowledge and freebies only in exchange for something else – a blog post, an action, an idea, a possible non-free OS replacement.
  • Track the success of your event. Definitely attendees will be happy after 3 beers, but what will be the impact for the community in1 month.

Have a smashing Fedora 18 release party and share some pictures and ideas.

Converting “Free” users to “Paid” users.

Just before Christmas one of my favorite service in the web crowdbooster.com announced they will discontinue their freemium model and will introduce paid only service. This is a tendency these days. I can notice couple of services abandoning their users for more money. Maybe this is a good approach, maybe not, the time will show.

Right now I am working with more than 1 mln free users on our freemium model and the challenge is of course to keep this model forever and we will. So how we can get some more money from this user?

Converting “Free” users to “Paid” users.

 

There are a lot of methodologies to use here, but I am not a fan of any of those. Ha ha, this is so me.

As you know I really like to mix things and I am using a 3-component campaign:

 

E-mail drilling + behavior recognition

 

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  • One e-mail every week during the campaign with the main campaign message  and a clear call for action: I am using Order now instead of Buy one, exception is of course a BOGO campaign, but now it stands for Buy One, Gift One.
  • Three days after the first wave I analyzed the user behavior and sent a different message to those that opened the campaign but didn’t click and for those that clicked on the link but didn’t buy the product.
  • Repeat the action for couple of weeks, but try to not duplicate the messages.
  • Use a different, but smart subject. I am using Wingdings  Unicode character coded into the subject. It makes miracles. Open rate was +1% just because of this.
  • I am using my own e-mail as a sender instead of “no-reply@” or “somethingboring@” The users prefer a real person, instead of Mr. No Reply Jr

[/list]

If it’s possible do not send the same message to all users. Try to separate them to different segments according to their activity on your website/service, location, habits or even culture.

Give them a reason to buy.

 

Internal website support

 

It’s not a secret that the e-mail marketing is not an effective way to make business these days. Most of the people are not reading their e-mails in the time when they have to or some of the messages go directly to the spam folder or are blocked because of the content.

I combine e-mail marketing with internal website messages, because we run a SAAS and we can do that. Some of the messages say “Go read your e-mail inbox”, some of them are linked directly to the landing page of the promotion.

I am changing the messages almost every day and this works very well.

 

Social media support

 

I know our community spends a lot of time in Social networks and that’s why оne of my components is social networks like Twitter, Edmodo and Facebook. No direct buy is requested, just informative campaign.

The campaign is focused on our current free users, I am not looking for new users with this campaign, that’s why I choose informative campaign in social media instead of pure “Order now” campaign.

 

Nice deals

 

Obviously our “free” users are happy with the product and do not want to buy, the question is that we want them to buy, so we have to offer them something really attractive:
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  • A discount deal, for those that don’t buy because of the price of the product
  • BOGO deal for those that want to buy more for their money
  • “What you are missing” – for those that do not understand the product and don’t know how to use it

[/list]
Anyway I am including “share the deal” functionality everywhere, because if a user is not interested in the deal, they can pass the ball to a colleague.

 

Metrics’n Tracking

 

I am measuring everything starting from user’s sentiment via online tools + customer satisfaction via RATER model, open rates, click rates, purchases, different channel behavior and many more. When you have the data, using a tool like geckoboard.com for example will show you in REAL TIME what is going with your campaign and if something went wrong, you can modify it in the fly. Priceless!

 

What’s next….

 

Do not discontinue the free service, most of the people count on it, try to monetize it instead, that’s the second part of this article, that will be published anytime soon.

Fedora 17 on Raspberry Pi: Mission Possible

Just after Christmas my Raspberry Pi has arrived in a tiny-tiny box :)

Fedorize it!

How to install Fedora on it? Easy? Since I don’t have SD card writer, shame on me I used my wife’s Windows machine build-in writer, but for good. Unfortunately all Fedora instructions are for Windows 7 and Vista, but here’s how to do that in Windows XP:

  1. Download this GNU-licensed program:  Win32DiskImager.
  2. Download Fedora 17 PI disk image from  here
  3. Burn it on your SD card
  4. Plug it in your Raspberry Pi and turn it on

Ready