[Linux-aus] Messaging and recent discussions

Jeff Waugh jdub at perkypants.org
Mon Jul 4 17:04:02 UTC 2005


I've been trying to structure a productive and diplomatic way of pointing
out my concerns with the way the ctte's discussion about LA was expressed,
but the press beat me to it (modulo productive):


I can't really fault Renai for what I'd characterise as a misrepresentation
of LA's current status - it's quite reasonable if you consider the material
provided (the primary initial expression being Jon's email).

It's not the first time a story has been lifted from the linux-aus list. It
happens quite often, so everyone afflicted with quotability (which I suffer
from too, in different contexts, and have also learned the hard way) needs
to be doubly careful about the message.

I'm not saying we can't have frank, open discussion (we *must*), but that it
has to be raised with some delicacy and messaging in mind. "Can LA survive?"
is funny and provocative, but has pretty obvious messaging implications - so
we cut straight to a conflict story, "the future of LA is in doubt". D'oh! I
don't even think the reference to "growing pains" in the title of the story
is entirely accurate -> the committee isn't reacting to major failure, it's
pre-empting it! But that is not the message we've sent.

It's easy to screw up, but it's also easy to get right - it's just a matter
of grokking the audiences (plural!) involved. Pia will happily (?!) grumble
about the lectures I've given her about this, btw. ;-)

Jon: I hope I wrote this constructively enough to avoid pissing you off - no
offense intended whatsoever.

Renai: You wrote the conflict we presented, so as annoying as it is, I can't
fault you for it at all. ;-)


- Jeff

GNOME Summit 2005: October 8th-10th         http://live.gnome.org/Boston2005
                          chown -R us:us yourbase

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