Mark Shuttleworth on the Cloud, Ubuntu on Dell and more

September 24, 2009

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and the head of Canonical, the commercial entity behind the popular linux distribution, is currently making his rounds in the States.  Yesterday he was quite busy,  taking the stage at both the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco as well as at  LinuxCon up in Portland Oregon.

Today he popped by Dell here in Austin to chat.  I grabbed him for a few minutes right before lunch. Here is the result:

Some of the topics Mark tackles:

  • The release yesterday of Dell’s Mini netbook with Ubuntu Moblin Remix – Developer Edition. (More details on the release from the Dell blog.)
  • Mark’s keynote yesterday at Linuxcon and the themes of cadence, quality and design.
  • His kerfluffle with the Debian community around release schedules.
  • The cloud-related goals for next month’s Ubuntu 9.10 release, Karmic Koala:
    • To be able to deploy your own cloud across 5-10 servers in 15 mins to an hour
    • Be able to enable private clouds that are completely EC2 compatible
    • Ability to create a library of virtual appliances that will deploy on EC2 or private clouds
  • The announcement earlier this week of the 10.04 Long Term Support (LTS) release named “Lucid Lynx.”
  • Mark’s thoughts on Windows 7 or as he calls it, “the wonderful Service Pack for Vista.”
  • How long until profitability.

Pau for now…


It takes a Community (and they could use a Marketing Guide) — Mozilla Debut’s theirs

February 26, 2009

It’s 2009 and most of us appreciate the power of the community.  It has been what has driven the ascendancy of free and open source software.  It is what helped propel our current President to the White House.

obamacommunity

Obama community in action. Source: Huffington Post

“I’m in charge here” doesn’t work for a community

Although it may be obvious to some, the most important thing to know about a community is that its about influence and not control.  You can’t direct a community to do anything.  What you can do is provide great products, ideas etc that your community can get behind, promote and help make better.  Its about acknowledging their help and providing the tools and resources to help them help you.  As Max Spevack, the former Community Manager for Fedora Linux once told me, “It’s about the power of persuasion and ‘thank you.'”  Or as the motto of Obama’s field campaign states: “Respect. Empower. Include.”

debianhackers

Hackers working on Debian GNU/Linux, an entirely community built distro. (Source: My pic from Debconf8 in Argentina).

Does it work elsewhere?

So the power of community is now recognized in the development of open source software as well as in the marketing of a presidential candidate.  What about in the marketing of open source software?

Various software communities do look to members to help with many aspects of marketing, just ask Jono Bacon community leader for Ubuntu Linux or Zonker Brockmeier of OpenSUSE.  What I haven’t seen however is an actual marketing guide developed with and for the community.  That is until yesterday (there must be another community that has such a guide, I just cant think of any).

A Guide is Born

Back in November, my former Sun compadre, Patrick Finch now of Mozilla posted a blog entry imaginatively entitled, Wanted: A Guide To Community Marketing At Mozilla that discussed “the need to help the community do as much of its own marketing as possible.”  Yesterday Patrick blogged the arrival of the Mozilla Community Marketing Guide.

The guide’s brief intro explains “We hope the guide helps Mozillians identify activities they wish to undertake and point them to the resources that are already available to the community.”  Those resources are then categorized into 14 topics  such as, Public Speaking , Blogging, Tagging and Social Networking, Promoting the Mozilla Mission and  Guerrilla Marketing Activities. It also has a section that talks about what is community marketing and show cases some of Mozilla’s most famous grass roots campaigns like the Firefox crop circle and the New York Times ad.

firefox_crop_circle

Strange things happen up in Oregon.  (Read how OSU students did this.)

Gettin’ better all the time

The guide like many resources for the community, and following the Web 2.0 tenant of the “eternal beta,” is positioned as work in a progress that will be added to and updated.

I think this is guide is a great idea to help the community help Mozilla.  One of the the greatest value I see in this is, by show casing the efforts of community members it helps to give others ideas and motivate them.  I will be very interested to see how this grows and is used going forward.

Although the power of the community is now recognized it is fascinating to see the tools and tactics that are being developed to further support its members and harness their energy.   This is a space is one to keep an eye on and watch develop as it becomes more and more mainstream.

Pau for now…


Sun’s New VP of Cloud Computing Strategy: Ian Murdock

January 25, 2009

Last week at Cloud Connect I was able to grab a few minutes with my old boss from Sun, Ian Murdock.  Ian, the founder of the Debian Linux distribution, came to Sun to lead the Open Solaris charge and after that tackled Developer relations.  Turns out that with the latest Sun re-org Ian has now landed in the Cloud Computing group as the VP of Strategy.

To watch in High Quality: after clicking play, click the “HQ” button that will appear on the bottom.

Some of the topics Ian Tackles:

  • How cloud computing today reminds him of the Open Source world back in 1993 when he first got involved with Linux and Free Software.
  • What might be the equivalent of the Linux distro in the cloud space.
  • The importance of standards and how Sun might play there.

Extra-credit reading:

Update — Articles based on this post:

Pau for now…


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