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Re: How to get the message out (or: why there were only 6 people at the ApacheCon meetup)

From: C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato_at_collab.net>
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 2010 11:42:13 -0500

On 11/09/2010 10:35 AM, Hyrum K. Wright wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 9:39 AM, Bolstridge, Andrew
> <andy.bolstridge_at_intergraph.com> wrote:
>> I'm sure evangelical missions are still important - mainly to counter
>> the "SVN is crap at merging, Mercurial/Git/a.n.otherDVCS is the ultimate
>> SCM that fixes all your problems" type arguments that seems to be
>> increasingly popular. Even our Serena dimensions admin (terrible
>> 'enterprisey' ALM SCM) knows about git but doesn't know what SVN'd give
>> him.
>> So, I'd say there are still loads of poor souls needing the word
>> bringing to them, and the FUD dispelling.
> Then aside from cold-calling all potential proselytes, what venues are
> the best places at which to talk to folks? Are there ALM or SCM or
> other types of conferences with which an evening Subversion event
> would work well?
> (Or is this type of thing better left to marketing departments instead
> of us technical peeps?)

I think some of this starts with Subversion supporters being more vocal. Do
we actually believe that "SVN is crap at merging,
Mercurial/Git/a.n.otherDVCS is the ultimate SCM that fixes all your
problems" is FUD? If so, we should be calling it out as such. This is not
a battle for Marketing departments to wage, because the folks that need to
hear the message don't care one lick for the latest output from those folks.
 (Honestly, when was the last time any of us got excited about some new
technical thing because we read a press release about it?)

Subversion didn't land on a bunch of CTOs' desks and get implemented as a
corporate mandate. It took root with individual users who are more
attentive to Slashdot-like buzz than press releases; folks who are more
likely to try something based on their buddies' recommendations than on what
has the slickest booth at a trade show. DVCS will infiltrate the current
Subversion base in exactly the same way. If we seek to defend Subversion's
relevance and utility, we'll have to do so in a technical communications
ground war. And we'll have to do so while continuing to innovate and
improve the software itself, closing down those pain points that cause our
users to have wandering eyes in the first place.

Interestingly (to me, at least), while the typical corporate user is happy
to absorb recommendations from the blogosphere and pull those into their
corporate environments, they are absolutely *horrific* at communicating back
*outward*. Here is where the corporate sponsors of this project still have
a crucial communications role to play. As the primary liaisons with that
whole (very large) class of user, it's important that companies such as
CollabNet and elego and WANdisco and [[insert your company here if you
depend on Subversion, too!]] continue providing this community with insight
into the reasons why DVCS is getting a foothold in the corporate environment
as well as with the resources to do something about it.

C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato_at_collab.net>
CollabNet   <>   www.collab.net   <>   Distributed Development On Demand

Received on 2010-11-09 17:42:57 CET

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