Just one more gift

December 29, 2012

You’ve watched A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation on loop.  Your doctor has declared your system to finally be EggNogg-free.  And no one ever found that you slept in a nest of wrapping paper after your present opening frenzy.  So time to start thinking about New Year’s?  Not quite yet.  As posted two weeks ago on the Dot, don’t forget KDE’s Season of Giving.  This year, just like every year, contributors and volunteers churned out software with the timeliness of a watch maker.  And you wonder why the logo has a gear behind the K?  And even though KDE values corporate sponsorship and collaboration, we maintain independence and operate with autonomy thanks in no small part to donations.  Return that blinking sweater you got from your well-meaning aunt, or let someone else buy that round of shots at the bar on New Year’s.  It’s the time of year to say Thank You to KDE and to Join the Game!

JTG:Quick update

October 29, 2012

Back in July, we renewed a focus on promoting KDE’s Join the Game program.  If you subtract some housecleaning on documenting non-renewing members, we’ve added 55 members in only three months.  A fantastic 20% gain.  Even better, we had gains during the heavy promotion of supporting the Randa event.  JTG conversation was silent so as not to compete for attention and I expected a perfectly flat month, but still increases were shown.  Halo effect?  Reaction to survey results?  Tough to say.  I’ll be hounding Claudia for October numbers in a couple of days, and discussing next steps with others.  I just wanted to say thank you and welcome to all the new members!

Jonathan Riddell just blogged about the motivations of users with the Kubuntu distro.  In the Join the Game member survey that just wrapped up, we asked a very similar question:

We are looking for quotes from supporting members that explains the motivation to Join the Game. These quotes will be used on the Join the Game website and in newsletters. All quotes will be anonymous.

Nearly half of all survey respondents opted to enter in a quote.  Not bad!  So I’m going to ride on Riddell’s coattails here.  It’s a safe bet that whatever city he’s currently in requires a coat.  And that his coat has long tails.  Here is a small sample:

  • I started out on UNIX in the 1980s. I’ve used Linux since its inception in 1991. It’s come a LONG way since then, and this command-line-loving, *nix old timer uses nothing but Linux with KDE as my desktop environment. Love it! And appreciate all the hard work that goes into its development.
  • I really like the desktop environment. It has so many useful features that I can customise to my liking and I almost dread working on other people’s computers because I’ve set up KDE exactly the way I like it. I joined so that I could support the continuing development of something I find so useful.
  • The KDE project is a serious commitment to free software viability, as a respectful and safe way to create quality software, plus yet leaving room for successful business models!
  • Join the Game is a great way to show some love to the great KDE community and support the further development of open source software!
  • Finally I do not have to buy all those t-shirts anymore to support KDE!
  • With each major release, KDE gets better and better. I can’t imagine where we will be in a couple of years, but it’s amazing to feel that I have contributed to the project, even in a small way.
  • “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” John Wesley
  • Simple: they deserve it.
  • The KDE community has been consistently innovative, not just with software features, but also with commercial support and community management and engagement. It’s important that we continue to fund this innovation for the future.
  • I joined the game because I wanted to give something back to the community. With community I not only mean KDE, but the whole world!
  • KDE is a vibrant community, I love the way it evolved with time and the way it work together. If anything else, joining the game for me was my small contribution to support those amazing people that are part of the KDE community.

Thank you to all who provided motivational quotes, you’ll see them springing up all over.  And thanks to Jonathan for the ride; these quotes were something quick I could share.

Just like his Kubuntu quotes, if you’re considering Joining the Game, what quote above best fits you?

Congratulations everyone, you cost me money.  Last Friday, we wrapped up a Join the Game membership survey.  In only two short weeks, we received responses from for over 40% of our membership.  This volume necessitated an upgrade to my account on SurveyMonkey, a step I will gladly take to see all of the great feedback we’ve gotten.  The fact that well over a hundred members took the time to complete this survey shows me quite clearly that such a channel of communication was overdue; better late than never.  Now it’s time to start analyzing the results, sharing and thinking about actions/improvements.  Details to follow.

With increased focus on this program, such as the Dot interview of Gaurav Chaturvedi by Jayson Rowe, JTG has gotten 30 new members in the last 8 weeks.  And the momentum is just starting.

The fine folks behind Join the Game have done a great job of setting up and establishing a supporting membership program.  Now that this program has momentum, it’s time for a checkpoint.  Learning more about our first members, and getting their feedback on what’s working and not working, will certainly help improve and tune this program.

In the JTG July/August newsletter, we’ve included a section explaining this survey and providing a link.  If you’re already a JTG member, please check your newsletter and fill out that survey.  Deadline is August 31 and it only takes a couple of minutes.  We want to hear from you!

Great news:We saw several new members Join the Game in July.  With Akademy and with the recent release of 4.9, I expected to see some additions, but it’s always good to have the supporting evidence.

Welcome to the new members!  I look forward to better understanding the motivation for these recent additions, but won’t be reaching out directly.  So don’t worry, I will not be knocking on your respective doors with a clipboard any time soon.

Instead, there will be a survey in short order to learn more about new members (what are important factors in joining), existing members (what they like, don’t like; what are factors in renewing), potential members (what’s keeping them from joining) and even members that don’t renew (what went wrong).

No need to wait though: if you’ve got ideas to stimulate membership growth or concerns that keep you from joining, reply here or better yet reach out to us on the [kde-ev-campaign] mailing list.

I spend my days thinking about such thrilling topics such as RFPs, RFCs, weighted requirement coefficients, prioritizations, reprioritizations and deprioritizations.  (Control your jealousy)

Like any person at any stage in FLOSS contributions, I spend my nights wondering what skills are applicable, beneficial or downright irrelevant (puppet shows anyone?) to the community.  It’s also a worthwhile pursuit to wonder what personal weaknesses can be addressed through practice and effort in a community.

For me, I’ve decided to keep it simple: I want to help Join the Game.  However, all of my mental gymnastics over reviewing, planning, organization, research, communication…has led me nowhere.  As if tactics, strategy and moving chess pieces were the end goals themselves.  And so I ask myself: “Am I trying to actually help KDE, or am I going through just enough motions to make myself feel better like clicking Like on a Kony 2012 video and then sleeping peacefully?”  “Do I want to assemble metrics to educate myself or to talk myself out of a daunting task?”

So I find myself in the prone position of the couch potato that needs to blurt out “I’m going to run a marathon this year!” to force the issue.  With blissful ignorance I’m declaring a personal BHAG: I am going to get 1,000 JTG members for KDE before 12/31/2013.  Let’s hope long before.  But I need a deadline.

I’m now going to look up the current number of members to see whether my declaration is even sensible (“Wade we only have 3 people” or “Good job genius, we already have 14,000″ is going to make this post awkward.)  260 made public.  Ok, we can work with that.

To those that wonder if I represent any current JTG community:  I don’t.  I’m just a lazy dude declaring, “I’m going to learn Hindi in 30 days!” to counterattack their symptomatic mental lethargy.

To anyone currently involved in JTG that is wondering what to make of this mavericky and naive rookie running out with his helmet on sideways: We’ll figure it out.

Personal BHAG: 1,000 people.  Before 12/31/2013.

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