This is part three of a four-part series recapping the Fedora Council’s face-to-face meeting in November 2019.
In addition to the big topic of the Fedora Project Vision, we used the opportunity to cover some other Fedora Council business. Because it’s a lot, we’re breaking the reporting on this into two posts, kind of arbitrarily — here’s the second of those.
Net Promoter Score
When companies want to know how their customers feel about them, they often turn to net promoter score (NPS) surveys. At their core, they ask a simple question: would you recommend our goods and/or services? There are a lot of reasons that someone might answer yes or no, so you can’t read too much into the results. But you can get a gauge of the sentiment that you can track over time.
For years, we’ve wanted to better understand the Fedora user community. It’s difficult to know much for a few reasons: we want to respect the privacy of our users and comply with laws like GDPR, we have no way to contact everyone (or even a representative sample of “everyone”), we’re not even sure what we’d ask. And of course, long surveys have abysmal response rates. Most people give up before they get to the end.
I took an internal Red Hat course last fall, and there I happened to meet someone who works on NPS surveys for Red Hat products. She told me that her team can help us develop an NPS survey to start measuring sentiment. The Council discussed this and we agreed there are a lot of opportunities. To start with, we want to focus on contributors and potential contributors. I’ll be working with the Red Hat team to develop a short survey that we can use to regularly gauge contributor sentiment. No matter what we do, there will be legitimate statistical criticisms, but the Council believes that having an imperfect measure will be better than no measure. If nothing else, the change over time will provide us a meaningful signal.
Teams within Fedora generally self-organize, and we love that! The down side is that it’s not always clear to the Council or the community when a team has turned into a zombie. A year ago, we’d hoped that Taiga would serve as a team directory where teams would be sorted by recent activity — that’s what it’s on teams.fedoraproject.org. But while teams have found Taiga to be useful as a project planning tool, it’s not useful for this purpose.
But we still want to know which teams are active. Absent an automated way to do this, the Council decided that the Mindshare Committee and FESCo will maintain a list of the active teams that exist under their umbrella. They’ll be responsible for keeping it up to date. We’re still working out how exactly to present this to the community, but we want it to be a useful directory that shows what teams are active and how to communicate with or join them. Stay tuned for more on this in the spring.
The Mindshare Committee (and the Fedora community in general) has done a good job of giving Fedora a presence at conferences and other events. But we haven’t had a defined strategy for these events. Whoever works the booth is left to their own devices, which isn’t fair to them. The Council agreed we should provide a general strategy for our presence at events.
We decided to focus on recruiting contributors. This isn’t to say that our booth at events can’t talk about new features in the latest release, hand out stickers, etc. That is still very important to our community. But the focus — and how Mindshare evaluates the success of events — will be recruiting, not just general fan service.
The Council tasked Ben Cotton to put together a team and come up with a plan to present at our January face-to-face meeting (look for more on that soon). The Join SIG has developed an excellent workflow for onboarding new contributors, and we want this plan to compliment it by giving the Join SIG more new contributors to onboard.
On a related note, the Council was asked about a local event that was being held in English instead of the local native language. The Council has no objections to events being held in the local language or in English, and separate events can be held if there are multiple audiences. We encourage event organizers to specify the language or languages for their event.
Editions, Labs, Spins, and redone getfedora
We introduced Fedora.next back in 2013. From that came our first three Editions: Workstation, Server, and Cloud. Since then, the Cloud Edition is retired, and new Editions (Fedora CoreOS, Fedora IoT, and Fedora Silverblue) are rising to meet new needs. The Edition concept has been a success, but we’re open to reconsidering it for the future.
In addition, we don’t think the distinction between Spins and Labs is clear to our contributor and user communities. We’d like to combine those into a single website as we work to move all Fedora websites to the new framework that Get Fedora uses. As part of that, should we combine all variants of Fedora onto a single Get Fedora website again? We split them out to reduce confusion for newcomers, and if we merge them we’ll need to be careful to prevent decision paralysis.
The Council hasn’t come to any decisions on this. We’re always open to the community feedback on how we can adapt the project to changes in the world around us.
Editor’s note: Updated 20 February 2020 at 1337 UTC to correct the author attribute.