This is a part of the Elections Interviews series. Voting is open to all Fedora contributors. The voting period starts on Friday, 9 December and closes promptly at 23:59:59 UTC on Thursday, 22 December.

Interview with Joseph Gayoso


What is your background in Fedora? What have you worked on and what are you doing now?

I have been specifically working in the Marketing Team since joining the Fedora community around the release of Fedora 36 in May 2022. Over that time we tried using a model for marketing campaigns that would keep us regularly producing content. We’ve since shifted over to a new process that’s primarily organizing social media posts in GitLab tickets before publishing.

Please elaborate on the personal “Why” which motivates you to be a candidate for Mindshare.

For me, joining the Mindshare Committee is about getting to promote free and open source software. When I started learning about FOSS and realized what it could be in terms of freedom, I was bought in. Having an operating system that belongs to individuals and communities rather than a single corporate entity is powerful at a time when so much relies on computers. Same with open source applications and services – they provide a level of transparency that proprietary models can’t match.

If we could go back in time with the knowledge that so much of the modern world would depend on computers, I think we would choose FOSS as the default model for our infrastructure. But even as proprietary software is the standard in many spaces, FOSS remains a backup just in case something goes wrong. For some, the situation with Twitter is an example of how great it is to have had Mastodon as an open source alternative waiting in the wings. So even if open source is not as popular as I would like it to be, it will at least be ready for when folks adjust their priorities.

Privacy and security are also important to me. While my threat model doesn’t need to be that extreme, using Linux is part of how I get back the privacy that I thought I had on my desktop. Open source apps have become my most trusted apps because they can be vetted. They do what they say they do and that’s it. Those aren’t promises that the most widely used options can make.

So you boil it all down and what do you get? You get something that I think more people should know about. I want to facilitate that as much as I can through contributing in the Marketing Team, and I hope to connect with the rest of the non-technical teams within the project by joining the Mindshare Committee.

Is there a specific task or issue you think that Mindshare should address this term and how would you contribute to that effort?

One opportunity that we could explore in Mindshare is how to connect the negative experience people may have with Fedora with the technical teams, and also communicate back to the public why things may be the way that they are.

For example, a common complaint I hear about Fedora is that the Anaconda installer is too hard to work with. That’s already being solved with the new installer on the way, and it could be promoted more. Another example could be people’s experience with the new Raspberry Pi edition of Fedora where it hasn’t been running as smoothly as hoped, at least based on the feedback I’ve come across. Something else that affected me specifically was the problem with the proprietary AMD codecs that had to be removed from the distro for legal reasons. It would have been nice to have maybe a forum post on that rather than getting the most detail through YouTube videos.

Of course we couldn’t tackle every bug that comes up, but if there are consistent issues that affect how people think of Fedora, those can be addressed to either solve those problems or better communicate why things are the way that they are. An argument can be made that this approach would just be telling people something they don’t want to hear, but I think that the transparency would outweigh any potential short-term grumbling.

In terms of how I could help in that process, I hope I could remain plugged into the community in the various places we hang out and just listen. Through our social media channels we can also ask about people’s experiences to confirm or improve our understanding of the problem. At the end, whether a solution is completed, in progress, or not doable, we can also follow up with the community on the state of those things.