[Zug-sig] First post... :^)

Rob Page rob.page at zope.com
Mon Aug 6 11:37:41 EDT 2007

Hi Chris:

On Jul 21, 2007, at 5:50 PM EDT, Chris Calloway wrote:
On Jul 16, 2007, at 1:55 PM, Rob Page wrote:
 > > What ideas do you have (short of direct funding)
 > > for things the Zope Foundation could do to support
 > > regional user groups.
 > >
 > Pardon my tardy reply. I have been out at sea,
 > blissfully away from email and telephone, tossing
 > instrumentation overboard to collect data via
 > satellite, which will be collected and organized and
 > published by ZOPE!

Sounds like fun and a cool app!!  :^)

 > > Examples:
 > >
 > >   o shared hosting infrastructure
 > >
 > I think it is important for user groups to do their
 > own hosting. Eat you own dog food, I say. The
 > experience of hosting Zope itself is important for a
 > Zope user group. It's hard for people to share
 > information on how to solve problems which they have
 > not already solved for themselves. User groups should
 > walk the talk.

Fair enough - see my earlier response to Luciano.
Somehow I sense there is an opportunity to leverage one
another's work and effort.

<idea type="potentially_silly">

   The ZUGs work together to build a vm image or
   standard buildout of a ZUG site in a box.  Hosting is
   still done by the individual ZUGs.  The vm would make
   it easier to present a consistent experience.  The
   software in the vm might also emphasize, slowly but
   surely, shared content (faqs, howtos, events, etc.).


 > >   o shared marketing materials
 > >
 > I'm interested in Zope marketing itself without so
 > much "material." Less hype, more obvious power from
 > simply using Zope to solve problems. It would be hard
 > to make shared marketing materials when the Zope
 > community itself is not agreed about what Zope even
 > is at this particular point in time. :)

Good point about identity... :^)  Perhaps case studies
would route around that issue?

 > To that end, I think the most important thing ZF can
 > do (and do for user groups) is get people using Zope
 > *in the many ways they use it*. The major barrier to
 > that is knowledge. Therefore, things which share
 > knowledge *in the most accessible ways* are priority:
 > 1) The lowest cost and most localized Zope training
 >    camps. I won't rant about Camp 5. But I'm damn
 >    proud of it. The benefits of being able to do
 >    local and low cost training far outweigh large
 >    airfare, hotel, and commercial trainer bills. Why
 >    train 10 people nationally when you can train 100
 >    people in 100 locations? The Catch-22 is local
 >    user groups are not equipped in all areas for such
 >    undertakings. I always recommend local user groups
 >    do not incorporate so that they spend their time
 >    on Zope instead of administering user group legal
 >    and financial infrastructure. Something like where
 >    the Python Foundation takes on that role for PyCon
 >    can keep local user groups out of tax trouble and
 >    infighting. Why have 100 corporate infrastructures
 >    when you can have 1? It's a tetrahedron on its
 >    balancing point instead of a pyramid on its
 >    flopped on its bottom.

*Excellent point* about local UGs and incorporation...
Maybe that's another place the ZF can help.  If the ZF
had some administrative staff it would "manage the
books" for user groups.  What do you think about that?

 > 2) Video-conferencing of camps and video production
 >    of training is also a huge plus. Look what it did
 >    for Rails.

How important do you think "proper" post-production is
to something like that?  How expensive do you think it
would be?

 > 3) Zope conferences. There is no substitute for flesh
 >    and blood exchange of ideas and information on a
 >    regular basis (which is why local user groups
 >    exist in the first place). We have been meeting as
 >    subcultures at PyCon, EuroPython, and Plone
 >    Conference. But Zope is the meat of the
 >    matter. Let's flex some muscle. Annual DZUG
 >    meetings, but for everybody everywhere.

Where would be a good location?  When?  In conjunction
with anything?

 > 4) Subsidize the best Zope books, documentation, and
 >    tutorial material possible with the best
 >    distribution and marketing channels. The hardest
 >    working Zope community members I know spend lots
 >    of their effort in documentation and not just
 >    coding. But they are outnumbered by the hordes of
 >    coders improving Zope while leaving the
 >    documentation out of date. This is the source of
 >    our famous Z-shaped learning curve. At times I
 >    take comfort in knowing that the high barriers to
 >    entry mean only the best and brightest come join
 >    us. But that also means people who spend most of
 >    their time getting to the point where they can
 >    throw instrumentation overboard need low barriers
 >    to Z-publishing their objects in a variety of
 >    customized ways. It also means that people who
 >    come to ZUG meetings curious about this better way
 >    of doing things shouldn't be told how may more
 >    times dedicated they have to be in ignoring their
 >    real lives than if they had chosen some other
 >    technology. Yes, they can pay consultants if they
 >    have deep pockets. But this does not attract
 >    anyone to Zope while consultants can be
 >    contributing many times more to the community by
 >    educating new implementers instead of playing
 >    implementer. Yes, they can help contribute to Zope
 >    documentation as a way to learn Zope. But that is
 >    a chicken and egg problem which simply presents a
 >    bigger problem to be overcome in route to solving
 >    the problems for which Zope is being considered. I
 >    speak of this as the single most talked about *and
 >    acted upon* issue in my ZUG. I think this is why
 >    people keeping returning to talking about
 >    "marketing" Zope. If the documentation draw people
 >    into Zope, then less you need Zope marketing. The
 >    more pressure is felt for Zope marketing, probably
 >    the weaker the documentation. I shouldn't need to
 >    look for a success story from Zope people. I
 >    should hear about them all around me from the
 >    people having success with Zope.

For everyone - if the ZF could only do three things
what would they be?  (e.g., develop a viable

 > >   o speaker's bureau
 > >
 > It's very difficult for user groups to finance
 > traveling speakers on demand at monthly meetings. My
 > user group has had traveling speakers like Rob and
 > Shane in the past. But it's been when they've been in
 > town anyway and contacted us to tell us so. What is
 > needed is more of a *reverse* speakers' bureau
 > whereas if you have some special Zope expertise and
 > are going to be in an area with a ZUG, let the ZUG
 > know. This is generally already happening
 > organically.

True - but I travel all the time and, now that you
mention it, I don't coordinate that kind of thing...  I
really like the idea of a reverse speaker's bureau!

 > >  o ??
 > >
 > See tangential marketing by demonstration of
 > capability above.

Thanks Chris - and apologies for the long delay in replying!!!


Rob Page               V: 540 361 1710
Zope Corporation       F: 703 995 0412

More information about the ZUG-SIG mailing list