Older blog entries for Jewelsthorn (starting at number 25)

Got a paypal account now. It's marketing@li.org. Now I need to make sure Linux users are aware of it and can make personal donations if they are so inclined.

Interesting stats from Europe to process... I want to do that soon.

Spent much time on a membership survey. The team working on it is fantastic, and has had lots of excellent input. FInally finished the first draft at 10:30 tonight and now I'm off to bed. Have to get up early tommorrow to move all the appliances out of my kitchen and put in new flooring. Joy...

Just plain forgot to post yesterday! Spent much of the day following up from emails I sent last week inviting companies with Linux related products or services to join LI. We're always looking for new members who can join us in our efforts to promote Linux use worldwide. Had another meeting with the website redesing team, which appears to be moving forward nicely. Started the ball rolling for making some announcements to the LI membership about what's been happening behind the scenes. That will happen at the LI member meeting in Las Vegas during Comdex. The meeting is sponsored by Key3Media, and breakfast will be available by reservation only.

Today, contacted the LI treasurer to get a paypal account set up so that LI can accept international donations if anyone feels compelled to make one. Spent some time with a consultant who specializes in channel development. He's proposing a program that will allow LI to help build a reseller channel for Linux product and service companies. By working with LI, it could create a large enough mass of vendors to create some interesting options....

Sent a note to the pre-registered media attending ALS, telling them maddog will be doing a BOF session on Wednesday titled "What is LI, anyway?"

Set up some details regarding the Linux Information stand at Comdex and the meetings there. Made some membership related calls, sent membership emails. Set up the background for the survey team to get started. Can't think of anything else off the top of my head. Tried to get my email in-box caught up. That's such a chore.. it's like Laundry.. as soon as I get one message out, three more come in!

Lots happening at LI.

- Our friends at SSC (publisher of Linux Journal) are working closely with us to create some additional awareness (in addition to the monthly ads they are running for us).

- Linux Magazine has generously donated a full page to LI in their December issue! This allows us to reach a broader audience with our new "Remember When" ad campaign, and we are excited to be working with them.

- "Electric" Bill Pridgen has been nothing short of amazing in his speedy, responsive work to build and expand the Linux awareness campaigns and the LI membership drive materials. His professionalism and dedication to LI and Linux are clearly demonstrated in his quality work, and we are very grateful to have his support.

- The LI website redesign team is working to revitalize and refresh our website. (Set meeting agenda for tommorrow)

- LI continues to be contacted by media representatives around the world seeking information about the Linux industry. Despite the lackluster performance of technology on the financial markets (and maybe *because* of that), users are adopting Linux now more than ever. This is a great (if sometimes painful) time to be a part of the Linux industry.

- Three more LI member survey team members are still needed.

- I'm getting LI set up with a paypal account, in order to make it feasible for people to make donations from anywhere in the world.

Yesterday, I spent the day with LWN's Commerce page. It's interesting, because Jonathan Corbet says that is about the most unpopular page they have, but I cannot imagine life without it. It is there that I find out what has been happening with all the LI members each week, and learn what the large companies are doing to come into the Linux space.. This information is invaluable to me, and I told Jonathan as much!

Also got my new issue of the "Journal of International Marketing", helped a LUG connect with a vendor, Sent 21 invitations to companies who might be candidates to join LI and followed up with 3 who didn't respond to last weeks' invitations...

Today, I spent the day catching up my LI email. It is amazing how quickly that falls behind!

Sent a couple more LI membership invites, and a quick update on what has been happening with the marketing stuff to the members.

Got LPI set up for LISA. Should be a fun show. I'll probably be there working in either/all of the LI/LPI/SAGE booths!

Worked out the details for LI's website redesign team meeting yesterday. Our first meeting was held this morning, and we spent the time mostly just brainstorming on ideas for ways the LI website could best serve the three targets it is intended to serve: Linux vendors (with focus on members of LI); Developers; and current/potential Linux users.

Any and all ideas for how LI might best serve these folks are always welcome. Please email me if you have thoughts (Ok, thoughts about how the LI website can best serve these targets).

Finally got thru to Bill Sell, and the member meeting, an additional meeting,and membership issues are hopefully now able to progress. Was VERY impressed by how thoroughly they are taking security at Comdex this year. Wow.

Working with international print and online information publishers to build partnerships to promote Linux use and recruit potential LI members. Know of any really good media that you have a great respect for (particularly OUTSIDE of the US)? Let me know. I want to be working with the best.

Creating a new ad campaign with a focused theme which should be fun and effective for recruiting new and renewal LI members. On a personal level, It's been very tough for me to give up responsiblities at LPI. I think LPI is a critical part of the growth of Linux in the future, and want to see it succeed. There is some truly excellent work being done, and with a highly ethical group of people running the show, it is experiencing agressive growth and success.

20 Oct 2001 (updated 20 Oct 2001 at 03:45 UTC) »

Even though I'm not devoting most of my time to Linux Professional Institute anymore, today I did spend about an hour getting them set up for Annual Linux Showcase, which can be found on the USENIX website.

The rest of the day was spent on miscellaneous Linux International stuff, such as communicating with Comdex speakers (I'm the Linux track chair for Comdex), and trying to reach Bill Sell about getting the LI member meeting arrangements finalized.

Finished recruiting my team for the website redesign. We will be having our first meeting next week to establish a list of goals for the website and begin brainstorming on site features.

I'm doing a radio interview at oh-God-thirty Monday morning, so I had to get some preliminary information to the hosts about LI and LPI. That should be interesting, if I'm awake enough to talk intelligently. It's broadcast on WALE and simulcasted on the Renaissance Radio website at 7am Eastern time Monday morning. I think they accept phone calls and emails during the broadcast, so if you're awake and bored, feel free to say Hi!

Miss me? Don't answer that!

The last several months have been... interesting... and full of emotional ups and downs. I've not really said anything for about a month now, so here's a catch-up... and a few historically relevant items to make the catch up make a little bit of sense to anyone reading this who doesn't already know everything....

Last December, I was hired by Caldera as their "Director of Community Initiatives". All of my time was donated in a roughly 50/50 split to Linux International and Linux Professional Institute.

Naturally, when they had their first round of layoffs April 27, I was among the first to go, since I wasn't producing direct revenue for the company. Of course, I wish them well, and appreciate the donation they made to both of my favorite Linux non-profit programs!

Apparently Jon "maddog" Hall, the Executive Director of Linux International agreed, and after careful thought, he decided to make me the only other contracted staff person for Linux International, even generously agreeing to donate copious amounts of my time to Linux Professional Institute.

Therefore, for the past six months, Linux International has been funding the marketing efforts of both Linux Professional Institute and Linux International and for the past three of those months, nearly all of my time has gone to helping Linux Professional Institute successfully launch and complete their Level 2 Linux Systems Administration tests.

If you were around when Linux Professional Institute was in beta for their Level 1 tests, you may recall that it took about 10 months to get thru the beta process. We recieved many valid complaints about that lengthy process, and worked hard to create a 6-8 week process instead. I'm proud to have been a participant in that significantly reduced timeline, working closely with Exam Development Director Kara Pritchard, Psychometrician (and so much more) Alan Mead, and the many important volunteers who provided a great deal of help and support throughout the process. It has been fantastic to work with such dedicated people, and to see the LPI program growing internationally with double digit month-to-month percentages for the last several months.

At the same time as I've been focused on LPI, the Linux International board has been working on projects such as an open source voting mechanism, building a lean but effective future for the organization, and exploring lots of opportunities for careful growth. Many companies have been announcing Linux-related products and services, and maddog has been contining to keep up his back-breaking schedule, travelling the globe to evangelize Linux use, ensuring a future for those companies who are investing in the future of this little Operating System.

Now, maddog has asked me to focus on strategic and tactical issues which will ensure the future of Linux International. I'm pleased to be focusing on such a worthy project, but more than a little sad to be moving into a much less active role with LPI for the time being. Life is so full of comings and goings, some of them welcome, others accepted with just a touch of sorrow.

So, for the rest of 2001, I'll be reporting primarily on Linux International stuff, and leave the LPI matters to csm.


Linux International

This week, I've been re-orienting myself, building goals, and recruiting teams to work on a complete website overhaul (badly needed), survey of existing members, and building a membership drive that will help us create new and very interesting programs next year.

Historically, LI has focused on evangelism of Linux. For 2002, we are going to take a slightly different approach with more visibility to our members as s primary focus. With the departure of many leading, contributing companies from the Linux industry has come the inevitable funding issues faced worldwide. Unemployment is growing daily by the thousands, businesses continue to close their doors, and remaining companies are very hesitant to contribute to even the most worthy non-profit organizations.

So, we at Linux International are faced with the task of exploring financial alternatives. Our only revenue model at this point is memberships... so we will soon be launching a membership drive. This year, we brought all our members up to current status, so next year we can focus on growth.

To attract and retain members, it's important to tell the world what we're doing... and to make sure what we are doing is valuable to those companies who are current or potential members. Recently, we're hearing that members consider the work on defending the Linux trademark to be relatively unimportant, the endless travel around the world evangelizing Linux has been interpreted poorly, and the need for a return on investment to be the major priority of future membership drives.

Hmmmm... this is a problem. If we were to stop defending the Linux trademark, we'd go back to seeing porn sites and anti-Linux businesses using the name to deface our efforts. If we stopped going around the world to tell people how Linux and Open Source can impact their businesses, growth would stall and we'd lose our international presence, the opportunity to exchange information and ideas with people around the world, and the many media opportunities that have helped grow the Linux OS to date! As far as additional ROI based member services, we are exploring and considering every option we can think of. While building alternative revenue producing programs has come up, we are a non-profit organization, and must be very careful about how and where we accept financial support.

These are the things I've been pondering this week, and all suggestions, thoughts, criticism, and membership inquiries are welcome. I can be reached at marketing@li.org

I love Thursdays - LWN publishes their weekly news, with all the Press Releases, news stories, and licensing information I need to know what's happening. Over the last couple of years, I've come to really rely upon LWN to keep me up to date from the perspective of the Linux industry.

Linux International Spoke with maddog this morning about all the irons we have in the fire and what kinds of timelines we're dealing with. Need to resolve an outstanding proposal with Dean Taylor that should be fantastic for getting Linux marketing going more agressively. Also talked about LI's presence at CeBit next year, and talked with Bert Mulder about that process.

Plowed through a pile of cards and notes I had from CeBit last March and had buried in my office. Found all of this stuff when moving, and decided to follow up despite the long delay, just in case any of them are still interested in LI membership and/or LPI sponsorship. I decided some weeks ago that it was unacceptable to have more than 3 weeks delay in following up from shows, and of course I'm the worst offender on earth.

Have gotten a few congratulatory notes from folks who recognized that I'm now using Linux. Got a nice package of goodies from Linux Journal's Carlie Fairchild today in the mail. I had no idea how cool Carlie was years ago when Larry Augustin used to confuse me with her. Now I know it was the highest compliment. Carlie is such a cool gal!

Did some data entry and tried to drum up some membership for Linux International and sponsorship for LPI.

Entered LPI into the Linux Journal Editors Choice awards contest. If they base their program on quality, we should win hands down...

Looks like we'll be having some proctored test sites in Austin Texas and Atlanta Georgia. Working on getting things set up for them, with details such as dates, locations, and paying for it still not resolved....

Looks like dyork actually reads what I write sometimes. Hi Dan!

Still a few technical issues involved with this Linux machine, but for the most part, the transition has gone pretty smoothly. I have a lot to learn, but knew more than I realized just from lurking on my LUG list and being in the middle of the best geeks in the industry for the past several years.

I must say that I love what I do. I love working with people who truly feel passionate about what they are building, and who are contributing their skills and abilities, rather than just going to work day in and day out. I find myself amazed sometimes that there is so much to be done, and that there are more and more people every day who are taking up the tasks.

Yesterday I spent the entire day working on finalizing the On Site Proctoring Manual with Alan Mead.

Today was my first day as a real Linux user. Scary that I've been advocating Linux use this long but not really using it myself. Thanks to Torsten Sheck (an LPIC-1 Alumni and houseguest this month), the new laptop I bought a month ago finally runs on Linux!! I spent some time configuing my applications and feeling my way around, but it was pretty simple, actually.

Worked on mostly Linux International stuff this morning. Answered some questions for a reporter, then answered some stuff for another reporter. Caught up some pending processes that were waiting on me to move forward.

During the afternoon, worked on LPI. Spent time with Don Corbet who is building media relations for us. Stayed up late answering last minute questions for the Korea proctored site. They have more than 50 examinees, so it is a great situation for all concerned that we have the proctoring option.

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