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Perl Marketing Redux - part one

Building A Team

Tue Jul 7 20:00:01 2020


June saw the first ever Perl and Raku Conference in the Cloud. A new concept born as a response to the current global pandemic. The conference was a success with: high attendance; good use of technologies (Zoom, Slack) to support attendees; great organisation from the conference team; many interesting presentations. There is a curated list of videos on YouTube if you want to see them.

However, there was also a session on the future branding/marketing/direction of Perl (Improving the Perception of Perl). I was a member of the panel of guests for this talk and I thought I would talk to you about the direction for the marketing committee in Perl and give you a run down of the issues raised, and some thoughts about our future direction. It is also a time to talk about the marketing team and the new approaches inside the Perl Foundation. I will not cover everything in the one blog post, so hence this is part one.

Also note that this is from my perspective, it isn’t an official set of directions, more a discussion based on my understanding. Don’t take what I understand to be an official mandate.

marketing interview comic from XKCD

Marketing Interview:

The Marketing Team

Let us discuss the marketing team. This has recently been revised, and its membership altered, as has our manner of operating. Traditionally there were a group of volunteers and they were supposed to be responsible for marketing. It was very much a freeform entity and I think it suffered in direction for that. We had no goal and therefore were vague in anything we did. There is little value in finding blame or cause, it is time to try a different approach.

The new direction is to have a central core team. I am acting as the Chair of that team and I am supported by a dedicated group. We do not see ourselves as solely responsible for marketing, we are more curators of content and torch bearers. We also have a responsibility to follow the direction of the Perl Foundation and supply a central message and goals.

There are a lot of people in the community who have been doing promotion and outreach for Perl for many years. So, our first task, I think, is to connect the various people doing great work in the community, the people promoting and discussing Perl already, and have them join us in a single location. For this we have chosen to use the #marketing channel on the Perl Foundation Slack. We already have a group of people in this channel. If you think you can help out and want to be part of the conversation in there then let us know.

What we hope to initially achieve is a network of influence. A common location for us to share information, goals and achievements in the community. From there each ‘influencer’ (to give people a term) can distribute that information in their own way. This gives us a network of voices. This more reflects the various social levels already present in our community. It allows the broader community to feed into the brand and identity of Perl.

The next goal is to work out a plan for the Perl Foundation and the future of Perl branding, This is going to be based on consultation with the community, such as the recent panel discussion, and as proposals to the Perl Foundation Board. We will discuss this a little further in part two and three.

Feedback Desired

I want to make it clear that this is an opportunity for you to give feedback (drop a comment on here if you like). We want to hear from the community what they think of our plans and to let them know it is a consultation. The message, our approach, should reflect what the community needs. So we are keen to establish a positive flow of information, we want to support the community, as much as we show a direction to travel.

[Don't forget that you can join in this conversation by tweeting at @shadowcat_mdk].