Marketing, Operations, and BizDev for Open Source Working Group

Marketing is super hard right now, for everyone. COVID has tightened a lot of belts, and going on Twitter is like going into the Fire Swamp.

But people still have awesome projects that need funding, marketing, and sharing. I’d like to talk about how we do that, today, and to share resources and provide help for people who need it.

This would be a continuation of the Marketing WG from the Sustain event in February, although it would be slightly changed due to the nature of the world.

If you are at all interested in figuring out how to fund open source projects, I think this will be a really productive working group.

Here’s the Doodle: for next week. Please sign up with your free times!

Our first task is to figure out how to have a productive discussion about marketing that has actual deliverables. I’m excited!

Hopefully, see some of you soon.


I’m gonna share this with the person who we hired to do socials/marketing for the Open Design project at my last OSS org. She’s been wanting to do more marketing focussed work/talks/contributions to OSS :slight_smile:


I shared this with the Fedora Project Marketing Team mailing list. There is a lot of knowledge on open source marketing there dating back to 2008. Hopefully a few folks there join in, I think they would have a lot to add. :grinning:

Also, I lol’d.


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I’m here from the Fedora Project’s Marketing team, I haven’t too much experience, but I want to help and probably learn some stuff too.


Thanks, Justin! And welcome, @x3mboy. Looking forward to building this together.

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Hey ya’ll. I’ve set the date for today at 3:00pm EST, based on the doodle. Hope to see you there!

I’ve also set up a marketing-wg google group for discussion. Send me an email at if you’d like to be on it.

Hey Richard, what do you think about setting up a new Discourse category here, just for the Marketing Working Group? Doing it this way will make it easy for people here to opt in or out, and stay informed without getting slammed with email updates.

I think it will help to keep the discussion and summaries public and here on the Discourse. Sprawling out the discussion is a fragmentation risk.

Let me know if you want any help with that and I can spin up a new category for Marketing here on Discourse. :slight_smile:

what why? This is what this forum is here for.

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Hmm! I was worried that some topics around marketing may not work for a public forum, and someone asked me to set up a Google Group, if I recall.

Speaking of the marketing WG, I have a confession: no one came to the meeting yesterday. I figure it’s because I didn’t clinch the date, sooner. In order to have that not happen again, I’ve set a doodle for further out.

Can everyone who wants to attend fill this out?


Filled. Got your email, I’ll respond asap.

Hi all, new to the community and I’d love to join future meetings (can’t make tomorrow, unfortunately).

I’ve been working in open source for 7+ years doing marketing/ecosystem at the Linux Foundation and now supporting OSS projects and companies through my marketing firm. Looking forward to participating in discussions.


Hey everyone! Just a reminder that our first meeting is tomorrow (Thursday) at 3:00pm EDT. See you there!

And @loganloganlogan - sorry to miss you! I would love to have you there in the future. I’m very curious what you’re doing with your firm and can’t wait to talk to you about it. :slight_smile:

Hi everyone, @Ly0n told me about this group. I’m interested in open-source marketing and would like to join the next meeting, if possible.

My background: I’m a developer with many open source projects. My dream would be to create software to improve society, but I never got any funding so far.


You’d be welcome, Felix! Our next meeting is in two weeks, on the 8th. We may switch to a monthly cadence, after that. DM me your email and I can invite you.

Here’s the WG calendar, in general:

We’ve had very productive Marketing WG meetings over the past few months, mostly with @Ewa_Jodlowska and @jdorfman and I sharing needs and checkins. Our next meeting is this Thursday, at 1500 EST. You’re all welcome to attend. Here is a preliminary agenda: Sustain Marketing WG - Google Docs

For anyone who wants a link, check out the Sustain calendar or let me know and I’ll be happy to add you to the invite.

:wave: Hey all! Another Marketing WG is coming up today, at 1500 EST on this Thursday Mar 11. Like all of the WGs, this one is shared on the Sustain Google Calendar. (Happy to use an open source solution if someone has one). Ping me if you want an email invite to the Zoom event.

Generally, we don’t always talk about Marketing in this group; rather, it’s a space for us to talk about connecting with our user base, planning out business models, and trying to understand how to improve DX for our projects and our own ability to product manage our projects. That’s a good deal broader than marketing, and much more useful. I encourage anyone interested in covering these topics to join us!

Hey @RichardLitt Can we add Morgan Mayo to the upcoming invites?

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This sentence is unnecessary and is only here to fulfill the 20 character minimum limit for Discourse, which grossly and insultingly underestimates the ability of human language to convey meaningful information in small packages.

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This group is ironically poorly named for Marketing purposes. For the past few months, we’ve been having really productive meetings at this hour - largely me, @Ewa_Jodlowska and @jdorfman. In general, we’ve focused not just on marketing, but rather on business development, operations, and the nitty gritty of running open source projects professionally.

@jdorfman and @Ewa_Jodlowska: How would you feel about renaming this group to the Business Development, Operations, and Marketing WG? Or something similar? Another idea is to rename it from a WG to something like a Mastermind group. We tend to arrive with questions for the group, instead of focusing on deliverables, like the other WGs.

You didn’t ask me but I think this makes sense. :wink:

I don’t like that word because it implies hierarchy and a subtle power dynamic. I think it is OK to choose something else other than “Working Groups” but keep in mind this will be the oddball entry on our website, in the forum, and all other places.

That could be good (encourage other groups to form in that vein) or bad (we spend more time than we have to accommodating a special name and explaining why this one group is different from all the others).