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openSUSE for Novell Users International; Elated chagrin re: Kearns’ newsletter

Reading email on my Blackberry while waiting in line to get into the Jack Johnson concert last night, i see an email titled: “Haeger evangelizes OpenSuSE.”

Uh oh.

Dave Kearns‘ latest post on NetworkWorld’s NetWare newsletter, soon to show up on the link. Thanks for the kind words, Dave. All I can say is, “…gawrsh.” The only problem with getting such high praise–especially from someone who has followed Novell for so many years, and is simultaneously one of Novell’s biggest fans and skeptics–is that at some point I have to live up to it. (Yipes.)

Dave is correct that I now evangelize openSUSE. However, that’s not my exclusive domain. The openSUSE marketing manager is actually my colleague Greg Mancusi-Ungaro. My domain is anything Novell, with focus the people who implement and deploy Novell software, particularly our Linux and open source involvement (but not at all exclusively). Also, I am not, nor do I pretend to be, a developer evangelist. (That requires intelligence.) SUSE Linux and openSUSE are a central part of the work I do, because I think the Novell user community can make this not-for-enterprise use thing called SUSE Linux/openSUSE into a powerful tool in their professional arsenal.

To that end, as Cap’n Dave mentioned, we have an upcoming Webcast for NUI regarding openSUSE. I’m working with Greg Mancusi-Ungaro, who will probably join me for the event, to get the content finalized and start recording. It will be a pre-recorded event, presented in Flash. (I’ll work with the NUI team to get it in a couple different file sizes, make it downloadable as well as streaming, and to post the Acrobat pdf and accompanying MP3.) More formats is good, methinks.

We’re pre-recording so that it works across all timezones and local bandwidth capabilities. Also, phone costs in a lot of countries are rather dear.

But pre-recording kind of takes out some of the appeal of a “live” event, which I feel is a compromise. To create better interactivity, I am working with the NUI team to set up a Q&A web forum specifically for the event. We’ll leave it open for a couple weeks, then close it down to new posts, re-directing people to use the forums on opensuse.org.

That’s some of the back-room details of my thinking on how we’ll host the event. If you have some critique of my plan, please share by posting a response here, or send an email to reverendted at novell. Oh, and we will post the webcast on 31Aug05 at the NUI site.



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