Update on marketing and communication plans for the LibreOffice 7.x series
From the Board of Directors at The Document Foundation, the non-profit entity behind LibreOffice:
Dear fellow Community members,
Time has now come to decide how to proceed with some of the proposed changes taken from the Marketing/Communication Plan for 2020-2025 with the regards of the 7.0 release, due in some weeks.
We really appreciated ideas and thoughts coming from our Community and we want to thank everyone who actively participated in the discussion, providing different points of views and sharing different scenarios, and proving themselves as passionate and caring members of the Community. Many contributions found on the board-discuss mailing list and/or via other channels are thoughtful, interesting and worthy of a much more profound discussion, in the common effort to overcome the challenge we have at hand: providing even better sustainability to the Project and its Community.
All those ideas, objections and insights will require more time to digest, merge and distill than the short time that separates us from the 7.0 release, the major release for the 10th anniversary of our beloved project, LibreOffice.
As such, the Board of Directors decided that the Marketing/Communication Plan for 2020-2025 has to undergo further investigations and refinements, that we hope to carry on with the support of Community members, with the goal of implementing in a future release some clear, discussed and agreed changes on branding and Marketing that will help improving the sustainability of the project without lessening or hindering the role of LibreOffice and its Community inside the free software panorama.
Because of the importance of the topic at hand and the need of a worthy and compelling discussion with the Community, we will provide a time plan in a few days as well as some guidelines, with the goal of streamlining the process and coming to some good conclusions in a quick and effective way.
As such, the 7.0 release of LibreOffice will not see any of the tagline/flavor text proposed inside the release candidate (RC) versions, the Marketing/Communication Plan for 2020-2025 or any of the alternatives proposed during the discussion, specifically inside the splash-screen, the start center and the about box; to explain it with other words, the modifications put in the RC versions with the regards of branding will be reverted to a previous state, so there will be seamless continuity from the 6.4 version to the 7.0.
As stated before, none of the changes being evaluated will affect the license, the availability, the permitted uses and/or the functionality. LibreOffice will always be free software and nothing is changing for end users, developers and Community members.
Yet again, we renew our encouragement to contribute actively in the discussion about the Marketing/Communication Plan for 2020-2025 in the next weeks, to allow for a more effective branding/Marketing ideas for the LibreOffice product and sustainability of its Community.
LibreOffice is celebrating its tenth birthday this year. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you, our worldwide amazing Community and all of its members, no matter their profession or background. Thank you truly, to all of you, for the passion, energy and creativity you put into this joint and thriving project. We’re looking forward to the next ten years to come!
Here’s a compromise I’d be happy about under the about screen: (doesn’t have to be exact) “This release of LibreOffice is maintained by the community and not commercially supported, to purchase support, click here to see a list of vendors.” –> Link to page hosted by TDF listing Collabora, CIB, etc. in order of the number of contributions made to the project. Nobody is against LibreOffice making money for commercial contributors.
This is simple. Remember why LibreOffice was forked and stay on that course.
Marketing Libreoffice is an important part of future reputation and development and it should be carefully thought out, why not make something like Blender development fund has and community rewards.
The problem with the way it was presented to me in the daily builds is that “Personal edition” mark kinda sounds like freeware with many limited features behind a paywall instead of fully featured office suite, which is actually horrible for marketing a FOSS project.
That would IMO have the opposite effect on the impression that first time users get of LibreOffice.
It would be wiser just creating a “brand” “LibreOffice for Enterprise” clear for everyone, rather than starting doing differences between personal, community, enterprise, etc…
It seems like the community desktop version *is* commercially supported as all code from the commercial ecosystem providers is merged and available in the community desktop version.
The growth seems to now be online/collaborative (https://etherpad.org/, https://wbo.ophir.dev/, https://meet.jit.si/, https://nextcloud.com) which seems to have and still is mainly developed by LibreOffice commercial providers which in turn provides the commercial ecosystem providers revenue. Perhaps LibreOffice Online should remain as the status quo, i.e. as a paid feature, only provided by commercial ecosystem providers?
Can a “Price List” (for want of better words) for features that commercial providers/TDF would implement be available? The community could fund some code developers to implement features instead of just giving donations that go into TDF General/Consolidated Account?
We have tried to contact people listed at https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/ and unfortunately have not received answers some some people listed.
Certified Developers listed on https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/ (eg. Landeshauptstadt München, Red Hat, SUSE, The Document Foundation, Unaffiliated) only have a name(s) and no contact details. Please reduce the complexity for people (including community members) to contact certified developers to ask for paid code development by adding contact details for each entry.
I agree with some wording along the line of what Dylan Taylor suggested… Have a link to enterprise support offerings for LibreOffice.