Community Member Monday: Marcin Popko

Today we’re talking to Marcin Popko, who is helping to grow the LibreOffice community in Poland…

Hey Marcin! Tell us a bit about yourself…

Hello! I’m from Bialystok, a city in north-east Poland. I work as an electromagnetic compatibility tester – it’s a seriously crazy and interesting area of electronics development. I’m quite an artist soul; in my free time I dance bachata and sing in a folk band called “Kurpie Zielone”. I also write a blog about dance, emotions and technology here.

What is the free software/Linux/LibreOffice scene like in Poland?

FLOSS (free/libre and open source software) has rather more awareness in geeky and technological domains, than in everyday normal life. LibreOffice is not well know among my friends – some of them are using Microsoft Office, and some of them are even using OpenOffice. So that’s my mission here: inform them :-) Companies use LibreOffice when they can’t afford Microsoft Office or when it’s not seriously needed.

You’ve recently been running Polish LibreOffice social media. How did that get started, and how has it developed?

If found a blog post about abandoned native language projects and social media sites, wrote an e-mail to the mailing list, and there I started working with Mike Saunders from The Document Foundation.

We couldn’t reach the the existing administrator of the old Polish LibreOffice fanpage, so we decided to create a new one. Then I also added a Twitter account. Step-by-step, I did surveys about our community, and I wrote articles on Polish technology sites about the current LibreOffice situation, like this one.

Then we reached 150 fans on Facebook, and I ran a sticker giveaway – thanks to Mike and TDF I can pass these stickers on to the community. We’ve also prepared a new official Polish LibreOffice site (the old one has corrupted download links).

Any tips for other people who want to start LibreOffice/FOSS social media in other countries/languages?

If you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to ask anyone from the LibreOffice community. People are helpful there and they redirect you to appropriate place if you get lost.

Many thanks to Marcin for his superb work and help! And for everyone reading this who wants to start (or expand) social media in more languages, get in touch and we’ll assist you along the way. You can gain valuable experience running social media, and of course it helps to spread the word about LibreOffice too!