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SubjectRe: Press release - here we go again!
Date
> I am not a lawyer, marketing manager, marketer, salesperson, pre-sales
> person, or indeed even a "real" kernel hacker. I'm a bloody high school
> student. Hence the lack of the "journalistic touch". I'm just hacking
away,
> hoping someone will notice, tell me everything to fix, I fix it, and in
the
> end I get credit, and people hail me down the streets with a ticker-tape
> para</dream>

Thank you for doing it, Daniel. SOMEBODY needs to do it. You elected to.
Stephan is attempting to help you do it right. (If he is who I believe him
to be
(there can't be TWO can there?) he's had plenty of experience listening to
the sort of pundits you want to reach complain about flakey press releases.
Um, I've seen this litany before - in almost the same order on BIX. {^_-}

> Read about the second paragraph of the initial email I sent out. A feature
> writer for a well-known computer magazine here tried to contact one of the
> higher deities and they more or less told him to bugger off. Do we want to
> do this to ALL the press? (besides, I don't have Linus' phone number on
> hand).

This is indeed "Not A Good Thing" (tm). Somebody should bite the bullet
and be there to answer questions. (I'm not volunteering. I don't know
enough to answer the questions cogently. But I did make one minor
successful kernel hack to keep one of my machines working past Y2K
when its BIOS would lockup on boot with a divide by zero error.)

> That was actually one of the things I red-flagged myself for and pondered
> about. Then I decided I'd get flamed for it on l-k and just hoped to god
> that someone would come up with something constructive.

If you refer to a trademarked item mark it so and place the usual
footnote. It covers your asterisk. {o.o}

> > 3.) The language is a bit (and here my own deficit strikes me as I'm
> > searching for the right word, let's try) 'unprofessional'. With that I
> > mean that it is not the 'typical' language of press releases. I quote:
> > <snip>
> > > * Enterprise Ready! Linux 2.4 includes changes that
> > > make it even more ready for Enterprise environments.
> > <snip>
> > > * Linux also includes Logical Volume Manager, for easy
> > > administration of disk space; you can also combine
> > > several hard drives/partitions into one for even more
> > > space and ease!
> > <snip>
> > > * More interface support! Linux is now even better
> > > supported for the desktop with the advent of support
> > > for USB, FireWire and AGP.
> > <snip>
> > > Linux includes a new architecture, known as Netfilter,
> > > to act as a firewall (security - choose what gets
> > > through and what doesn't), and masquerading server
> > > (multiple machines can share the one connection without
> > > any fuss or hassle). Netfilter is now much quicker, <etc>
> > <snip><etc>
>
> Yeah, well scroll up. I will go and read the KDE press release, but don't
> mistake me for a professional journalist, or someone who sits there all
day
> slamming out quality press releases.

The phrasing is inconsistent. Cleaning that piece up is good training for
engineers as well as PR authors. (English is my primary language - heck
only people language - and I am still learning to use it correctly. If you
spend
the time now it will be a BIG win come time to look for a job. I turned down
a few employment prospects when I was in the hiring loop because they
could not express themselves clearly.)

> > One should take time and discuss what _groundbreaking_ new features
> > Linux 2.4 will have when compared to both 2.2 and the competitors. I'm
> > thinking of the scalability issues, as well as all the other
> > 'enterprise' enhancements like maximum memory/processors supported. On
> > the other end of the user scale you might want to proudly present Linux
> > as the first system to support ATA100. Full USB support comes to mind.
>
> Well, does Linus, Alan, etc, want to share their viewpoint? ATA100 is a
very
> good one, yes, and I actually did put in USB if you bothered to read the

And if got lost. That should tell you something. Perhaps something like
" *Advanced interface support for USB, FireWire, and AGP!"

Then place any expostulatory text indented under that as complete sentences.
This treates the bulleted items as "titles". Your target audience dispises
incomplete sentences and clunky grammar. (And do rest assured that folks
like Jerry Pournelle have posted some REAL clunkers, worse than anything
you did) on BIX for our chuckles.)

> press release, indeed what you pasted also. And the first thing I wrote
was
> about how it's so much better for SMP and 64gig of ram, and >2gig files
...

> > One should single out what Linux 2.4 can do better than the competitors,
> > but in a respectful (w.r.t. competitors) and indirect way. And one
> > should take the time and space to go into some application examples to
> > elaborate on these outstanding features.
>
> Application != kernel.

Enh, one COULD argue that a kernel is an unusually low level application.
It might be a good idea to skip "product comparisons" and stick with a
positive tone. We're not running a political campaign here.

> > Well, look at the KDE people. I think they really got 'it' when it comes
> > to writing press releases: Identify your strengths and explain them
> > briefly, but so that my _mum_ says "Wow, Linux 2.4 is great! Where do I
> > get one of those cute stuffed penguins?" after reading her woman's
> > journal. (Ok, ok...:-)
>
> okokok, I will. But please, for the love of God, stop mistaking me for a
> full time quality-bullshit^Wpress-release-artist. Because I'm not. I just
> hacked out a press release one night when I was pretty tired. Don't flame
me
> for it.

Please be assured we're not making that mistake. But in as much as it is a
learning experience for you we're trying to give you your effort's worth of
help to make it something you can point to with pride in the future.

{^_^} Joanne Dow, jdow@earthlink.net, jdow@bix.com


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