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RFC: Scope and Activities for a "Welcome SIG"

Overview: in order to make the Fedora project and community more welcoming and understandable to newcomers, this SIG would seek to identify specific issues newcomers face and develop solutions to those issues - where appropriate, with other SIGs/projects.


This project would be community-led, and would seek to address the needs of those new to Fedora: they may be IT-literate or not, they may or may not have experience or expertise with other Linux distributions. The SIG would concern itself with introducing those people to Fedora, the project and the community: attempting to break down barriers that they encounter - we would seek to make their initial transition to using Fedora and interacting with the Fedora community as smooth and straightforward as possible.


Are we aiming at folks as users primarily or as potential contributors primarily? --Duffy 05:17, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

To be honest, I'm not sure how to answer that question. I'd like to think that part of any introduction to Fedora and its culture would necessarily include the possibility of contributing, if only bug reports, but I don't think the SIG would aim - at least in the short/medium term - at smoothing the path for contributors, because that's a lot more specialist and difficult? Alexh 07:44, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd position the SIG much "wider": We should aim at people in general and find out in a simple process where to send them - either to the users part or to the potential contributors part. I'm thinking of the Welcome SIG as something like a mentoring group. --Vinz 09:24, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think that's reasonable. To what degree the Welcome SIG does things directly itself, or indirectly through other means, I think is very much open to question. I think we would definitely want to create resources which are new user specific, but many of the actions/activities would probably happen under the guise of some other group and could be simply a small facet of some bigger thing another SIG is working on. I suppose also the definition of "new user" is somewhat flexible. Is someone well-versed in Fedora who has no experience of contributing a "new user"? Technically, no, but culturally, they probably are. -- Alexh 12:03, 24 May 2011 (UTC)


The first thing to do would be to actually gather data about newcomer's experiences with Fedora, so that the immediate pain-points could be addressed. This research would probably need to be designed in conjunction with other teams, as it would be most effective if the data were fed back to others (website, documentation, marketing spring immediately to mind) for them to also act on.

There are some resources, though, that we can likely already say would be useful to have:

  1. We don't have much in the way of migration resources for users from other common operating systems - Windows XP, Windows 7, MacOS, possibly also Ubuntu.
  2. There isn't much in the way of "What next?" material
    • This was an attempt at that (not sure how successful?) --Duffy 05:16, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Yeah, sorry, I should have expanded that a bit more. By "what next" I was thinking about common tasks that people new to Fedora might want to do. The "Using" page is great, but it kind of showcases things that Fedora can do: a new user would likely be very interested in that, but they probably also have a list of things they expect to be able to do and don't quite know how to, which was more what I was thinking about. Alexh 07:44, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
  3. A more accessible introduction to the Fedora community and "culture": jargon, expectations, norms.

Necessarily, as well as providing self-help resources, some degree of interactive resource would also be required.