[Python-uk] Promoting Python in the UK

Andy Robinson andy@robanal.demon.co.uk
Wed, 06 Oct 1999 18:31:35 GMT

Last night I spent a few hours with Josette Garcia of O'Reilly's UK
office discussing promotions.  She has now joined the group - welcome
aboard!  The conclusion we reached was that we just need to plug away
and grow organically before we can do any joint promotions, but she
gave me a lot of help and good ideas.

I'd drafted this before reading Gary's excellent post, and we overlap
a lot, but I'll send it out now rather than rewriting it.

Here's my short term plan (to end January?):

Plan A is to place some Python stories.  I am sounding out magazines
to see if any are interested in Python stories; if any bite, I'll post
the group and we can see who wants to be famous.

Ideally we need a press officer - any takers?  Initially this would
mean chasing up the odd mag and asking if they are interested.  I am
pretty sure we can get interviews with Python megastars if that is
what they want.

Target other communities:
Python is great for adding a macro language to other applications.  I
have lots of material on doing this with VB; others among you know
C/C++ and Java.  So we could contact their user groups, and offer to
go and give talks/demos on embedding Python.  Is there anyone who
feels that, given a little time, they could give a talk on JPython to
Java people, or on extending/embedding to a C++ audience?

Who is in what user groups/organisations?

We have a secretary.  We also need a Press Officer - any takers?  It
involves managing an email list and handling responses.  Could be the
same person, but I don't want to lean on Michael too much.

I also suggest a ground rule that anyone can quit a 'committee job'
any time if work gets in the way, with no grumbling allowed.

I'm a PSA member and will soon have a starship site with a Zope
account.  AFAIK it is easy to set up databases both for the user group
and the world and delegate management. =20

We could have=20
1. a members' directory with full details
2. a 'sightings' database for companies/projects rumoured to be or
known to be using Python. =20
3. a calendar, with upcoming shows/talks to target, events and a list
of past press releases
4. a links page.

I suggest that we keep the directory and sightings to members (which
are currently defined as subscribers!), as it might have value to
recruiting agents etc. which in turn could generate pocket money for
the group; and publicising the fact that Bank X uses Python, when one
guy sneaked it into a project and then left, might not endear us to

If this stuff needs an editor, it might not go far; but if we can all
contribute any time, we could build up a useful database of where
Python is being used.

So who knows, or wants to learn, Zope?

Next Events
At tne next London one, we want to aim for a few short talks and a
venue.  How about early December?  I will try to get a room with a
projector, free of charge, near Liverpool Street so Cambridge people
can come down.  Everyone could be expected to talk for 2-3 minutes
about who they are and what they are doing, and anyone who wants to
can demo stuff.  =20

We only had 2 and 4 so far.  Who would actually turn up next time,
given enough notice?  I can call in some favours to get the room, but
will feel like a total lemon unless we get ten people and some talks

Suscriptions and Revenue
My feeling on this is wait a few months, and only do it if we cannot
generate revenue another way.  If, six months from now,  we had no
fees and a membership of 200 (but kept the list to ourselves), we
could charge recruiters a small flat fee or a big contingency fee to
mailshot the group; they can get thousands for placing someone in a
City job, and so far we have a 100% record in proposing acceptable
candidates to City firms - even though Laurie turned them to complete
his education :-)

That's all I can think of,