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Marketing PostgreSQL (was Re: Democracy and organisation : let's make a revolution)

From: Mark Radulovich <radulovich(at)yahoo(dot)com>
To: pgadmin-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Marketing PostgreSQL (was Re: Democracy and organisation : let's make a revolution)
Date: 2002-06-25 22:58:12
Message-ID: 20020625225812.23814.qmail@web13301.mail.yahoo.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgadmin-hackers
I've been following these mailing lists for over two years, and I guess now is
the time to chime in. I agree with Tom that an organized effort is necessary.
As such, I'd recommend the following:

1 - Revamp the website. It's not bad, but it should be better designed to
highlight things for new users as well as all of the documentation that is on
it (I usually go to google instead of clicking around the website). I think the
basic site should have four key sections  - Application Developers, Database
Admins, PG Core Developers, News & Downloads.

2 - Get a list of people who can help with benchmarking efforts. This should be
for magazines/websites that want to benchmark PG against the competition, as
well as benchmarking PG on various hardware with various options. This could
even start out as a simple "Benchmarking PG FAQ"

3 - Revamp the "Developer's Corner". I'm a web developer, not a PG developer,
but I still went here looking for info on building apps in Java, PHP, Perl, etc
that need to connect to PG on the backend. This is probably a simple rename,
but application developers need a more prominent area.

4 - Reach out and talk to authors & developers. We have a great database here -
let's tell the world. This can be simple - identify the major magazines & web
sites, rank order them by relevant audience. Then, make sure we contact someone
at each site once a month, and that they get press releases via email. (email
is essentially free, so why not send them out to all the magazines/web sites?)

5 - Show off PGAdmin!!! You'd think it was just an afterthought when looking
around the web site. We should promote that as a great tool to manage PG, so
that MS users can get the courage to try it out. We can't market it like MS can
(unless someone around here dhas $40 billion lying around), but we can sure
make PGAdmin more prominent on the site.

6 - Improve the Windows port. I am convinced that mySQL is popular because a
windows user can download Apache, PHP, and mySQL onto his machine and learn how
it works. When he's ready, he can move to *nix. PG doesn't have that advantage
(no newbie is going to mess with cygwin setup on his Windows 98 machine). Also,
just because Windows is not an optimal database platform doesn't mean we
shouldn't serve it better - a lot of people (myself included) cut their teeth
on Windows computers, simply because they cannot afford the time or money to
learn another OS just to be able to use a database.

7 - A simple thing, really. Can someone change the order of the months on the
mailing list archive home page? Scrolling down for 66 months, just to click on
the "by date" or "by thread" link for the current month just bugs me. Whether
this is possible or not, I don't know - I just wanted to comment about it
because I'm sure there are others with the same complaint.


Anyway, these are just a couple of ideas I have. I have used PG since 7.0, and
have been incredibly happy with it. As for any competition with MySQL, so what?
Let's learn from what they do better than us, and use that to increase our
visibility.


On a side note, I'd like to thank *all* of the people that have contributed to
PG. I started out in the open source database world with MySQL, but have grown
to love the reliability of PG. For the last several years, I have been
responsible for several MS SQL Server 2000 (and 7.0) servers. They have an easy
to use database, in that Enterprise Manager is almost as simple as Access (no
flames, please!). They also market the heck out of it. I never knew that PG
would ever be as easy to use - until I used PGAdmin. I can only say one thing -
WOW! (although I still use the command line - old habits die hard...) Anyway,
thanks to all of you for allowing me to play (and work!) with such a great
database.

Regards,
Mark Radulovich

PS - I'm willing to donate time to the website and the other items listed
above.

======================
Tom Lane wrote:

Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com> writes:
Frankly, my feeling is, as a "geek-to-geek" product, PostgreSQL is already
adequately marketed through our huge network of DBA users and code
contributors.

Well, mumble ... it seems to me that we are definitely suffering from
a "buzz gap" (cf missile gap, Dr Strangelove, etc) compared to MySQL.
That doesn't bother me in itself, but the long-term implications are
scary.  If MySQL manages to attract a larger development community as
a consequence of more usage or better marketing, then eventually they
will be ahead of us on features and every other measure that counts.
Once we're number two with no prayer of catching up, how long will our
project remain viable?  So, no matter how silly you might think
"MySQL is better" is today, you've got to consider the prospect that
it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So far I have not worried about that scenario too much, because Monty
has always treated the MySQL sources as his personal preserve; if he
hadn't written it or closely reviewed it, it didn't get in, and if it
didn't hew closely to his opinion of what's important, it didn't get in.
But I get the impression that he's loosened up of late.  If MySQL stops
being limited by what one guy can do or review, their rate of progress
could improve dramatically.

In short: we could use an organized marketing effort.  I really
feel the lack of Great Bridge these days; there isn't anyone with
comparable willingness to expend marketing talent and dollars on
promoting Postgres as such.  Not sure what to do about it.  We've
sort of dismissed Jean-Michel's comments (and those of others in
the past) with "sure, step right up and do the marketing" responses.
But the truth of the matter is that a few amateurs with no budget
won't make much of an impression.  We really need some professionals
with actual dollars to spend, and I don't know where to find 'em.

            regards, tom lane


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