Ubuntu Women Career Days April 2012: Media Liaison

On Wednesday, April 18 at 16:00 UTC Emma Marshall (System76Chick) presented on being a Media Liaison.

Career Path

Current Work


The session wrapped up with a Q&A session, with questions including:

And more! Check out the full logs below for her answers to these questions.


If anyone has follow-up questions related to this session, you can contact Emma at emma@system76.com

Full session log

   1 [16:00] <System76Chick> Thank you for having me!
   2 [16:00] <Cheri703> Welcome to our Career Days session!
   3 [16:01] <Cheri703> I'm a bit early, sorry
   4 [16:01] <Cheri703> Ok, now welcome! :D
   5 [16:01] <Cheri703> bah, freenode clock =/= my clock :)
   6 [16:01] <Cheri703> Alright, Thank you to System76Chick for her patience while we got this scheduled!
   7 [16:02] <Cheri703> Today we have Emma, she is a media liaison for System76, and she's going to tell us about that and her experiences that brought her to the FOSS World.
   8 [16:02] <Cheri703> Take it away!
   9 [16:02] <System76Chick> Thank you for giving me the opportunity :)
  10 [16:03] <System76Chick> I can start by talking about my background and what brought me into social media and open-source
  11 [16:04] <System76Chick> I've been a journalist since I was 14, working for school and local newspapers throughout high school and college. After watching the decline of print journalism firsthand, I became interested in social media and reporting events on the internet. I joined every social network I could and began using the social networks to report and promote local businesses that I encountered while working for the newspaper
  12 [16:04] <System76Chick> s. I established great relationships and became addicted to this new kind of reporting and staying connected with the businesses. I stayed with the newspaper industry for a few months after college, as a managing editor of a local paper. While I was working for the paper, I did promotional work for a company called Apex Movement, and it was the first time I witnessed viral growth through social media promot
  13 [16:04] <System76Chick> ion. So I transitioned from the newspaper industry into marketing and social media. It was the best choice I ever made because I now I have the best of both worlds- reporting and social media.
  14 [16:05] <System76Chick> I discovered the power of FOSS by using Wordpress.org, beginning in 2010. I developed the company intranet for a large corporation and created a place for the employees to come together as a community to share their daily work experiences. I produced 60 videos in a year and was acting as a reporter within the company, sharing laughs and positivity with the employees. It was all centered around a T-shirt. Th
  15 [16:05] <System76Chick> e community I created as a result of bringing employees together on wordpress.org fueled the internal viral marketing campaign, which led to a Guinness World Record. Since we had to keep our intranet private for proprietary reasons, I had to do something that would get people talking. Guinness World Records and employee pranks became the motivation to spread the word of my “SMaffection” campaign, which
  16 [16:05] <System76Chick> encouraged nearly every department in the company to purchase the T-shirt I designed. After accomplishing the campaign, I went on an adventure to work for a company operating on the foundation of open-source software. The strength of community truly appealed to me and I wanted to make it my career with no restrictions. The restrictions and guidelines I had to follow at the previous company I worked for put
  17 [16:05] <System76Chick> limits to my success and I'm a total “sky is the limit” type of individual. I guess you could say that my work using Wordpress.org was what Jane Silber mentioned as a “stretch job.” So I had to keep going with the open-source pursuit where I wasn't limited to proprietary restrictions.
  18 [16:06] <Cheri703> Forgot to mention!
  19 [16:07] <Cheri703> Any questions that folks have, please ask in #ubuntu-classroom-chat with QUESTION: and we'll take them as we go or at the end. Thanks!
  20 [16:09] <System76Chick> Discovering System76 and Ubuntu was the best thing that ever happened to me.
  21 [16:09] <System76Chick> The strength of community to promote Ubuntu and the excitement within each subgroup sucked me in and I was hooked. I found System76 first, but the community page on System76.com and description of Ubuntu led me to  The Fridge, Ubuntu Planet, The wiki and my personal favorite- the Ubuntu-Women Project. I felt like I stumbled onto the world's best kept secret. Now I want to tell it to the world about it.
  22 [16:10] <System76Chick> My daily work involves a lot of Ubuntu promotion, especially with our Loco efforts. We offer free stickers, which takes time to manage and coordinate all the other groups who send them out in other countries. After learning the ropes, Carl put me in charge of all the social networks and routed all the press inquiries my way. My day is full of diversity and adventure. It's AWESOME.
  23 [16:11] <System76Chick> Carl is our CEO, by the way
  24 [16:12] <System76Chick> He allows me to work on different computers every month and allows me to take time in the hardware room to learn more about computers in one day than I've learned throughout my whole life. It's a really fun place to be and I work with a great team of geeks. I just love it.
  25 [16:14] <ClassBot> Cheri703 asked: Is there a particular "technical" area you're most interested in pursuing?
  26 [16:15] <System76Chick> I mainly stick to the social media efforts but I'm starting to get back into video production for some of our new projects
  27 [16:16] <System76Chick> I'm working on a series of how-to videos for 12.04 to help people transition from different OS
  28 [16:17] <System76Chick> 12.04 is incredible. I'm using the keyboard less and I feel like I'm doing more work in a day
  29 [16:18] <ClassBot> Cheri703 asked: How do you find the energy to maintain social media? I find it to be a different way of communicating that I haven't gotten the handle on yet.
  30 [16:19] <System76Chick> I maintain my excitement for Ubuntu and System76 with every interaction, and people share their excitement with me every day so it's easy to keep up with it
  31 [16:19] <System76Chick> I start my day by opening letters from fans, and it sets my mood for the whole day
  32 [16:20] <System76Chick> People REALLY LOVE Ubuntu and they write all these cute little notes
  33 [16:20] <System76Chick> It's great motivation
  34 [16:22] <ClassBot> pleia2 asked: How many requests from LoCos for fliers and stickers would you say you get in a 6 month cycle? (I always forget you offer that!)
  35 [16:23] <System76Chick> Probably 500-600. When I promote the offer online, we get a huge wave
  36 [16:23] <ClassBot> sebsebseb asked: Have you got any tips for people who would like to promote/market a opensource/freesoftware project or opensource/freesoftware company?
  37 [16:23] <System76Chick> We have a number of loco groups posted on our free stickers offer page, and I prepare all the inserts and stickers and ship them out as they need it
  38 [16:24] <System76Chick> Join as many social media groups as you can and let your excitement shine through every post
  39 [16:25] <System76Chick> The more excited you are, the more excited other people will get!
  40 [16:26] <System76Chick> Also, if you help promote others, they will help promote you :)
  41 [16:26] <ClassBot> Cheri703 asked: Do you post to each site individually or do you use an aggregator of some sort? like tweetdeck or something?
  42 [16:27] <System76Chick> I post to each site individually, because every audience has different users and the content they want to see is different. We don't have anything set up to auto post
  43 [16:29] <ClassBot> sebsebseb asked: Do you use Identica as well for example, (the open Twitter alternative with mainly Linux users it seems,) or do you stick to main streame  sites such as Twitter and Facebook?
  44 [16:29] <System76Chick> Sometimes it's hard to keep up with, but time management is key
  45 [16:29] <ClassBot> pleia2 asked: In starting to get involved in FOSS, have you felt your level of expertise to be acceptable, or is there a lot of pressure to keep becoming more "techie"?
  46 [16:29] <Cheri703> ah, sorry if that was too quick
  47 [16:30] <System76Chick> I haven't been keeping up with identi.ca lately, but I have my daily management set for Twitter, facebook, google+, system76chick.wordpress.com and now identi.ca
  48 [16:31] <System76Chick> I definitely feel pressure to be more techie, the guys always make fun of my attempts at "speaking geek" but I take it as a challenge and make them teach me hands on in the hardware room
  49 [16:32] <System76Chick> I learn a lot every day and their excitement when they are engineering draws me into their projects too. This guy Ian is an excellent teacher
  50 [16:34] <System76Chick> He taught me how to build a computer and all the major in components in one day. It was pretty sweet. That was the day we built the first Leopard Extreme
  51 [16:35] <ClassBot> pleia2 asked: Do you have any tips for other folks who are just getting started in the Ubuntu world? (join a loco team? read a certain news site?)
  52 [16:38] <System76Chick> I think being willing and excited to learn new things is something that everyone could benefit from. Definitely join a loco group. Look for places where you are passionate and start by joining groups related to your passion. OMG Ubuntu is my fav news site for Ubuntu news, following it has helped me stay informed, reading the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter each week is very informative
  53 [16:38] <ClassBot> sebsebseb asked: Maybe a bit off topic from your session, but why does System76 only seem to support Ubuntu, and not any of the other distro's as well?
  54 [16:40] <System76Chick> Because we share the same mission and values, and do all of our testing with Ubuntu and can fully offer support with all our products
  55 [16:40] <ClassBot> JanC asked: do you get involved in the decision process of what hardware System 76 will sell (e.g. by following social media, maybe you get different input)?
  56 [16:41] <System76Chick> I offer suggestions based on input I receive from social media, and Carl takes every suggestion seriously and offers explanations if it isn't possible to offer something specific
  57 [16:42] <System76Chick> I always ask why, and his passion answers effectively
  58 [16:43] <System76Chick> We definitely like to provide what the audience wants to receive
  59 [16:46] <System76Chick> Are there any other questions?
  60 [16:46] <ClassBot> sebsebseb asked: Unless it's changed as far as I know System76 only sells to USA and Canada, why's that?
  61 [16:47] <System76Chick> We ship to 25 countries
  62 [16:48] <System76Chick> Here's our list https://www.system76.com/home/shippinginformation
  63 [16:48] <System76Chick> It really depends on UPS
  64 [16:48] <ClassBot> There are 10 minutes remaining in the current session.
  65 [16:49] <ClassBot> JanC asked: (related to sebsebseb's) does System76 think about branches/joint-ventures/etc. in other countries? (as shipping & payment might be easier & cheaper then)
  66 [16:50] <ClassBot> Cheri703 asked: Is there a particular email address at system76 that more specific questions should go to?
  67 [16:51] <System76Chick> Joint-ventures are something to explore, but not in the near future. We meet with UPS regularly to discuss more countries to ship to. They were here yesterday, in fact.
  68 [16:51] <System76Chick> More specific questions can be sent to press@system76.com
  69 [16:52] <Cheri703> QUESTION: do you feel that your time spent with small businesses is what helped shape your drive for the grass-roots/community involvement?
  70 [16:52] <Cheri703> bah
  71 [16:53] <System76Chick> Yes, I have worked for larger corporations and see more community involvement and opportunity for smaller businesses
  72 [16:53] <ClassBot> There are 5 minutes remaining in the current session.
  73 [16:54] <Cheri703> Ok, last call for questions *specifically* for Emma!
  74 [16:55] <System76Chick> The strength of a community is an interesting phenomenon. I think Ubuntu really captures how powerful a community can truly be. I am excited to be a part of the project and the community.
  75 [16:55] <ClassBot> pleia2 asked: How have you found getting used to the tools that the FOSS world uses? (mailing lists, IRC)
  76 [16:56] <System76Chick> It has been a quick transition and I've had good teachers helping me along. I'm still learning, but loving every second of it.
  77 [16:59] <pleia2> thanks System76Chick! :)
  78 [16:59] <System76Chick> I appreciate this opportunity to share with you guys! Thank you :)
  79 [16:59] <Cheri703> If anyone has follow-up questions related to this session, you can contact Emma at emma@system76.com

CareerDays/MediaLiaison (last edited 2012-04-25 00:51:00 by lyz)