Haiku Promotions Twitter Account?

Hey everyone,

I think it may be a good idea to formulate a promotional, pro-active Twitter account for Haiku. While we have the official account for sharing information ex-Cathedra (if you will), having an account that’s more interactive and personable may help us reach out better and connect more with those who may wish to contribute or be interested in our project.

What are the thoughts of our dev team, particularly the Haiku Inc. guardians? Having a social media presence is a key line of work for any Promotions Team, and not doing it is a little bit of malpractice on our part. But, of course, we would love to make sure everything is OK at the top-end of things, too.

This account could have any kind of role we want, but I think it should be distinct from what we have in the official account right now, with its own voice and personality. The main goal is getting people to contribute — participation is the hallmark of any community, and the bigger the net, the more mindshare we can capture.



Personally I’m fine with this idea. Though I don’t do much on Twitter these days and have never gotten into the official Haiku Twitter account.

Other people may have different opinions. I know @waddlesplash wanted to keep the official account more serious as you note.

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Here’s my small ideas

  1. I think that it would be nice to have more demos on YouTube and odysee.
    Most third-party YouTube videos only show how to install it and some software for it, nice but there’s much more to show.
    Having some videos with small gameplays and showcases of popular software running on haiku with the occasional tip and keyboard shortcut mentioned would be really neat.

Most people don’t understand the advantages of haiku over other operating systems, and they won’t read deeply into them if they are not already interested, which they are not because they are not yet aware of it’s value.
Videos are better at keeping the average person invested in the subject, especially if the videos are designed to be easy to follow.

  1. Other than more videos on YT, I think that it would be good to post random tips on twitter. Many other software accounts do that, not just to make sure that the users know about them but also as an excuse to get people to talk about the software.

  2. It might also be good to post pictures of elaborately decorated desktops on social media, just like they do for Linux and bsd on unixpo**, but for haiku.

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I think @roiredxsoto was trying to do something like this with the “Haikunauts” account. I think having a “less official” community account for these kinds of things is a good idea, sure.

How close to the official Haiku name can we go? Mind if it has Haiku as one word in the name? “Haiku Soapbox” or something?

True… That is the goal of the @haikunauts account and the blog. Just found out that Twitter accounts can have multiple ‘colaborators’… so maybe is time to get more people on? Marketing team?


I think using the official Haiku account for this would be simpler and better. ReactOS is doing this and it is nice to see updates about various things from them regularly on Twitter.

Why is the marketing team not running the official Haiku account on Twitter? It sounds like the kind of thing I expect a marketing team to do?


Right on spot!

Using the official account is the natural thing to do. I don’t understand why there are reservations about not using it. It doesn’t make sense.


I defer to the leadership team on this. We are happy with whatever they choose.

We appreciate your work here! Maybe we can all have a conversation about expanding your efforts.

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I think the question at hand here is about making a more “personable” account that does more than promote official news and related matters, which is what we have decided the main account should be; essentially, this other account would potentially behave more like modern “brand” marketing accounts tend to on Twitter, instead of the more serious and straightforward tone we have chosen for the main account.

Personally I think the @haikunauts account, or something similar to it, would be a great fit for this; it sounds like @roiredxsoto agrees. Maybe we can mark it as a proper “affiliate” in some way, if that is the path taken.

I don’t agree here, on several levels:

  • The current Twitter account is not even good at tweeting the main news in a timely way. The spanish and turkish accounts do that a lot better, and quite often I end up retweeting these, because the english version isn’t available.
  • No one here said we should have a super agressive account, replying to random people telling them their bugs would not have happened if they had used Haiku, or buying sponsored tweets to advertise us (I saw some sponsored tweets from firefox and it just made me feel bad for people who donated to firefox, that their money eventually landed in twitter hands)
  • Even while remaining “factual”, there is a lot going on in Haiku all the time. It would be nice to see the official account (not my personal one) doing the call for translations for beta3. It would be nice to see some infos about Rudolfc’s intel driver progress or about the Risc-V port. Even new apps and games added to HaikuDepot should get a mention.

In any case, the current account in its current state is useless and I think the marketing team would make a better job. I don’t understand why you want this account to remain under your exclusive control. I’m sorry, but I think you are getting in the way, here.

I also follow haikunauts and I do not see why the content there could not be on the main account.

I already mentioned the ReactOS Twitter account, I think it does this in a good way. There are a few tweets every day with screenshots of various apps running in ReactOS, first steps of their 64bit port, test reports for various hardware, etc. It is a nice way to stay in touch with their work and progress.


I had no idea as well, but looking at the Twitter account now, it seems it’s retweeting news from @3dEyes who’s been posting monthly updates plus PulkoMandy’s Twitter account. It would be good to have all the updates coming from the official account, not being retweeted from multiple accounts.

Just to add a bit more here, the plan is also for the account to reply to people who need help or have questions about Haiku. Whilst the account would be more fun and personable, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be polite - the accounts of many major companies manage to balance politeness/seriousness with jokes and laughter, as well as delivering news from companies in a timely manner.

I think someone mentioned we should have an “Apps Spotlight” to highlight apps on HaikuDepot, so Twitter would be a good way to highlight good apps on a regular basis.

Yup, that sounds like what we’re planning as well. Though we’d probably try and emulate the playful touch most corporate Twitter accounts now have and throw in a couple of jokes/memes in the mix as well.

Personally I find most corporate things in my twitter are sponsored tweets and are completely out of touch with my use of Twitter and I end up blocking them. So I would prefer if the Haiku account does not go that way. But it’s possibly because I blocked so much of these already that Twitter is not sure anymore what to show me as sponsored tweets…

Also, corporate jokes rarely work. There are a few community managers who do this right, but it isn’t an easy job. Especially in an international and multi-cultural setting.

This is not something I would find particularly useful on the main account. It also opens the whole can of worms of which apps will or will not be promoted. Only free software? Are Qt apps allowed? What if my app is available for Haiku, but not through HaikuDepot? And that’s just the first 3 things that I could find debatable here. I don’t even agree with myself on what the right answer is here. For example for Qt apps: at this point we have to admit they are a great help in making the OS usable for more people and we can’t ignore that. But on the other hand they somewhat defeat our point of “we’re making a clean OS from scratch where everything is designed consistently” and turns Haiku into “another OS that can run Linux apps, but it’s slower and has less hardware support”. So, as a Haiku developer, I am annoyed that my efforts in improving Haiku are resulting in that. On the other hand, as a Haiku user, it really does make my life easier in the short term.

This was already something that was discussed a bit in early BeOS days: Be had to find a difficult balance between promoting the few early existing apps (or sometimes, writing apps themselves), and providing an even playing field for developers starting to write apps for the system and trying to make some space. If you promote one solution against others, it’s unfair. If you promote everything, it’s confusing. If you promote nothing, it’s inefficient.

I think generally, I would keep that kind of things out of the Haiku account and in a separate Haikuports account (or Haikunauts or anything else)? Unless it’s real news (say, a new release of an app, a new app is ported) or maybe if there some more in-depth content behind it (interview with a developer? a tutorial on using that app?). I think just having an “app of the week” or so with just a standalone tweet and nothing else would not engage a lot of people?


I generally agree with many of your points against showcasing apps on the main Twitter account, however in certain cases it could be very beneficial for spreading awareness of Haiku.

There was another thread not too long ago about collaborating with third-party projects. By showcasing ports of software from large OSS projects (e.g. KDE, LibreOffice, etc.), their Twitter accounts are more likely to engage with Haiku’s tweets and spread word of the OS to their followers. Additionally, it could be a way to open more formal communication channels with them for collaboration from promotion to development.


Do we want that engagement? Do we want to be the “hey you can run your exact same apps in a less reliable and slower way on an OS that the app developer don’t support at all” system?

As I said, a part of me thinks this is not really a thing we should be trying to do, at least not on the operating system account.

It has so many opportunities to backfire. What if the app developers really don’t want to support us? (it happened, for example with Abiword). What if the user try it, and they start making bug reports to upstream about an unofficial port to an OS they have never heard of? Why would the official twitter account of the OS even be doing such things? How would you think about it if Microsoft Windows Twitter account was saying “hey look, we can run LibreOffice too!”? Does that feel appropriate for them to do? If it’s not for them, why would it be ok for us?

Essentially it would just be misleading everyone into thinking there is a partnership, and putting all the extra work and confusion on unsuspecting users and developers to sort it all out. And I think it would not even be of great help, simply because “you can run exactly the same apps you are already using” is not a selling point at all for convincing someone to switch operating systems. What we have to focus on in the communication strategy is not that, or at least not primarily. It should be more about the things that make Haiku unique.

And also, let’s be honest, in the current state, it should probably be targetting developers more than end-users?

We know how to reach other projects when needed through their IRC channels, mailing lists, or simply because some of us and them are involved in general “free/open source software” things and meet in various other occasions. Twitter is certainly not the place I would think of as a “formal point of contact”.


Well, we’re definitely not doing sponsored tweets. And obviously, the account would be different to those run by big corporations in the fact that it’s more of an official “voice” for Haiku as a whole, retweeting news and sharing stuff related to Haiku.

Good point - thanks for pointing this out.

Some great points here. Considering this account will still remain an official account, we definitely don’t want to send the wrong message and imply something we don’t mean to imply.

I agree here - in the case of KDE, @Diver reached out directly on the KDE forums, and then was redirected to the development mailing lists - Twitter seems too informal and some accounts may simply not notice you (some accounts on Twitter do get a lot of mentions) to carry out such communication.

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I don’t think I ever maintained that. When I took over the account, I made sure the Inc. got the login details, and I think @kallisti5 had direct access at one point. I’m happy to give access to it to trustworthy individuals.

All past requests (maybe until now, at least) for access to the account from others have also been accompanied by suggestions to significantly change the nature of the account. It’s those that I’ve taken issue with, and generally when we resolved those questions, it would up being that the original requester did not really need access to the account anyway.

It seems that indeed, you did not have access to tweet from the account. I’ve now granted that.

I have indeed fallen behind in recent months as I’ve gotten busier with other things. However, some of the news I intentionally do not tweet (e.g. progress reports that contain only minor bug fixes and no new changes; the rationale being that users who want to see even minor news will likely be more involved with the project already, whereas users who only follow the twitter account are looking for major news.)

Maybe not in this thread. However, previous discussions about the account did involve people proposing things very much along these lines.

These things, at least, I think we discussed before, and decided that calls to action from individual community members but reposted by the official account was a good balance, because it allowed people to reach out to an individual person with questions, instead of to a social media profile. If you and other community members are in favor of changing that decision, we can certainly discuss it.


Yes, and I think this is what we discussed previously that we do not want the official account doing; we don’t want to become a “brand.” Personable interactions should come from … people. Having community members who do this kind of thing, but as themselves (with “Haiku” mentioned prominently in their profiles, of course) is what we have previously discussed, not turning the Haiku account itself into a personality.

(I have for some time watched the mentions of the Haiku account, and searched for haiku-os.org, and generally responded as @waddlesplash to them, not the official account. I think that is a good way to do things, and if we had more community members doing that, I’d be all in favor of it.)

I am strongly opposed to the official account posting memes, and as noted above, turning it into a “personality.” It seems @pulkomandy has some agreement here.

So, once again, I’m not opposed to other people maintaining the account; but I think there are a lot of different ideas about what that means, and we need to have a more concrete policy for how to run things before granting the marketing team access to it.


While we don’t need to necessarily turn the account into an “edgy corporate mascot,” I think we can still manage to make it more clear that the Haiku project cares that people use and participate in it by sharing their stories and thoughts. Furthermore, highlighting how people use Haiku in an open forum, like Twitter, allows non-Haiku users to see Haiku exists and has a lot to offer. And re-tweets mean that more and more people will be exposed to it. More exposure = better promotions, more users, more contributors. Simply put, we want re-tweets. We should do what it takes to get them, within reason.

Two birds can be killed with one stone here. Setting up an official policy for Tweets ensure that a) We can Tweet when we need to to build interest and b) We don’t go off-message. The policy can be tailored tightly at first, and then as we get more comfortable with it, loosened over time. Candid ally accounts (like Haikunauts) can be edgier and more fun, so long as Haiku itself shows it has not just a pulse but an active and energetic voice of its own.

The objective for all of this is always going to be the “target audience.” I have always liked developers as the people we target with our tweets (and other communications), as greater development makes Haiku more usable over time. Developers are also often opinion leaders for other tech-savvy individuals, and can influence them to try Haiku. Then those techies influence broader publics who want something like Haiku for their desktop workstations.

It all feeds itself if we start from a good place.

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