Outreach to end users

Onno Ekker o.e.ekker at gmail.com
Tue Mar 21 12:51:19 UTC 2017

On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:51 AM, Ben Bucksch <ben.bucksch at beonex.com>

> Thank you, everybody, for electing me into the TB council.
> One thing that we can do better is to reach out to end users. Some people
> are already working hard to give end users support. Thank you for that!
> We should also try to find new users. Most people I know just use either
> webmail or a smartphone app to read mail. They know what an email client
> is. Once I installed Thunderbird for some "mom and dad" type users, they
> were overjoyed: "I don't have to log in anymore. I just open Thunderbird on
> my computer and boom! All my emails are there!" and "I have my 2 emails
> accounts both in the same place. No need to check several websites. That
> saves so much time". For me, the 3 key reasons are:
>    - efficient use
>    - privacy
>    - user empowerment
> How can we reach new users?
> I have some ideas, but hopefully, you have more:
>    - Introduction tutorials for new users of Thunderbird, e.g.
>       - On the website, as explanations of the advantages of Thunderbird
>       for end users. Not just the power user features like advanced filtering,
>       but what Mom and Dad users get from an email client.
>       - As videos on YouTube or WebM
>    - A blog, Twitter account, Facebook: Posting new good developments of
>    Thunderbird. E.g. the vote of the new council, any requests for
>    contributors when we identified a need etc. Any new features, releases we
>    did.
>    - Organizing "onboarding parties", where existing local users and
>    community members think of ways to make Thunderbird and the concept of an
>    email client (in contrast to webmail) and its advantages known to a new
>    group of users. Each group could find their own ways of doing that. We'd
>    establish a mailing list to let these different regional groups can
>    exchange experiences and ideas and material.
> Questions:
>    - How else could we get new Thunderbird users? Do you have any other
>    ideas?
>    - Who would like to get active, in one of the above tasks? It
>    shouldn't just be a spur of the moment action, but a continuous nurturing
>    of the communication channels.
I think one thing that should be improved, is setting up Thunderbird for
the first time. As it is now, you immediately get a prompt to get an
account for Gandhi, and the option to use an existing mail account is
somewhat hidden. Most of the users do have an existing account though,
provided by their ISP, so I think configuring Thunderbird for an existing
mail account should be the default.

Also if someone doesn't have an existing mail account or wants to setup a
new account anyway, he should be served better than to be given the option
to get an account for Gandhi. There are a couple of free mail providers,
like Gmail of Hotmail, which have their own merits. A brief explanation of
the differences between such a free account, an address with their ISP and
a payed account and maybe a guide to help acquire an account for Gmail or
Hotmail is the least we could do. This is especially necessary, since
people don't always realize what an email client is or does and they don't
understand the difference between the program and the mail address.

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