Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-marketing (129 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-marketing] How not to market free software
  • From: Graham Lauder <graham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 00:42:40 +1200
  • Message-id: <200908280042.40979.graham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 08:22:28 Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier wrote:
This is less openSUSE specific and more for discussion about the best
ways to talk about free and open source software.

Let me preface this by saying, I certainly respect the FSF and the
work they've done over the years. But they shouldn't be allowed near
advertising at any cost.

Case in point, the "defective by design" campaign. It's relentlessly
negative. It offers few, if any, alternatives. It doesn't consider the
perspective of the "average" users who don't view software as an
ethical consideration. It's like a PETA campaign, but based around
software. I may agree with some of PETA's goals, but their tone and
general negativity push me away -- and so does this.

The "Windows 7 Sins" that was recently launched is just plain awful.
Sorry, I am sure people worked hard on this, and their hearts are in
the right place. (Metaphorically speaking. I'm not a cardiologist, so
I'm not qualified to judge medically...)

I bring this up because I think it's important to focus on the
positives and benefits of FOSS and openSUSE, not to try to say "use
openSUSE because the other guys suck."

I'm going to agree and disagree.
I agree that we should never market OpenSuSE this way or any open source
project for that matter.

But I disagree that the FSF should not have done this.

The FSF is not a sales organisation, it is not even a marketing organisation,
it is a pressure group and this sort of thing is great for that sort of lobby
group, they deal in politics not sales, in opinions not volume. The FSF is
not expecting everyone to use it's material in other marketing campaigns. It
is however getting information out there and creating debate and discussion.
(This is not the only List I'm on that is going on about this) There has to
be an organisation that can promote an extreme agenda to counter the opposite
extreme and the FSF fills that role admirably. Their action allows the rest
of us to be more reasonable and positive.

Of course each of those points they made is stored away for future
reference... just in case. ;)

As the old tenet goes: For every negative, find three positives (But if you
want to win make sure that the one negative outweighs all the positives :) )



Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier <jzb@xxxxxxxxxx>
openSUSE Community Manager:
Blogs: |
Twitter: jzb | Identica: jzb

Graham Lauder,

INGOTs Assessor Trainer
(International Grades in Office Technologies) MarCon (Marketing Contact) NZ

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