[Linux-aus] Sam did better with this one

Jeff Waugh jdub at perkypants.org
Mon Jul 7 09:55:02 UTC 2003

<quote who="Con Zymaris">

> And it's not as if Sam is anti-Linux or FOSS-community.

You'd have to wonder, from some of the articles he's written. I'm not sure
his approach is appropriately dispassionate (for an "editor" at a major,
highly respected newspaper), or altogether professional. Many of his
articles seem to have a conclusion before investigation. (I'm certainly not
dispassionate in this criticism, because I have been squarely in his sights
in the past. Still shocked and amazed.)

> Perhaps this episode points to a problem with the rather disjointed
> approach that the FOSS community in this country has to PR. I don't have a
> solution, save to suggest that handling this aspect of press-relations is
> generally what commercial firms do with aplomb. 

Lots of projects have excellent press relations, and that's where the PR is
important. The "FOSS community", outside understandable project boundaries,
is a noisy mess, and that's fine. We're not one voice.

A valuable PR skill is figuring out who you don't want to work with, and
whether that choice will have a negative impact on your message. Personally,
I would not take a story to Sam when I could take it to Nathan Cochrane, or
another publication entirely (especially internationally op'ed pubs).

However, there are a number of journalists who can be terribly childish if
let loose with no information, so it is always good to feed them. Perhaps
Sam is one of these, I don't know.

But Sam's approach to journalism (and there's really no point giving him
credit for being involved in the community) is not a failing of FOSS PR. :-)

- Jeff

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