[Linux-aus] Media Contact and FOSS education

Pia Smith pia at linux.org.au
Fri Feb 13 05:36:01 UTC 2004

Hi all,

I want to clear up that last year I was the Press Officer for Linux
Australia. I am very keen to continue that role this year, and realise
there is a need for a dedicated team due to the pure amount of FUD out
there, misinformation and increased interest in FOSS. In the same thread
I'm interested in collaborating with other groups to further promote and
educate about FOSS with a united front. There are many stakeholders now
in getting the right message out. LUGs, many vendors and businesses,
developers, and there is no reason why we can't band together for a
common goal.

I think that more than a media team is necessary, so many people are
standing up and saying 'I know what open source is' and there isn't a
mechanism to get the right word out clearly and loudly. I think two
things are needed:

1) Linux Australia certainly needs a better media group. I like the idea
of a group of people that work with the Press Officer, so that there is
a central point of contact to a group of dedicated media people. That
way we have the resources to both react appropriately and actively seek
opporunities for good publicity, as well as having the consistent
message and face. Currently Linux is a popular buzzword, and people are
asking us the questions, so we should rise to the challenge. The group
would have to be fairly small as has been suggested. Possibly 4 people?
Any volouteers? I have a few suggestions if no one puts their hands up
:) If everyone thinks this would be advantageous I will bring it to the

1) An independent group of people, (that is accountable to all parties
involved) to collaborate and figure out some strategies. That's right,
strategies :) not just random shooting in the dark, reactive flock
following. The direction of FOSS has been dictated by the wrong parties
for too long, and although we can't assume to change it quickly, we need
to take the opportunity by the throat. We are in a unique time, Linux
and Open Source are the buzzwords (as much as we may or may not like
them), governments and corporates are interested, and most importantly
government contracts are starting to come up, and FOSS is being
considered. We need to get the right word out, and backed by enough
relevant parties to be louder than any single voices in the dark. We
need to get somewhat organised.

I have a few ideas for this, but would suggest Open Source Australia.
Regardless of what we think of the term, it has become a point of
reference, and highly over-used and thus recognised one. That is an
important point, we need to maintain points of reference that are
understood outside our world.

Anyway, just to throw fat into the fire, I'm looking forward to losing
my weekend over this ;)

Pia Smith <pia at linux.org.au>
Linux Australia

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