[Linux-aus] Organizing an Australian Open Source Roadshow?

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Thu Jan 29 14:32:02 UTC 2004

On Thu, Jan 29, 2004 at 04:48:35PM +1100, Stewart Smith wrote:
> On Thu, 2004-01-29 at 12:55, Ryan Verner wrote:
> > Agreed entirely, but that 'other face' does need to be distinctly 
> > unique from the other body.  Where does LA stand though; are we 
> > focussing on the developer community, on the user/corporate community, 
> > or both?
> Our trend has been to focus on our members - the majority of which is
> the technical community. This does not mean that things for non-tech
> people/groups are a bad thing - but we do have to focus on those people
> who fund us (through the conf) - i.e. what they want and what will
> service them.

Let me give you some context. 

The national industry body will be run along very similar lines to
existing state-level organisations. I know OSV best, so I'll use that as a

OSV has over 100 industry members. 

My calculations would indicate that there would be 300-500 open source
industry entities at a national level. Almost all of these are 

80% of OSV's members are not interested in Linux Australia. Nor are they 
interested in AUUG.

OSV is not focussed on any technical aspects of FOSS at all and only 
tangentially on the 'community'

Most of OSV's core are also the same people who do do serious 'tech' and 
fully support the 'community' but OSV is not the vehicle through which 
these interest manifest.

The focus is purely and simply on growing the for-profit FOSS-oriented 

As part of this, we strongly advocate increased use of FOSS in
schools, government and business. 

More importantly, we don't work at the grass-roots level, but at the
decision maker level.

Let me give an example. We are not likely to organise an event to
deploy Linux at a school (happy to help LUV do this) but we _have_ been
talking to a number of groups at the Victorian Department of Education for
around 18 months. We are working with them to get FOSS into every public
school in the state. We have also provided 2000 FOSS CDs to most of the 
state's private and public school IT teachers, are working with the 
Victorian IT Teachers Association to raise awareness and use of FOSS in 
all schools and are running a series of FOSS training nights for IT 
teachers over the coming year. We're also publishing HOWTO articles on 
specific FOSS apps in the VITTA journal, which reaches 2,500 IT teachers 
around the country.

We are doing similar levels of work at a state and federal government,
industry development, local-government and business-sector level where we
will work with the legal-sector, accounting-sector, engineering-sector 
(and many more) peak bodies to reach down into their members.

Guys, this is just the tip of the iceberg that we have been able to do in 
just a few months. 

OSV has no organisational structure. No paid staff. No elevtions. No
formal meetings. Nothing. It focusses attention purely on achieving
specific aims. The same will occur for the national body, but on a more
co-ordinative level. A national industry body will carry considerably more
weight when dealing with larger organisational instruments, however, such
as the federal government.

I also re-iterate my earlier comments. I've been part of programming
'geek-space' since 1979 and working with FOSS since the late '80s. I fully
appreciate the qualities of the broader community. I also understand that
the rest of the world, particularly any government-in-power and
business-people, couldn't care less. I want to re-fashion our approach,
using essentially the same people, to speak at their level, using language 
and syntax they know, and a motivation they can understand. 
Business-people understand the profit imperative. They can therefore 
understand a FOSS industry cluster whose members are out to make a buck. 
Same goes for government. They are not used to procurement from a 

I guess the reality is, we will proceed with this national FOSS industry
venture and it will either fly or sink. However, the genuine intention is
there and the aims we are striving to fulfill are generally commensurate
with both LA's and AUUG's aims, but with a different focus and different
target groups.  The end-game results in a very complimentary dovetailing,
with minimal overlap.

Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne 03 9621 2377 
Cybersource: Unix/Linux, TCP/IP and Web App. Development  www.cyber.com.au

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