[Linux-aus] Wrong medium, wrong market

James Purser purserj at k-sit.com
Sat Dec 10 17:52:02 UTC 2005

On Sat, 2005-12-10 at 20:12 +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> Why is it a good idea for Linux Australia to spend its money this way? What
> benefit does television advertising have for LA's constituents (users and
> developers of FOSS)? What kind of message could LA deliver that would help
> its constituents and be relevant to a television audience at the same time?

Okay first things first, I agree that tv advertising for an event like
LCA is pretty stupid and a waste of money, time and effort. However the
other side of the coin is Software Freedom Day, an event aimed at
introducing both Linux and the FOSS philosophy to the general public.
Both of the previous events are supported by LA.

> ...but because television audiences are so entirely irrelevant to LA, and
> its goals as an organisation.

I have to respectfully disagree here. Linux Australia is no longer just
an organising committee for the LCA, nor is it just a sort of super LUG.
Instead over the last three years it has positioned itself more and more
as the leading voice for the F/OSS community in Australia, and in
supporting events such as Software Freedom Day we are trying to reach
out to those television audiences with our message. Whether it's on the
street dressed in a Tux costume or on TV the message is still the same,
"Come on in the waters fine".

> It is not LA's responsibility to answer Microsoft's brand advertising. As
> our industry becomes more relevant to the consumer market, companies will
> step up to the plate to do that. Our audience - as in, Linux Australia's
> audience - is something else entirely.

How does our industry become more relevant to the consumer market if the
consumer doesn't know it's there? This is the chicken and the egg
situation. The vendors aren't going to start targeting  the consumer
until the consumer shows an interest, but the consumer can't show an
interest until they know whats there.

No it's not LA's job to counter Microsoft or any other vendor, this is
something that I am very definite on, LA cannot afford to even have the
appearance of supporting one vendor over the other. In  no way am I
suggesting that LA go around advertising say Debian over Redhat, this
would completely corrupt any sort of respect and pull the organisation

> The kind of market that LA should be targeting (if at all) is early adopters
> of information technology. You *won't* get to them (us!) via television. We
> are a tough demographic to crack, and hopefully we're smart enough to grok
> that conventional advertising is not going to be effective for people like
> us. Right?

heh even geeks are human :) Yes this is a market we need to target and
by and large we have been doing so, but we cannot afford to ignore

> *If* there is some consensus that LA needs to do more brand awareness and
> advocacy, then that is the market to go for. Not our collective theoretical
> Mums.

Well you met my mum at SLUG last month, I may be biased but she is also
the sort of person we want to be targeting.

After all that I can see where you're coming from about much of the
above, and realistically LA isn't going to be in a position to be able
to do TV advertising for a while, if ever. However there are other
avenues that we can take that will give us the benefit of greater
exposure to the masses without breaking the bank.

Finally I would just like to say, that even if this idea turns out to be
a complete dog, I think it's important to have these discussions, so
that we can thrash out the best method of getting LA's message out

Thanks :)
James Purser
Chief Talking Guy - Linux Australia Update
http://k-sit.com - My Blog
http://la-pod.k-sit.com - Linux Australia Update Blog and Forums
Skype: purserj1977

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