[Linux-aus] Wrong medium, wrong market

Jeff Waugh jdub at perkypants.org
Sat Dec 10 20:43:02 UTC 2005

<quote who="James Purser">

> 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.

Okay, what's your television message for Software Freedom Day, and why is a
general television audience going to care? It may be important to us, but it
is waaaay beyond "niche interest" to the rest of the population. There is a
market for SFD, and it's not my Mum. Sorry, but for this conversation, she's
going to be the benchmark.

> > ...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".

You want to advertise a philosophy, a brand, an event, an organisation, or a
solution? What's the message? *None* of this is going to be relevant to a TV
audience. Even a catchy jingle for 'software freedom' is going to sound like
an acid-inspired Cantonese opera on trapeze about dogs playing poker to this
audience. There are vastly better venues for LA to direct its advocacy

> How does our industry become more relevant to the consumer market if the
> consumer doesn't know it's there?

Three answers:

 a) Because we're already relevant in the consumer market *specifically* in
 the cases they don't know it's there! (cf. Tivo, countless other examples)

 b) By building solutions people want, and going out there to sell them. LA
 is not in this game. Consumers are not LA's target market. Going for that
 market is not 'quality growth' for Linux Australia. There are great places
 we can direct our energies: early adopters, government, education, and in
 some edge cases, business.

 c) This is *TOTALLY* not LA's responsibility or competency. Hardly any of
 the major FOSS businesses are targeting a consumer market either - and
 there are good reasons for that.

- Jeff

linux.conf.au 2006: Dunedin, New Zealand               http://linux.conf.au/
              What do you give a bird when it has a headache?

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