[Linux-aus] LWE Marketing Strategy

Leon Brooks leon at cyberknights.com.au
Sun May 22 13:14:02 UTC 2005

On Sunday 22 May 2005 10:47, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> <quote who="Leon Brooks">
>> I just want to be sure that this was _only_ a light-hearted suggestion
>> and will not actually be implemented, resulting in the complete and
>> lasting alienation of at least a third of our "market".

> Leon, I'm disappointed.

I me squeaking, or agreeing? I am too, but you get that.

Sigh. This is going to come across as leadenly unimaginative and old-fogey, 
but please persevere 'coz it's important.

I like shocking people as much as the next man, even if he _is_ on the 
opposite edge of Australia, but In Real Life(tm) for every recruit you'd 
pick up through this kind of wit, you'd permanently lose several others 
through disgust, and prejudice away maybe ten or twenty times as many 
through hearsay.


And without the "seriously" the humour just becomes frenetic and desperate. 
You're a bright boy, but please don't go nova with this. You (and on this 
list picking another dozen or so people with sparkling wit and the joi de 
vive to carry this off well is unusually easy) can surely think of scores 
of brilliant and double-take-causing slogans without descending to what 
many people will regard as witless vulgarity.

In the days of FidoNet, while you were literally still in nappies, Bret 
would regularly have been censured for Too Easily Annoyed, so it's unusual 
for me to support any of his ideas. On the other hand, I'm not going to 
_not_ support an idea just because he was first to voice it. It's an open 
source kind of approach to value the idea independently of the author, 
which is exactly why your one-blog-post-can-change-paradigm post to 
OSIA-discuss is true.

However, every such vein of gold is buried in much dross and overburden, 
and I'm sure at least 90% of this readership will know what I mean when I 
speak of the "SlashDot attitude" representing that dross.

If Linux Australia is to be taken to heart it must be both lively 
("vivacious" is close to what I want here, but this dictionary - 
http://www.answers.com/vivacious&r=67 - missed "perky" as a synonym) and 
perceived as socially reliable. This is almost a contradiction in terms, 
but IMESHO this collection of geniuses together can achieve it without 
descending to either pedantic, politically correct legalism or gratuitous 

There's a quote from one of my daughter's books which I think is worth 
aiming for:

     Susan:      Is he safe?
     Mr Beaver*: No, but he is good. 

Getting carried away and letting the cheap humour drive out the excellent 
will unfortunately torpedo that. A few individuals, no worries, but to 
have the organisation as a whole seen as carelessly vulgar would be bad.

So... slogan time, take two. Polite but not wimpy. Go.

    Yoda in thongs, stubbies and LA tee-shirt, offering CD:
      "Use the Source, Mate!"

    No licence key? No worries.
    [Image of Tux with foot on downed croc or croc slung over shoulder,
     FOSS boomerang in hand, make croc look recognisably like Bill;
     hmm, could we somehow do an Aboriginal Tux without offending
     anyone? Must ask a specialist]
    Linux. The safer option.

Must also ask my teenager for some clues. Something that NovaFM listeners 
would like.

Cheers; Leon

* no, Susan is _not_ talking to her... self.
http://cyberknights.com.au/     Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/       Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/            Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://osia.net.au/             Member, Open Source Industry Australia
http://linux.org.au/            Member, Linux Australia

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