[Linux-aus] Linux advertising ..the push to mainstream desktop acceptance?

Rohan M. rohbags at purplesock.net.au
Thu Jun 8 15:10:02 UTC 2006

Hi Janet,

> A dozen people and some businesses running open source is
> a goodly amount to have achieved. It all helps. And hopefully those
> people will be helping too in the longer term.
Thanks, and those people are already helping spread the word. Since I've
told those newly converted Linux users that I'm looking at setting up a
shop with some demo Linux PC's running and offering some arvo/night
courses to teach Linux to the home users, I've had about 6 people call me
up interested in learning more about Linux and free software. It's a great

>> This brings me to the point of the email, Linux Advertising - where is
>> it?
> Just my thoughts but advertising usually happens when people are aiming
> to make money because they are prepared to commit money to a project
> they are planning to have returns on.
I wasn't talking about specific advertising for my business, more the
generic adverts any other business could get to advertise microsoft
products by calling their local wholesaler. I'm know I'm still being vague
(thats because I'm not sure myself) but if you walk into almost any
computer store you will see the "where do you want to go today?" ads for
ms windows and office products but when did you ever see an ad for fedora
or gentoo or any other flavour?

Of course I'm prepared to commit money to advertising for my business, but
when did you hear of a business designing and paying for the M$ posters
you see in their stores? and again I know I could resale RHEL and get
their marketing material just like M$ would offer, but I'm talking about
free OS's for the average home users, sure RHEL is good for larger
businesses, but not for home users.

In this case, I would even be prepared to pay for the printing of material
myself, but there is no material to be found to send to a printer. Thats
more of a commitment that any other store would have to get their hands on
M$ marketing material to put in their store.

> Often volunteer groups are more informal about advertising because, as
> you are finding, it is quite easy to have a fulsome load of work using
> just word of mouth. There are some wikis that you can post your
> activities to and linuxau folk are interested in case studies to use to
> promote the kind of linux in the community projects youre talking about.
Could I get a link to the wikis and where would the Linuxau folk like the
info sent. I'll get a bit more organised and send something more formal
explaining the conversions if you'd like.

Just as a note, from my experience I have found there is two types of
computer users, those who care about their OS, and those who dont. Every
person I have converted to Linux for their home desktop has been over 45
years of age, only just been using a computer for 3 to 5 years(approx),
and didn't even understand what a virus was let alone why it was in their
They were all basic computer users with very little knowledge of how to
use windows.

The other type of user who does care about their OS is alot harder to
convince to go Linux, and even when you get them to go for a dual boot
setup often they have habits that are hard to break and they go back to
windows for even the most simple things - they are what I call 'ms
brainwashed'. No disrespect to them but they think they are smart but they
can't adapt to anything that isn't windows, or they just refuse to. They
are a hard market to crack.

Like I said those who happily went Linux were 45+, and if you asked them
about computers they would say "..hate the bloody things" or "..can just
turn 'em on and off and thats it!". They are they type who would typically
take their pc to the dump when it doesn't turn on or starts to play up,
and would go to harvey normal to buy a new one. I have even converted one
lady to Linux who's husband used to get so sick of her complaining about
the windows machine playing up that one day he literally threw the pc out
the door, then shot it with his shotgun (and no I'm not kidding!). That
lady has happily been using Linux for over 18 months now and even her kids
(ages 17, 20, 22) play games on the KDE desktop.

> There is a group called OSIA which you can join if youre a business
> aiming to work in the open source sector.
> http://www.osia.net.au/

>> I have an opportunity to open a shop in the rural areas of Darwin soon,
>> and of course I'm going to be pushing Linux as much as possible (no M$
>> posters in this shop!... I want Tuxes!). So far I haven't been able to
>> find anything in the way of advertising and/or marketing for Linux thats
>> as free and open as Linux itself.
> What specifically are you aiming to sell.
> This will help to make it clear whether a standard poster will help you
> or whether you need posters saying that you are purveying x service at x
> per hour and have a special coming up for new users.
Basically I'm a fedora core and gentoo guy, so I'm familiar with them and
easiest for me to support. I'm not looking for anything stating 'x service
at x per hour' or specials or anything like that, just stuff advertising
the distros them self (say gentoo and fedora). Even something generic
about the Linux kernel or the GNU/free software movement itself.

> Do you have good knowledge of specific distributions which you would
> like to promote?
I would have to say Fedora would be my main push (only because I'm most
familiar with it) but even if i cant find material to promote Fedora Core
as a distro something to promote Linux would be good enough.

> There are some nice posters available from ELX such as
> This one is very nice, informative and also generic.
> http://www.elx.com.au/item/anatomyposter
Yeah elx have lots of cool stuff and thats a cool poster for sure. I
looking  for something the average consumer walking past a store would see
and let them know there is an alternative.

> There is some chat and links to resources here:
> http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/guerrilla-marketing/
>> Does anyone know of a community project or the like that is making
>> available advertising and marketing materials for generic Linux use?
> Specific software projects and distributions will often have materials.
> http://drupal.org/node/10769

> Tux is available as a vector you can print out.
> http://www.isc.tamu.edu/~lewing/linux/
Thanks for the link, I guess if it come down to it I'll make my own up
using tux and some cool slogan and see what happens. But would it be
better if there was some kind of community project (Australian or other)
that was making available adverts and material to promote Linux in

> Based on your email you have some good case study examples for
> groups at the market running linux, and the people you are working with?
> Would it not be good to chat with them to produce a fact sheet which
> talks about a funky market stall using linux put them on your website as
> pdf files and share costs in the printing so that youre promoting both
> of your businesses? Same could apply to people if youre doing lots of
> support for people you could ask them if it is ok to do a factsheet
> about what they think about using linux and what they feel they are
> learning or gaining in the process?
Great ideas, really great ideas, thanks! I can think of two in particular
that would be great case examples. It may take me a little while to find
the time to complete them but I'll post a link to the linuxau list when
they are finished.

>> www.purplesock.net.au
> Cute website. =)
Thanks :)

> Was wondering which open source software project
> the paypal link contributes to?
I'm still trying to move bits and pieces from others sites to my main
purplesock.net.au one (actually I'm still trying to finish the website
itself). Mainly the paypal link is for the xmltv grabber I developed and
have been maintaining for over 4 years (tv_grab_au). The grabber has
actually been re-developed 3 times dues to legal 'hassles' from web sites
such as ebroadcast.com.au, HWW and au.tv.yahoo.com etc. Those who use
xmltv (freevo and mythtv users) would probably know how much of a pain in
the butt it has been to maintain that tool over the years. I have recently
completed a 'tv_grab_au_rage' which just grabs detailed data for rage each
week and a updated 'tv_grab_au' plus a 'tv_grab_au_other' which grabs much
cleaner detailed data from a website which doesn't want me to use as a
source. There are still a few things I need in place before I release the
new 'au_other' grabber and its holding back the 'au_rage' version.

The most current information about the grabber can be found here
http://www.onlinetractorparts.com.au/rohbags/xmltvau/ although thats just
a quick page I slapped up there about a year ago when I last *had* to
change data sources (its a long, long story). Apparently googling can find
links to the emails between myself and yahoo a&nz and ebroadcast that were
posted on that onlinetractorparts.com.au site for a short while.

I am also working on a few freevo mods/plugins as well as a lot of old
programs Ive wanted to release for a while. I am also working on some
other projects that I hope to release very soon.

The site is unfinished and the 'projects' and 'examples' sections are
waiting to be completed. I'm sorry if the paypal request and an empty
projects section put you off at all.



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