Again: Advertising thoughts

Richard Reichenbacher richard5 at
Mon Jul 16 03:24:58 CEST 2007

The average person doesn't care about open source though.  They don't care
if their web browser was written and closed by M$ or if it was written by a
17yr old pimple faced high schooler that wanted to free the internet.  As
long as they can look at MySpace and YouTube they're perfectly content.


As far as educating the public about the beauties of Linux, I'm all for it.
However marketing is not the place to be doing that.  The idea with
marketing is to make the product wanted by showing people why they need the
product.  Sell the product first, then educate the public about it.


As far as the average consumer not being an idiot, I'm sorry to say but
that's just plain false.  Like I said, if you've ever worked IT helpdesk
before you'll understand, if you haven't find a friend that has and ask him
what his take is on the average computer user.  I've been working my way
through college working various helpdesk jobs and every one of them is
exactly the same.  I wish this wasn't the case but without 85% of the world
being almost completely computer illiterate I would probably be out of the
job and flipping burgers to get my engineering degree.


From: community-bounces at
[mailto:community-bounces at] On Behalf Of Jae Stutzman
Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2007 5:40 PM
To: community at
Subject: Re: Again: Advertising thoughts


On 7/15/07, Richard Reichenbacher <richard5 at> wrote:

You need to think about the average everyday human being here.  If you've
ever worked help desk you might have a general understanding of how very
little your average person knows about computers.  Hell even most of the IT
people I've worked with had little to no  idea what Linux is all about.  So
when advertising to the mass market, saying that it's based on GNU/Linux
means absolutely nothing to these people.  The more complicated it sounds to
them, the less likely they are to buy it.


One of the most alluring things about the iPhone is that you can give it to
ANYBODY and within minutes they will be able to use just about every feature
of the phone, even if there aren't all that many.  If this phone is going to
make it in the real world then it needs to be useable and enjoyable to use,
by everyone from Linus Torvalds himself, to Joe Bloe the milkman that never
owned a cell phone before in his life and it needs to marketed the same way.
Just about everyone in the open source community already knows about
OpenMoko and what it's capable of, next step is letting the rest of the
world know.



I agree that it needs to be usable, of course. But part of the issue is that
there needs to be some consumer education as well. The openmoko project can
be an ambassador of the FOSS world to Joe consumer. If the argument is that
the average person doesn't know what Linux is, then openmoko can
demonstrated it. What is the point of all this anyways: promoting freedom.
The consumer isn't an idiot, although MS would want us all to believe it. If
you don't like Linux use "Powered by FOSS". But don't believe the FUD. 

If we don't get the message out, we are doing all of ourselves a disservice
in the long run.


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