[ubuntu-uk] [Marketing] How to increase OSS Exposure

alan c aeclist at candt.waitrose.com
Tue Mar 11 21:40:41 GMT 2008

andy wrote:

> Whilst we want to push ubuntu as much as possible - pushing FLOSS 
> in general is going to help create an environment in which Ubuntu 
> can thrive.

The two issues:
1) Public awareness (and use) of FOSS (floss?), and
2) awareness (and use) of Ubuntu.

I display monthly at a local computer fair - both FOSS and Ubuntu,
and over a year I have noticed that attenders have now become
aware of Linux, probably from PC mag and media coverage, also anti
vista etc. They are not necessarily *using* it much, but there *is* an
awareness which simply was not there a year ago.

I also push FOSS - in the form of 'the Open CD'. My leaflets explain
and push FOSS, and they get taken. However, the requests are
invariably for the alternative to Windows - on my display it is
Ubuntu, and no requests come in for FOSS. In conversation it is easy to
get an OpenDisc (FOSS for windows) accepted, but the concept which is
now out there and happily bouncing around in the wild is 'the
alternative to windows'.

I think at this time with vista threatening and users already well
tired of being pushed around by M$, the concept of an Alternative OS
and reinforced with a wider emotional pitch of 'Freedom from feeling
Locked in!' is a powerful slant, and one which pushes on an open door.

Although the political and economic philosophies in FOSS are central
in my thinking, the message is a bit heavy to get across at any one
display event. Continuing to use the key words 'alternative' and
'freedom' (with the implied not 'locked in'), I find that discussions
of Open Office are fruitful - and this can often lead to an open disc
being taken.

Increasing use of Open Office is important however and whenever it is
prompted, because it underscores the FOSS ideas, and is good quality
stuff. Likewise Firefox is well known, and a Firefox banner will enable
people to identify with FOSS even though it is the only app they may
use currently. Thunderbird is a bit more of a commitment to get people
to take on, but it is a step closer to linux. These multi platform
apps are useful steps towards linux use, in fact, the very path I used

I have found that the strong branding that Ubuntu has is a very
important factor is getting recognition. I used to wonder why the tux
logo was not used in ubuntu, but only the ubuntu logo (brand). I now
think I know. Marketing a (wild) idea needs a clear focus, with no
confusion. Ubuntu branding works.

I have noticed that there is a layer of pre newbie and newbie
existence which is too timid to use LUGs (or even forums) directly.
Most windows users are quite anxious of doing anything major, even
though they are really fed up with what they have got. A bit of a chat
on the display stand seems very useful for them. One person visited
over months, then finally installed. It can take a really long time
for confidence to build up, much longer than one might expect. These
people feel very alone at first.

I certainly support the action of pushing ubuntu, and FOSS too. In
fact I think the Live CDs (not edubuntu live I think) have some
windows FOSS anyway (used in windows).

FWIW I find the the keywords

Alternative (to Windows)
Locked in

are worth considering just now.

Good hunting!
alan cocks
Kubuntu user#10391
Linux user #360648

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