New York Times advertisement for Ubuntu

steve at steve at
Tue Nov 13 01:16:36 GMT 2007

Steve Anderson here - just wanted to say this idea and all the small  
onces within it sound great to me.

I'm open to these ideas and others concerning COANews and CFIA/
-I think socialway is in a good position to be part of such a  
democratic media platform.

One idea might be to make this a kind of broad association for  
open-source/free software that could undertake the projects Ben  

Here's something like this for Canada:

The CFIA would most definately join depending on the membership fee,  
and probably also another group I coordinate Canadians for Democratic  

on a side note there will be a cool viral video launching in the a  
next week or so that will show people (in an entertaining way) that  
online proprietary software limits our ability to communicate etc...  
and also promote open-source software as an alternative. I attached a  
very bad moch up of the launch site. If any open-source groups want to  
be listed as "resources" on the launch page let me know. All you have  
to do is send and email about the video to your networks and embed the  
video if possible(on the day of launch). I expect the launch page will  
get lots of traffic.

lots of potential here,

Quoting Benjamin Melançon <pwgdarchive at>:

> It's a lot (probably too much) to ask any group or organization to be
> the first, but we the people who give a damn about our human condition
> have to break a dependence on media that help the unconscionable
> become accepted.
> I'll limit the political argument to an old post:
> So, what's the practical situation?
> There are a few things that should be in place before any expensive outreach:
> 1.  Ability to take tax-deductible donations
> 2.  Constituent/donor relationship management tools
> 3.  Press and public outreach / inquiry handling... actually, a
> comprehensive marketing strategy.  Probably (I may be wrong) more time
> and effort has to be spent on that before any ad makes sense as *part*
> of an overall marketing strategy.
> What's the Ubuntu equivalent, for instance, to the site
> of a couple years ago?
> Is Ubuntu itself where Firefox was two years ago?  Hands-down better
> than the Microsoft alternative in virtually every respect?  Damn
> close, actually, but ... ?
> Does anyone have records of adoption rates, media buzz, and donations
> surrounding the Firefox NYT ad?  How much did it really do?
> Furthermore we're asking people to change their operating system,
> which despite the free live CD is a lot bigger request than
> downloading a web browser.  This in itself may encourage the deeper
> sort of interaction that may be possible with a more decentralized
> campaign than a single high profile NYT ad.
> What I, personally, want is a "PowerToUbuntu" web site where I, and
> anyone else interested, can put up money toward our must-have
> features– a funding model for free software that uses the strength of
> openness to the greatest advantage for the software, its (potential)
> users, and developers.  We'll be getting web sites like this up for
> Drupal and GNU-Linux as soon as we can get around to it.
> ** ATTENTION: this idea is worth reading even if you hate everything else:
>  Funding "adoption studies" to bring various people (inner city
> schoolteacher, country mother, small-business owner, college student,
> nonprofit executive, newspaper reporter, First Peoples reservation
> family) into the Ubuntu universe *with* a sophisticated media strategy
> to get as much free news attention as possible, which would be a hell
> of a lot more than an ad, *and* with money to fund targeted
> development for overcoming the sticking points any of these people
> encounter–  well, yeah, we're probably over $250,000 now but we're
> building something real and valuable and ours, and I would put $1,000
> toward it.  Someone register the Ubuntu Project .com or something.
> ** ok you can go back to ignoring me now **
> Taking the more narrow 'get a message in front of a lot of people' approach:
> Alternative to NYT #1 (the big leap of faith)
> Give a few key web developers (shameless plug:
> + + ... ) $250,000 over
> 18 months and we'll build a democratic communication infrastructure
> that will reach more than a million people more effectively than the
> New York Times can.
> You'll never be able to calculate in advance exactly how many people
> you can reach for how much money in a communication system where
> extent of distribution is decided democratically, but it's going to be
> a very long time before Ubuntu could compete with Microsoft in
> ad-buying power even if we wanted to.  Once an under-no-one's-control,
> filtered-by-everyone (a bit at a time) media system is built, though,
> it's free for everyone.
> (And it could so have a powered by Ubuntu button on every page, or a
> more general Free Software link that highlights Ubuntu if we stick
> with Debian!)
> Alternative to NYT #2 (building on what our allies for humanity are
> already doing)
> Contact Steve Anderson of  (CCd) and throw a
> thousand dollars his way to survey COA News *many* affiliates (and
> other independent media you think of, I've got a list growing in my
> head) about taking an Ubuntu ad and what their reach is.  I think
> you'll get a better audience at better cost than the New York Times.
> Combine 1 and 2 a little and help Anderson's Center for Information
> Awareness adopt and integrate independent media and support of free
> software messages into just-adopted (as open source and nonprofit)
> (Agaric Design Collective is serving as technical consultant, but
> we're out of our league.)
> Any Java developers out there?
> In solidarity in any case,
> benjamin melançon
> - open source free software web development
> Did I mention that I thought that being 501c3 and taking donations was
> important?  If you think any of these ideas are so crazy they just
> might work, send a tax-deductible contribution to an organization
> founded to build democratic communications technology and
> infrastructure!   The *only* group officially recognized by the
> commonwealth of Massachusetts and the U.S. government as:
> People Who Give a Damn, Inc.
> P.O. Box 241
> Natick, MA 01760
> (We'd take donations online but we don't believe in the Internet.  OK,
> OK, it's coming.)

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