[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

SEUL: Fwd: A suggestion

I'm working with the LPR (linux public relations) project to help them
figure out what they're doing and should be doing. Figured I'd keep you
guys informed. Please don't mention the lpr project on slashdot or other
high-profile places -- they don't exist yet.

------- Forwarded Message

From: Roger Dingledine <arma@MIT.EDU>
To: lpr@mugu.chaotika.net
Cc: mark@linuxmall.com, seul@seul.org
Subject: [lpr] A suggestion
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 1998 03:50:55 EST

Ok. So I've read the archives, and I have a suggestion. It might be a good
suggestion; it might be a bad one. It might start a flamewar, but I hope
it'll be a polite one.

Why don't you guys narrow your focus for a while?

There are a lot of sites out there trying to advocate Linux, and it
would be a real shame for www.lpr.org to be just another one of them.

There are numerous excellent advocacy documents already written in our
community. Your task is not to go out there, read dozens of them, and
then write dozens more. There are better things to do. There are lots
of people working towards this goal -- you should pick one facet of Linux
publicity, and get really good at it. Then if it works out well and
people like your site and you've got a lot of volunteers (good volunteers,
that is), you can branch into another facet, etc.

Take a look at http://li.org/ for something that appears to have
covered the 'what is Linux' and 'history of Linux' front-page
articles. Our 'WhyLinux?' document, as well as the several dozen other
ones I've collated links to, do a pretty good job of covering the
'advantages and disadvantages of Linux' (I don't know why you guys
skipped over disadvantages. They're just as important.) I can keep
handing you webpages that have already covered pretty well any single
thing you're considering.

This implies that you should take on a more meta-advocacy role --
that of collating all the documents in a particular category,
evaluating them, annotating and maybe correcting them, and then
providing a good index into them or maybe a couple of summary

Possible categories include:
1. advantages/disadvantages of using linux/free software,
 a. from the point of view of a techie
 b. from the point of view of a business person
 c. from the point of view of a manager (different?)
 d. from the point of view of an end-user (home, education, ...)
2. Often-seen FUD tactics and countermeasures
3. Documents coaching Linux advocates on how to effectively convince
   other people of the benefits of free software. (different from 2?)
4. A list of all (!) the press articles about Linux, sorted (many
   different ways), annotated, and evaluated
5. A list of companies which offer Linux software or consulting
6. A list of commercial products which are sold for Linux
7. A list of commercial products which ought to be sold for Linux,
   possibly including contact info for the relevant companies and
   reports on their current status of conversion.

Anyway, you can see there are plenty of options. Here's a quote from a
mail Mark Bolzern sent me: (i've cc'ed him in this mail) (Mark -- LPR
is not yet a public group)

> But what about the doctor that could
> run his office better if someone would set a Linux Network up for him,
> and integrate some OpenSource code to do things he has not yet thought a
> computer could do?  All this while the consultant that he retains to
> tell him such things keeps insisting "Linux is neat, but I do what my
> customers ask for, and no one has ever asked me to do Linux". Until that
> Doctor asks him, he'll keep getting Microsoft crap.....
> Only by finding something that Linux does well that this doctor wants,
> and then presenting it to him that way will Linux get in the door.  And
> it won't be through the average "consultant" for the most part.  It'll
> be when this doctor hears from a peer a success story about the great
> things they have done, and he twists the consultant's arm that he should
> be able to do it too.
> This brings me to the key.  An organized army/database of documented
> success stories spanning the range of things people want to do, so that
> as quicly as possible a prospect can be matched up with what others like
> themselves have already done.  And then proceed to emulate it.
> The Traditional advocacy stuff is for techies.... and should be arranged
> as such, and as further reading for those interested in it.  Linux has
> mostly already conquered the true techie realm.... the real challenge is
> the unwashed masses that just want to get things done better, faster,
> cheaper, and without having to notice HOW it was done.  And getting them
> in turn to insist that their so call "consultants"  do what is best
> instead of what is easiest.  The news is good and gets their attention
> (for a brief time) but then if they don't find substance relevent to
> themselves quicly, it will pass them by as just another fad.  Getting
> their attention a second time wil be much tougher.
> I would sponsor such a project in a number of ways.  mtech started one a
> while back, but it was misguided in the questions it asked (for
> techies).

I agree with him that this would be an excellent thing to do.

Anyway, it looks like you have, in terms of resources, several people who
like doing graphics and layout, and think Linux is neat and deserving of
some good publicity pages. Do any of the above topics interest you?

Also -- I assume you know about http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~conradp/linux/pr/
which is the current "Linux PR Project"? (Though in their case, I think it's
press release, rather than public relations, so the namespace collision
won't be that bad.)

Thanks for your time,
(anybody mind if I forward this to seul-pub? They'd be interested in seeing
it. How 'private' is lpr currently?)

------- End of Forwarded Message