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The Concept of Marketing and Free Open Source Software
I believe this might be a strange topic to introduce on Free Open Source Software. I don't pretend to lecture anyone, or even pass on my concepts, on the contrary; I would love to see the community develop it's own concepts and specially to sensibilize them that at some point, they can dare a step further.
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not."
My belief is that the community should develop it's own marketing and call it what it really is... openSUSE, Fedora Project, Debian, Slackware, etc. I don't believe that for such important task as marketing a free software community should be guided by hard coded concepts. Marketing can be complicated if taken beyond the limits of experience. One of the strongest characteristics of Free Open Source Software projects is innovation. My only speculation about the future, is that free software will eventually become a trend.
"“I think that the trend toward freedom is virtually irreversible ... these folks are too young and too vigorous.”
Within this presentation I would like to present the community the Marketing Concept as it was shown to me. This was subject for an entire semester with Dr. Francisco Coelho who also run an awesome marketing blog (Portuguese). One of the people I respect most and from whom I believe to have learned that there are always several scopes for the same subject.
Maybe some of the concepts introduced here, or in some cases re-introduced, can help you find guidance on your project and venture... or may them provide at least a schematic that can earn life into something meaningful.
My goal is simple: if I can't make you more sensible to marketing role, at least you can be a more sensible consumer.
This presentation is based on Mr. Francisco Coelho's session slides and on contents I researched for an academical paper. It also expresses some of my positions regarding Free Open Source Software and Linux Distributions. This work has a huge dose of 'personal scope'.
I would like to leave a special thanks for the following organizations or persons. Much of the motivation to accomplish this project came from them. Thanks for making me believe.
- Robyn Bergeron - Fedora Marketing Team;
- Andreas Jaeger - openSUSE Marketing Team;
- Carlos Ribeiro - openSUSE Ambassador for Brazil;
- Gnokii - openSUSE Artwork Team;
- The openSUSE Conference Committee;
- The Fedora Project Community;
- The openSUSE Community;
- Portuguese Speaking Community on openSUSE;
- Enthusiasts and contributors from free open source software.
openSUSE Conference 2010
The Organization has spared some detailed information on the openSUSE Conference 2010 Portal to help our visitors:
- How to get there!
- Where we stay!
- Promotional Artwork
- Conference Hotels
- Conference Map
- etc, more details on the Portal wiki.
The events official sponsors are:
Photos taken from the Portal:
#1 - Title
#2 - Scope of Marketing Activities
This slide should be self explanatory. The main goal is to make the audience sensible to the fact that marketing is present in many ways in our day to day life. Marketing can be applied to nearly any aspect of human life.
Many of us are aware of the story behind "Adam and Eve", this was pointed to me as one of the first 'documented' marketing experiences, the snake luring Adam and Even into sin. There are countless examples, the ones presented seem reasonable within the scope of Free Open Source Software.
The concept of 'service' won't be approached during this presentation, but it would be interesting for people to be aware off, specially because it is build strongly around people, openSUSE through my eyes is exactly this: A service that is not only a piece of software with all the ideals and it's own philosophy, but also the set of people which orbit around it. It would be interesting and promising if such happens in a larger scale. It is already present in many ways.
#3 - Markets
This slide is also very self explanatory, there are several markets which influence our day to day life. Marketing does provide some methods and processes to improve your interaction with such. This could also be applied to your personal project or venture, even within the 'realm' of Free Open Source Software.
You don't really need much marketing if the 'demand > supply', but if it's the other way around 'demand < supply' you for sure could use some marketing. I am not the person to do such assessment on open communities, but it would be interesting to figure out how each distribution does face this concept, considering their current organizational goals and philosophies.
#4 - The Concept of Trade
Far before there was any 'currency' there was already trading. Much of what I've seen around, as much of the attacks I've been parrying are related to 'sale' concepts. It is important to drop this 'sale' concepts and engage on the real concept: _trade_. This is far easy to understand concept, and it is deeply related to Free Open Source Software:
- There is the freedom to 'accept' or 'reject';
- Desire to interact with the other part (?);
- At least 2 parties involved;
- Capacity to communicate (?);
- 'something' with value (openSUSE vs Feedback?).
I believe that the sooner we understand this concept, the better. On a typical sales operation, your revenue is defined by 'income, profit, etc'. Trading in openSUSE and Free Software in general also involves profit, though it's not measured in 'monetary units' or 'currency'. Profit in Free Software is:
- Social Profit...
We need to explore this concept and make it clear to our community. For example, many of our Ambassadors do distribute an awesome amount of media through enthusiasts. There is a trade as long as they return some qualitative feedback! Are we getting that feedback? What is failing on our 'trading'?
This can also be applied in the relations between several projects in openSUSE! This is by far one concept that needs to be worked and developed within the community as it represents the operational goals of our organization.
I can't say this concepts should be set on stone, on the contrary, they should take people to think a bit. This are the key concepts that I believe the community should be aware off. I'm pretty sure they don't represent nothing new, hopefully just a new perspective on your subject, which might be very well openSUSE.
- Reference - Slide #XY
- Reference - Slude #XY
Message to the Community
Feel free to look around for some references. If you believe they are uncomplete, please consider adding them. All information is welcome regarding this event.
- Presentation Template - ODP
- This Article - PDF