[Nottingham] Thread #3: Awareness & Linux

Martin martin at ml1.co.uk
Mon Nov 14 00:43:55 GMT 2005


Any ideas and comments on how to promote a wide adoption of Linux?
Is this something we want to do even?

In extreme brief, my own viewpoint is that we have a fantastic volunteer 
effort that has created Linux and many open source projects that anyone 
can take advantage of completely for FREE. This works well and is 
tremendously valuable. Hence, everyone /should/ likewise contribute in 
whatever way they can or feel they should so that we keep open source 
alive, and so everyone benefits further.

(Similarly, NLUG exists only because we as a group make it exist.)

((And yes, I fully accept that reality and human nature doesn't fully 
support that ideal :-| ))

Our Awareness Days were a good success from those that cared and were 
able to help in whatever way, however small. We even had two good fun 
days at Green's Mill. However, despite our advertising efforts, I don't 
think we usefully raised any 'awareness' anywhere outside of our own group.

Brief thoughts are:

Advertising the event as "Linux Awareness Days" is useless. "Linux" as a 
word is meaningless to our target audience and "Awareness Day" sounds 
far too formal or even patronising;

Our target audience have Microsoft pre-installed (with no uninstall 
option) and do not know that there even is anything else or even that 
computer viruses need not exist;

Is there any motivation for people to change their operating system when 
they don't even know that they can? Let alone go to any inconvenience in 
doing so?

(Aside: "login" and "passwords" cause problems/resistance also.)

We've tried "Infopoints" at computer fairs (they should be a good 
target!) and had low interest. This was similar to what other groups 
have found for pushing their own "Infopoints".

I think we need another approach if we want to show to a wider group of 
people that Linux and Open Source are a Very Good Idea.

What do others think?


Martin Lomas
martin at ml1.co.uk

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