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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: (was Re: Ooo blog)
Date Mon, 11 Jul 2011 11:36:36 GMT
On Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 7:06 AM, Graham Lauder <> wrote:
> On Sat, 2011-07-09 at 11:12 +0100, David McKay wrote:
>> <snip>
>> On 09/07/11 07:58, eric b wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > The .org is and was always essential to the community.
>> >
>> Why? Out of the folk on the OOo forum who expressed an opinion to me, no
>> one liked it. It was a perpetual reminder that the product couldn't be
>> called what they really wanted it to be called: OpenOffice. I greatly
>> prefer Apache OpenOffice to Apache
>> Dave.
> As Peter Junge has stated, this discussion has a repetitive deja vu feel
> about it.

It would only be repetitive if circumstances were the same. They
aren't.  Perhaps the full magnitude of this has not hit, but things
are very different now.  The move from a corporate-led open source
project to a community-led project at Apache is as big as the initial
move to open source.  *Everything* is open for discussion. Not to bore
people, of course.  But to 1) Get everyone up to speed on why
decisions were made before, and 2) Validate whether prior decisions
are still the optimal decisions.

> There are number of most excellent things about the name,
> none of which relate to people who are involved in the community and
> this includes the people at OOoForum, they don't need to.  It does
> however have beneficial effects for the New User or New Client which of
> course the Marketing project thinks of constantly.

And of course the non-ideal thing is that users, for the most part,
don't call it by that name.  They just call it "OpenOffice".

A good example of the ideal situation is when you have trademarks in
"Coca-Cola", "Coke" and "The Real Thing", along with dozens of other,
related terms.  So you have a trademark in all the terms that you use
to refer to your product, and via your advertising campaigns and
product branding, you reenforce those names with the consumer.  So
today, almost no one refers to Coke via the generic term "cola".
Everyone calls it by one of its trademarked names.

> It tells this New Client, who may not be at all familiar with, or even
> heard the name, a number of things.  It tells them that it is open, and
> so it starts to introduce the concept of open source or reinforces the
> idea for someone who is looking for Open Source Solutions.  It tells
> them that it is an office type application and it tells them that it is
> a web based project with the .org on the end and at the same time gives
> them the web address.  For the web savvy user, the .org tells them that
> there is a noncommercial organisation in place, a community in other
> words.

But the user still calls it OpenOffice or Open Office, not  See, for example, this chart of search traffic for
each of these terms:

I agree with you that it is important to get across that this product
is an office suite, community led, etc.  But I'm not sure, that in
2011, it is as necessary for our name to point out that we have a web
presence.  Anyone who types "OpenOffice" or "Open Office" into their
search engine will find the project immediately.

> It is a webaddress, which is important in a product whose entire
> distribution of product and collateral is webbased.  Not,
> not, which people would more likely put into an address
> bar, but, clear, precise, no confusion, put
> in your address bar or google and the new user will get
> to where they need to go.
> The name is not about what the community feels comfortable with.  It is
> however about branding
> Branding needs continuity
> Branding is client focussed.

Good points.  But shouldn't we acknowledge that a branding that the
users don't use is probably suboptimal?

> The brand is 14 characters strung together in a very recognisable
> format, Upper case Os in OpenOffice with dot and lower case o on org.
>  In text on a page of typeface it is recognisable
> without bugs like the "gulls". The diminutive in the format OOo is as
> recognisable.  Google it sometime.
> The OOo community has always been well known for the strength of it's
> marketing.  Diluting the brand by dropping the .org or tacking Apache
> (which has even lower brand recognition in our target market) on the end
> is, from a marketing POV, close to suicidal.  Where marketing requires
> brand development with zero budget, it makes the marketers job very
> difficult because changing the name throws away 10 years of marketing
> collateral.

It might help to define some metrics that reflect what success looks
like.  Hopefully we'd agree that what the community thinks about the
historic branding is important, but might not be the overriding
concern.  The impact on the users is the critical thing.

> It needs to be left as is.  If the Apache rules say that "Apache" has to
> be appended, then the rule needs changing.  I'd be happy to dump the
> gulls and add the feather as a bug.  I'd be happy to add "by apache" as
> a tagline.  But is the name of the software, the website
> and the community, it should remain unsullied and unaltered.
> Unless of course someone can come up with several hundred thousand for a
> marketing budget to launch a new global brand.

I suppose the question is this:  If after 10 years most users still
refer to the product as "Open Office" or "OpenOffice" rather than the
product's trademarked name, then what is most likely to occur:

1) That with zero marketing budget we convince users to refer to the
product as "", something we never accomplished in 10

2) We convince them to call it "Apache OpenOffice"?

3) We have zero impact on what the users call it, and the debate is
really about what the community calls the product?

I don't think it is worth having a big debate if this is really, in
the end, just #3.


> Cheers
> GL
> --
> Graham Lauder,
> MarCon (Marketing Contact) NZ
> Migration and training Consultant.

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