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From Ian Lynch <>
Subject Re: Marketing events
Date Wed, 10 Oct 2012 09:23:53 GMT
> > +1, this is just brainstorming about something of common interest so at
> > this stage its best to be as public as possible. If there is a clear
> > proposal outside the scope of ASF then we should move it outside.
> OK.
> > The issue of funding people to take part in marketing has always been an
> > issue since the start of OOo. It might well be out of the scope of ASF
> but
> > it is certainly no disadvantage to be able to fund experienced  people to
> > speak at important events. Is AOO different from other ASF projects in
> that
> > respect? Probably a) because of its size and b) because of its end-user
> > focus.
> In the spirit of brainstorming the, lets consider. I can imagine
> someone looking to fund development work, if they desire the outcome
> of that work. Ditto for translations. Maybe even a crowd-funded
> documentation effort.  In all the cases their is a return to the
> person funding.  But I'm having a hard time imagining a business model
> based on person A giving money to person B to market to person C.

EU give a grant to person B to educate people (people C) about the benefits
of Open Source. This is just one possible example. We ran an EU learner
workshop a couple of weeks ago on the subject of digital audio recording. Grant was just under 30,000 Euro for
putting on the event and paying travel expenses of 12 delegates from 4
countries. These are one way of getting funding into marketing. There are
probably many others but they need people with expertise and people with
time to make applications because it's not straightforward. But then again
neither is developing AOO code ;-)

Maybe in the same sense someone might help fund a missionary. But this
> is very lean. And as we know LO has claimed moral superiority, so
> opportunities for FOSS sympathetic funding is diminished.

I wouldn't be too worried about LO. There are opportunities that don't
necessarily depend on altruism.

> Would a
> new organization with no history, no reputation, no affiliation with
> the project attract many donors?  Not impossible, but not very
> encouraging, IMHO.

Affiliation with the project would help, but it is not essential. I started
a business initially on the idea of certification of OOo that has morphed
into other things and has had no direct connection with OOo for all the
same types of political reasons that a new marketing entity might have to
be separate from AOO. A not for profit *might* be more acceptable but there
are technical issues eg obtaining grants for organisations that are not
legal entities.

An alternative, and perhaps complimentary, approach would be to make a
> concerted effort to attract more marketing volunteers. With more
> volunteers and greater geographical distribution, we'll have more
> opportunities and more flexibility.

That is certainly important and the old OOo had a wide network of MarCons
in different countries. Even so it costs money to travel. Even for me to
get to London and back from here can cost $200 and that is before any costs
associated with booth hire or entry to shows etc. A few years ago I
attended the NEA conference to distribute OOo discs in Los Angeles partly
at my own expense and partly with a UK trade and industry grant but it cost
 about $4000.

In any case I'm committed to a robust volunteer-led marketing effort
> within the project.   A talented volunteer working on AOO can gain
> skills and build up a portfolio of accomplishments and a network of
> contacts that can help them in future employment prospects, even if
> not related to OpenOffice.  I think this makes an attractive option
> for some.

I think it is a "yes and" rather than  an either or. My experience is that
for the sake of what are relatively small amounts of money the
effectiveness of marketing is massively and disproportionately reduced,
especially when it is a consumer product that is not something that will
proliferate well enough through "geek" networks. I should think 99.9% of
people that install Apache web server are IT professionals, 99.9% of people
that install AOO will be IT end users. There is a big difference in the
marketing required to each of those audiences.

Obviously if I am successful and you are as well then AOO will be very
> well-marketed!

For me I have to carry on with what I'm doing anyway, so it is more a
matter of whether a more organised collective approach is likely to be more
effective than a fragmented individual approach.

> -Rob
> > --
> > Ian
> >
> > Ofqual Accredited IT Qualifications (The Schools ITQ)
> >
> > +44 (0)1827 305940
> >
> > The Learning Machine Limited, Reg Office, 36 Ashby Road, Tamworth,
> > Staffordshire, B79 8AQ. Reg No: 05560797, Registered in England and
> > Wales.


Ofqual Accredited IT Qualifications (The Schools ITQ) +44 (0)1827 305940

The Learning Machine Limited, Reg Office, 36 Ashby Road, Tamworth,
Staffordshire, B79 8AQ. Reg No: 05560797, Registered in England and

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