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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: Marketing events
Date Wed, 10 Oct 2012 16:02:48 GMT
On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM, Alexandro Colorado <> wrote:
> On 10/10/12, Rob Weir <> wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 5:23 AM, Ian Lynch <> wrote:
>>>> > +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
>>>> 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 ;-)
>> This makes sense.
>> It is worth also considering the relationship between the ASF and
>> Google when we participate in Google Summer of Code.  If that is
>> possible, what else is possible?   Could the ASF be the recipient of
>> grants?  Or is having an EU-based entity a prerequisite for such
>> grants?
>>> 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.
>> Personally I'm most interested in reaching beyond the open source
>> conference echo chamber and reaching the user audience that does not
>> already know about OpenOffice and perhaps doesn't know about open
>> source either.  I think that equates to your "consumer audience" at
>> least in the large.
> We were starting to do this getting into ALA = American Library
> Association in DC, althought in the end we didnt get to participate
> (due to logistical issues and one of our reps got sick and cancelled),
> it was a nice try :D.
> There were other events such as Educational conferences, and I think
> someone mention a medical-technology conference. But we needed time to
> develop this ideas, as well as money to spare into this. As an
> independent consultant is not always easy to pay up to 1000 dls out of
> my own pocket, just to talk to people about open source. That said, I
> did saw the necessity to go to other events.

Another one to have on your radar:


>>> 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.
>>> Regards,
>>>> -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.
>>> --
>>> 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.
> --
> Alexandro Colorado
> PPMC Apache OpenOffice

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