Attention / Interest / Desire / Action,, or why marketing 'the Fedora project' is a bad idea.

Jeff Spaleta jspaleta at
Fri Jun 24 17:04:38 UTC 2005

On 6/24/05, Matthew Miller <mattdm at> wrote:
> This is a whole different thing. :) How about "Get people interested in
> trying Linux, *via* Fedora, because that's what we can do anything about?"
> I don't think this and more targetted marketing are necessarily exclusive.

I'm pretty sure i didn't mean to imply my thoughts are mutually
exclusive with taking aim at certain groups. I just want to make sure
the message is thought provoking instead of encouraging impulse
decisions.   To sum up my concerns into a simple headlines.
I want to avoid blurbs like:
"Fedora Linux is great! Try it now!"
and i would instead prefer more open ended tone: 
"Is Fedora Linux right for you? Find out now!"

Not to nitpick the example, but i don't think the tone
of the opening paragraph is appropriate for a linux distribution.
the wait is over. Firefox empowers you to browse faster, more safely
and more efficiently than with any other browser. Join more than 64
million others and make the switch today — Firefox imports your
Favorites, settings and other information, so you have nothing to
I don't think its appropriate to use the popularity of the
distribution as a primary reason to encourage new users to use it. I
don't think its appropriate to make  bold claims as to fedora's
ability to serve a new user better than other choices.

The codeweaver's example is much better in terms of tone. But really..
if there were any other wine based product out there it could say
nearly the same thing.  There's nothing in what codeweaver's intro
that even implies there are other choices in the space. I don't think
thats good enough in terms of being upfront at the distribution level.
We know there are other choices, we know those other choices might fit
better for a particular person if the person takes the time to try out
more than just fedora, and I think we need to be honest about that and
make sure the tone of the site re-enforces the idea of informed choice
as the ideal choice.'s marketting pieces have some high points, certainly in
terms of the formats and quality of their press material. The four
page pdf and the flash intro are well done.  But their peices still
has a reliance of superlative language that i think is problematic
when applied to the larger issue of linux distribution choice

ubuntu's introduction on the other hand... is strikingly not about the
specific feature of the distribution at all.   . The first few paragraphs are about the
ideals and commitments of the development model.  Its a well worded
description of how the project objectives relate to user expectation. 
 Here's what the page says about desktop users.  "Ubuntu is suitable
for both desktop and server use."  Suitable... the distribution is
suitable. No effort to promise the best experience..but a promise for
a suitable one. That's an underpromise, and the power of low
expectations at work.


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