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

Mike MacCana mikem at
Sat Jun 25 02:16:30 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-06-24 at 10:21 -0400, Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> On 6/24/05, Mike MacCana <mikem at> wrote:
> > Er, why? Why does targeting (or 'pandering to') an audience mean you
> > will likely mislead them more or less than if you scatter your message
> > to the universe?
> Because I don't think fedora or any other distribution is the obvious
> choice for any particular group of people or individual person. 
> Firefox, openoffice, codeweavers... these items exist in a near vacuum
> of choice and by their very nature they have a clear directive to
> market towards existing windows users. I'm not sure fedora has such a
> clear directive nor is fedora positioned to be the "one true
> alternative" in the space where its operating.

I don't think it's the 'one true alternative either'. I think it's one
of about three.

End user focused Linux distros are far and few between.

> How exactly do you market
> one breed of dog compared to another breed of dog successfully to the
> casual dog buyer?

You find out that user's wants and desires, and find a breed of dog that

Selling everyone German shepherds is a dumb idea. Selling them to people
looking for police dogs makes a great deal more sense.

> I'd rather see
> us help guide the linux courious into asking the right questions and
> making the right choices for themselves.  If that means mepis or
> ubuntu or mandrake or knoppix or even fedora... great!

Same here. But I want Fedora to be one of the things they try.

Currently doesn't market Fedora in any way, shape of
form. In fact, it probably does the opposite, by focusing more on what
it isn't than what it is.

> > Do you think that technically minded user, who's nevertheless used to
> > Windows, would be happier with a distro that can probe his monitor, or
> > one that'll ask him for 'modelines', when he doesn't know what they are?
> This is what I am very wary of. I do not believe its in the linux
> community's best interest to draw direct comparisons between this
> distro versus any other.   "You're cocker-spaniel is totally not as
> good for a first time dog owner as my golden retriever." 

Why not? First time down owners require a dog that doesn't mess the
house, or require too much maintenance, or whatever. Marketing a dog
breed that reflects those needs is simple logic.

> I want to make sure that we focus on having people ask
> questions 

That sounds an awful lot like you want to identify a market Jeff ;^)

> and draw their own conclusions about what is valuable to
> them.  

Sure - let them know there's other Linux distros. I actually think it'd
be good to encourage our audience to try other distros that reflect
their needs - say, Ubuntu and NLD for Linux newcomers - themselves. And
let them make up their own mind.

But provide the info that makes sure they're aware that Fedora will meet
their needs. That it works, has testing, an isn't a beta. That it's got
a simple install process, a good set of modern graphical config tools,
modern, carefully selected OSS apps, a common look and feel, etc. People
who appreciate such things can then know Fedora provides them.

And hence, the user wins.


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