GNOME publicity & marketing

Hi All, 
  If I'm jumping in, on the middle of a thread please cut me off and
redirect me appropriately ;)

Recently a few of the Kent Linux User Group myself included have been
putting on shows at computer fairs. It seems really impressive to 90% of
the passerby what GNOME can do, and especially how _FREE_ it is!

We give away tonnes of ubuntu discs to non-linux users. So that
represents growth of the user base, 50 cds translates to about 5 new
users and it at the very least informs and helps educate those who are
tech savvy enough as to want to know about their options.

At the last fair, a table was selling windows OEM licenses at �3 a shot,
by the end of the day they reduced their price to �1 after they saw what
we were giving away free, now that is competition :)

I suppose my point is this, the Linux community has been largely
preaching to the converted for many years. I think we're all in
agreement that using GNOME and Linux has got so good, we all want
everyone to use it or at least try it because its so cool. We therefore
need to start preaching to the masses. At GUADEC we have some warmup
time again. Wouldn't it be sensible to use that time to invite common
Joe public in to "Use the internet for free", and everyone that comes in
gets a free OS and takes part in a short usability study, then give them
a lolly pop as lolly pops generally make a good impression. They go away
feeling good, as they got to use the internet for free, got a free OS
had the whole soft sell its cool, its trendy its faster, better, easier,
but most of all they have a lolly pop. We could also take the lolly pops
and the CDs out to the local community and pimp it on them.

Its the simple things that make the impression, but if you consider
widening the growth of GNOME its not something that's easy to do without
a public forum to show off our technology in the case of microsoft they
have extensive TV and internet advertising etc... They have built a
brand behemoth which is difficult to compete with on their level, we
can't exactly afford to advertise GNOME as a better option to the world
across TV, internet or any other large broadcast medium. We must find
our own ways to grow user base by extending the reach of the message to
those outside of the existing community... With lolly pops :)

Anyway, that was my 2p


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