[Fedora-India] Queries regarding the Free media project in India

Ankur Sinha sanjay.ankur at gmail.com
Mon Jul 6 03:50:18 UTC 2009

On Mon, 2009-07-06 at 03:08 +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> On 07/05/2009 11:09 AM, Ankur Sinha wrote:
> > -- The Free media requests are not spread evenly across India
> > (obviously). Hence, some contributors (like me) only receive only one or
> > two requests from our regions. I can contribute more than that ( at
> > least 10-20 _locally_) on a monthly basis. On the other hand, I remember
> > reading someone mass producing media (pressing to get rates as low as
> > 2-3 rs a media??) and hence having extra copies that are going waste
> > (not being used). Hence, there is untapped potential and also unfilled
> > requests. Can anyone think of a way to use the resource? 
> I haven't heard of anyone doing good quality media replication for 2 Rs.
> If you find specific details, do let us know. 

Oh.. I thought I had read it on the mailing list itself. Maybe I just
imagined it. Sorry.

> What we try to do is to
> fund the media replication costs for the media that is useful for events
> and ambassadors and provide them with the means to reach out to more
> people. Funding free media efforts is problematic not because of the
> media replication costs but the distribution costs. More on this below.
> > 

I understand this. I do have a suggestion regarding shipments. <Below>
The problem is that even if you send me 50 copies of media, I may not be
able to use them all (because of the shipment costs and *low* number of
requests from nearby regions). Events and install fests happen only once
or twice a semester. I've been in the media programme for a while now
and I make it a point to go through every request to see if I can
service it. (the ticket system makes this much easier. Thanks Susmit).
There have been times where people have not been able to acquire media
even though they've tried two months in a row. Since the folks on the
requesting side are unaware of the issues that we have to face, all they
think is "it's been 2 months and they haven't been able to send me
media". I hope you get the drift. 

> > -- Does anyone have knowledge of Ubuntu's project. We could take some
> > points from there (if its okay to do so, that is). I've *heard* its very
> > effective. 
> It is effective but it is also funded in a very different way. I think,
> you are missing the bigger picture here. Canonical, which is the
> privately funded startup behind Ubuntu wanted to reach more users in a
> crowded space of multiple distributions about five years back and spend
> millions of dollars on free shipments. While that has certainly proven
> effective atleast in the short run, I doubt we are going to follow that
> model. Red Hat, the primary sponsor behind Fedora is a public company
> with share holders and if money is going to be spend, it has to be done
> in a sustainable way. Free media shipments essentially relies on the
> community to help itself by supporting one another voluntarily. This is
> by nature, a different scale of operations. If anyone has ideas on doing
> it better keeping in mind the limited budget, feel free to share it with
> us.

> Rahul

Thank you for the clarification Rahul. I'm still too young to have
thought of what you mentioned above on my own :)

Here's the suggestion regarding the free media programme. It is **very**
far fetched and I haven't yet found out about the viability of this
method. Please do not crucify me for this ;)

Is it possible to partner with a mail service provider. I don't know if
"partner" is the right word (maybe "collaborate"?), but I'm hoping
you'll get the idea. Here is a short description of my thought stream. 

- we partner with a mail service provider , say "foo bar".
- we give "foo bar" all the mail that Fedora India sends/receives
("exclusive rights" it's called I think), which includes dvd shipments
on the free media programme, event packages, event reports. We can even
have a clause that enables folks sending us blank dvds by mail to use
this service.
- I'm guessing this will be something like a "mass shipment" "contract"
sorta thing that can enable us to get good shipment rates. I'm sure that
the amount that we, the Fedora India community, spends (from sanctioned
funds and from what the community members spend voluntarily in mailing
stuff) is an attractive package for a shipment company. And its
advertisement for them on every mail we send to every corner of the
- better shipment rates will help the situation a lot.Especially in
unifying the media contribution since a contributor from any part of the
country will be able to service a request from any location. 

Again, it's just a thought stream. I am not as well versed in the
processes as you (the seniors) are. I'm just trying to lessen the gap
between the supplier and one who demands. 

(/me wishes dvds could be sent via email itself)

I know that "blue dart" provides such "service". The Australian high
commission in Delhi has such a "contract" with them.



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