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Re: Turning off Paid Adverts for Sponsored Media

Both Thomas and Patrick have suggested I make my case for Sponsored Media to the Ambassadors.  I'm also including the Marketing group, so please excuse any multiple emails. 

The background is that I'm at a loss as to why I can't get anyone to sponsor media to fill the Free Media requests.  I had even gone so far as to pay for adverts on the Yahoo and Google ad networks. 

Below are my questions about my lack of success with the program and Patrick's responses. 

Patrick W. Barnes wrote:
- Is it the commercial aspect of Sponsored Media?

It has always been tricky to get individuals to spend money to support open 
source.  They're usually happy to devote time and computing resources, but 
they rarely want to hand over money, and usually only do so in small numbers 
and with good reason.
I probably have the most experience in this area.  From a Not-for-profit stand point, and also from a FOSS stand point. 

People know these projects don't run on good will alone.  In fact you've probably noticed the Free as in "freedom" clarification surfacing more and more over the last 6 months. 

It would also be a mistake to assume users only want to contribute code and equipment.  There are many people who would rather show their support with cash because they are uncomfortable with their hardware and software skill set... Especially if it's with a product they were going to spend money on anyway. 

They just need to know the option exists and that it has an endorsement from the project. 

It all comes down to what message is given and the perception of importance to the good of the community. 

The fact that there are people who have had their names on the Free Media request list since April 20 and have no disc on the way should be important to the Fedora Community as a whole as it effects your reputation. 

As a community there needs to be a way to get the 60+ discs out and to continue shipping so the back-log doesn't occur because no one wants to languish on a waiting list.  Especially if they could have downloaded over dial-up in less time than it takes for good will to trickle down. 

- Is it a lack of talking points for the marketing group?

It's more likely a lack of venue.  The Fedora Marketing Project has been 
suffering since the inception of the Fedora Ambassadors program.  The 
Ambassadors are the strongest bet for advertising Sponsored Media.  Give them 
the full details of the program and ask them to spread the word.
Will do... but the venue always exists.  All the community needs to do is keep their eyes and ears out for people who have the giving spirit and direct them to the proper contribution point... Either code, hardware, FTP Mirrors, or even Sponsored media.  

Growth of the community relies on proper triage. 

Anyone with something of benefit to the community must be brought into the fold as fast as possible.  They must get a jolt of positive energy before the initial spark fades.  It's all about making it feel good so they will want to continue. 

- Is shameless plug too much to ask?

Within the Fedora Project, we cannot give preference to anyone or support 
plugs for any particular provider.  We can, however, strongly push the 
Sponsored Media program, and you're welcome to throw in plugs for your 
organization in mailing lists and IRC as long as they are appropriate and are 
done in the name of you or your organization and not in the name of the 
Fedora Project.

Frankly, I would love it if you screaming my name from the roof tops.  But the Sponsored Media program is not about On-Disk.com.  It's about Free Media and spreading Fedora through the good will of others. 

I've already gotten all I need from the program because 90% of everything I type here is archived and mirrored all over the internet.  If I'm not getting Core 5 orders, the archives may help another project decide that we're an OK company to work with. 

- Maybe I don't have an accurate understanding of Fedora and the org's
actual needs?

The only thing where understanding might be an issue is in the nature of our 
community.  They can be a tricky bunch to figure out.

You said it! 

- Maybe I need to ask for 2 or 3 people willing to take on the task of
Marketing Sponsored Media so that we can clear out the back log of Free
Media Requests?

I think it would be best to promote Sponsored Media alongside our other 
programs.  Getting Ambassadors involved is probably the best way.  Having a 
few people coordinate with you to develop a strategy might help.

I'll take whatever help you guys can muster. 

Karlie Robinson
Owner, Webpath Technologies
On the Web at:

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