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I'm cross-posting this from the Ambassadors list as it pertains greatly
to marketing as well.  Let me preface with the following:

My expectations are simply to raise awareness about the choices that are
available to small business and I highlight myself as an example.  All
too often, many small/home based businesses jump in head first into
their known specialty, forgoing the research about FOSS creating in my
opinion a downward spiral for their business.  In particular Fedora is
ripe for small business due to its complete and "infinite" freedom.  The
uneducated purchase of software not suited to help sustain the business,
but rather lock the business to a single vendor, presents ongoing
problems later on in the business lifespan causing its own fair share of
hassles.  I hope to supply many "Would Be" entrepreneurs with the
knowledge they need to make an informed decision about their true IT
needs prior to startup.  I think an informed decision is the best
decision, and while I may be chided for saying so, even when that
decision is a decision not to use Fedora.  The right tool for a job is
very important, however, buying and using the only tool you know of,
does not make it the right tool.  Read more in my ramblings below about
all this.

As for the book I discussed below, I realized too late that I did not
write the name of the book, but the title is "Linux Bible 2008".  I
strongly encourage all of you to purchase this book, as I have found
Chris' writings to be invaluable prior to this.

Thanks,

- --Jim

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All,

Last Friday, Chris Negus (of Fedora Linux Bible 6, 7, Linux Toys, Linux
Toys 2, fame, and many, many more) interviewed me about my company and
my use of open source and in particular Fedora for my small business.
Expected press date of the book is in January of 2008.  It was a
pleasure to talk to him about the usefulness of completely "Free"
software to a small business and home based businesses.  And in "Free" I
am more describing the unencumbered software, free of patent issues,
free of vendor lock-in, and of course free to modify and distribute.   I
spoke about the need for more small businesses to realize the huge
benefits of free software at length with him. I was told a complete
section would be devoted to use cases and a couple of pages specifically
about my business and its open source only devotion.

Small business really is an overlooked aspect from my point of view and
this needs more attention.  The average startup company must spend a
minimum of $5000 in just software to get a small business running.  And
in this initial purchase, a small business locks themselves into single
vendor, proprietary solutions, that would require hundreds of man hours
of work to change to an Open Source solution.

Truly a small business can save lots of money using free software, not
only in cost of the software, but in cost of not being locked to a
single vendor.  This is information that *needs* to be available to
those about to start a business, so that they can make an informed
decision about what is best for their company.

This may only be my personal perception, but it seems lots of focus and
attention is spent on showcasing large business benefiting from the
switch to open source, but truly small business can benefit more
percentage wise from making that decision upfront.  The latter of which
does not seem to to be highlighted in articles or media.

As for other Ambassador activities, this evening I hosted the South
Mississippi Linux Users Group meeting and gave a presentation on using
graphics packages under Fedora (specifically the Gimp and Inkscape) to
create web graphics, and distributed around 10 DVDs and Live CDs to
members.  While probably not a big thing to most of you, our LUG
membership has dwindled to meetings of 2 or 3 people on some occasions.
 Tonight was the largest LUG meeting we've seen since pre Katrina days.

Thanks for reading my ramblings and I hope the meat of what I am saying
makes sense,

- --Jim
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