How much "proof" do you need.
Red Hat just informed you that your desktop isn't their priority.
Ron Hovsarian of Novell just said the same thing.
IBM and HP BigWigs looked me in the eye at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit and basically told us this in so many words. "We don't offer systems, we offer solutions."
Bruce Perens took the mic and said that if we wern't going to get funds for advertising, then we needed publicity. On that note, the moderator then ended the session.
And That was the end of that.
Much to the relief of said BigWigs. While I was speaking to the panel, I was getting notes passed to me with suggestions for questions, people were turning around in their seats and giving me the thumbs up. One well connected PhD from St. Louis University whispered.
"Got Milk?" Use something like "Got Milk?"
The topic of advertising the Linux Desktop is one of passion and a passion of many.
Just not the passion of those who can make it happen.
I wish I could have said more. The "official discussion" may have ended there, but in the halls, the dining rooms, the smoking areas, the cafeterias and informal discussions, it was talked about plenty. And the consensus?
Linux Users will rescue the Desktop. We don't need corporate help.
Let me take this ice cold bucket of water and welcome those who believe this to the real world. Take a deep breath, because I'm about to splash you abruptly back into the cold, harsh light of reality.
Linux Users could give a crap about anyone adapting to Linux and being freed from Microsoft.
At least the majority of them. There is a core of caring, sincere people out there who do care. I know many of them by first name. I know where their kids go to school, I know their wives favorite colors...I know what they drive, I know how much money they make, I know what their hopes and dreams are. And with rare exception...
I've never laid eyes on any of them. And still, I call those people my friends. They've helped me put together a fledgling little charity that builds computers for kids that wouldn't normally be able to afford them. They've driven or flown hundreds of miles out of their way just to spend a few hours with me. They've assisted me in helping get disks to Windows users and they've given me encouragement when thing looked terrible from my end...times when I thought I could count the rest of my life in days and weeks. One of them actually "infiltrated" our organization in order to "prove" we are frauds and report back to the blog-O-Sphere their findings. He now works for us as one of our most active volunteers. It's those people that are going to make Linux succeed. Not the 40 million or so users world wide...but the fraction of a percentage of those that really care. Say it with me...
They are the Two Percent Solution.
You know who you are, and who you are not. Of course, if you are reading this, there's an extremely good chance that you are in the first group. Hey first group...thank you. I'm going to return your graciousness here in just a minute.
It's beginning to get some legs, this LINdependence 2008 project we are doing. Larry Cafiero has busted his ass to make this thing work. He has pounded the pavement for hours on end, talking to people, arranging stories and the boring logistical details that make one's eyes glaze over. It's largely through his hard work that word of this project is going out. Linux Journal is taking an interest in this effort and I will be talking with Carlie Fairchild about further publicity. The lifeblood of LINdependence 2008.
No, it's not money that makes this run, it's people knowing about it, talking about it and telling others about it. Through those efforts, the money will come.
But I'm afraid it's not going to be enough. I've been through a few of these wars...I know how they go and I know where they fall apart.
There are too many people enslaved by a crappy operating system to let this fall apart. While the numbers are relatively small, there are too many people who care passionately about this for it to fail. I'm not going to let that happen. They've given too much for it to fail.
Besides...this project has the potential to make history.
So Slashdot...you can ignore our effort all you want. Of course, you don't seem to need my permission to do so. You seem to be very much like the corporates at The Summit. You worry too much about offending someone above you. The same goes for any Website owner that worries his reputation will be tainted by publicizing a project of this magnitude. We don't need you. In fact, I just finished insuring that LIN08 can afford the publicity it needs to survive.
I despise a coward.
Ten minutes before I typed the first word of this blog, I finished an application to take a mortgage out on our home. With my credit, there's a good chance that it will be laughed out of the boardroom, but there's a chance it won't be.
I am going to make sure I don't need to count on anyone to make LINdependence 2008 a success. I have friends who have shown me how important this really is.
I'm going to mortgage my home to insure we have what we need to make LINdependence 2008 work. There is a good chance that corporate sponsorship is going to be available down the road a bit, again...Larry has been hard at work trying to make this happen. What I am doing is just insurance. That's my only motive and purpose.
And work it will, there will be no failure here.
All Righty Then
Sunday, April 20, 2008
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 9:53 PM