It is done.
And now so it begins...
On July 26th, 2008; the last public installment of Lindependence 2008 took place at Taylor Hall in the Presbyterian Church in Felton California. The numbers weren't great, but they weren't disastrous either. Here is the point that has been continually missed by many. For those who get it, patience...it will only take a paragraph.
Yes, our goal was to convert an entire town. We've begun the process, not completed the task. You know as well as I do that Linux creeps to its destiny...
One user at a time.
There are now hundreds of new Linux Users in Felton California. They will in turn tell their neighbors, their friends...and we will see the system that is destined to free an entire computing world go forth.
Just like it has in the last decade. We've simply stumbled upon a way to hasten the process.
So, does Lindependence stop here? You gotta be kidding me. In the past two weeks, Larry Cafiero and I have received about a dozen emails and phone calls, asking how this gets done in their towns.
Boulder Creek California
Jersey city New Jersey
All places where Linux Users want to hold their own Lindependence event...and there are more. I simply can't bring them to mind and I'm too lazy right now to scan my email. But even with the promise of such proliferation, a question has to be asked...and some pointed details spoken of.
How are they to get it done?
It takes publicity to make this work...people in the Linux Community need to know these things are happening. And yes...as uncomfortable as it makes some of you.
It costs money to make this happen.
And in some cases...marriages.
We struggled daily for 4 months, trying to get this thing publicized. We had some modest success but that success came in the 11th hour from conventional news sources. The last minute interest this event enjoyed is directly attributable to articles in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and Mercury News.
And make no mistake...trying to get thousands of people in one small town to change to Linux IS news.
At least it should be.
It would seem that some of the premiere Linux News sources didn't think so. Even though they said they would support the effort early on...they didn't. We didn't ask them for money...just ink and bytes. Even after saying they would cover it, they didn't...
And offered no explanation as to why. They left us twisting in the wind.
Now I've come to expect this from Slashdot. It's a good-ol'-boy network that is accessible by few and the gatekeepers of that site strive to keep it that way. Even the big hitters in Linux...Codeweavers and RedHat scratch their heads every time one of their articles is rejected. It is coveted ink...The Tux 500 project proved that. So Slashdot is fairly worthless to the proliferation of Linux. They've proven they have no interest in it time after time.
But The Linux Journal?
I was stunned.
Early on, Ms Carlie Fairchild, Publisher of The Linux Journal , expressed an interest in covering what we were doing. And yes...we did have some problems in getting a phone call arranged. A short burst of Answering Machine Madness ended in complete silence from LJ.
I mean Complete Silence.
I had the bad taste to finally email Ms. Fairchild and ask her what I had done to be ignored. It was a valid question and still is for that matter. And oh yes...I had the extended bad taste to blind cc a trusted member of the Linux Community that same email.
Cheap insurance against the "I didn't get it" line.
That email has been unanswered as well.
The Linux Journal could have reached tens of thousands of people...people who would have been extremely interested in Lindependence. And yes...even helped us fund it. With the exception of a few extremely generous souls...Larry Cafiero and I would have paid for this totally out of our own pockets. The way it stands, Larry paid for almost a third of the whole thing himself.
Now let's see where this scores on your "That's-Ironic" O'meter.
The FSF as well talked as if they were going to give us a hand...I believe our point of contact was Matt. It didn't happen. Now listen to what I am telling you here. the FSF would not give a dot of ink or mention about a project that strives to bring Free Software to thousands.
You know...a simple response like, "After careful review, we don't feel that this story is a fit for our publication..."
That would have been fine. Well, not fine really, but a whole bunch better than the Roaring Silence that we did receive.
So we, and especially Larry ended up spending our own money on this.
It was a lot of money. A lot of money that could have went onto his dinner table and into his retirement account, into his daughter's college fund....she is extremely bright. But it didn't. By the time we realized the "Linux Media" had backed out on us...we were committed...we had no place to go but forward. Checkbooks in hand.
And forward we went. Successfully thank you. But not with the success that some larger media attention would have brought.
Again...it was costly, and in more than dollars. Trust me on this one.
Now the Electronic Media? The Linux Today's and the LXer's...Linux.com? Two carried us toward the end, the other dumped us at a crucial time....in the very beginning. Why?
Because we had the audacity to ask for financial assistance.
According to their Terms of Service" (TOS), it is completely acceptable for them to reject any news or opinion that solicits.
So you take your Linux Proliferation labels off and sling them in the corner with Slashdot's and those belonging to The Linux Journal. And you do it now, so every one can see. We seem to be accumulating a nice little pile of those labels. You may be able to tout articles on shiny new file systems or compilers but at helping the spread of Linux...you are a spectacular failure....some of you are anyway.
Your refusal to help us get some funding for this project acted as a boot on the throat of what we were trying to accomplish. This isn't going to happen without community support.
Oh yes...and now tell me how that isn't your job...Like Dell and RedHat did.
My personal thanks to Linux.com and Linux Today for your coverage and support. As well, my thanks goes out to the many bloggers who helped us along our way. Of special note is the NIXed Report. Thanks Thomas.
Kudo's to the editorial staff at LXer.com for walking the thin line they were given...it sucked but you did what you could...I could never ask for more and I thank you.
And to Codeweavers? I cannot express to you enough, our gratitude. From Larry, myself and the two dozen volunteers that made this thing happen, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The people of Felton and other places will find their migration to Linux much less traumatic because of your generosity. You have our unwaivering support.
Spreading the news of a Free Open Source Software solution isn't cheap...word of mouth has netted us what...? A three percent market share in the past ten years?
That's been a raging success.
You "news" organizations need to rethink your positions on this thing. That list of places above that have flesh and blood people interested in spreading Linux in those locations? I've told them they can pretty much count you out on any support. Those are real people, putting in real hours, dollars and sacrifice to do what they believe in. Some of them will pay for their devotion in ways you wouldn't even think of sacrificing.
And you have neither the foresight or courtesy to cover their efforts?
That's sad....in fact it's more than sad. It's an indication of who really does the work in this community.
And who sits back and rakes in the profits from those efforts.
Maybe the rest of us need to re-evaluate our need for your services. Maybe a closer look at your sponsor lists...
Hey, I'm just sayin'...
Sunday, July 27, 2008
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 9:45 AM