Howto market SolydXK

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Howto market SolydXK

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 11 Apr 2013 12:11

No, this is not a "Howto"

This is more a question on how to make SolydXK known to the public, and I really could need your help here.

So, let's think out-of-the-box, get out of your comfort zone, and see opportunities and no problems (add your business phrases here)!

To get started I'll quote our own welcome message to remind us of our target public:
SolydXK is an open source alternative for small businesses, non-profit organizations and home users.
Now, all Linux distributions are fishing in the same tank: everybody already interested in Linux move between distributions over time. The number of users are not changing that much, and most potential users are to be found outside of that tank.

You have the average Windows user, who might wish to try something else, but doesn't know what are the alternatives. Then there are (small) business owners who might benefit from switching to a more stable and secure OS, but doesn't know what are the risks, how much it's going to cost, and who's going to maintain it all. And then you have the non-profit organizations who find themselves in a difficult situation where there is little budget, little IT know-how, and are pressured by their governments to cut on IT expenses.

I'd like to concentrate mainly on the first two groups (for now):
  1. The Windows user who'd like to try something else, but doesn't know where to begin.
  2. The (small) business owner, who wants to concentrate on his core-business instead of maintaining the little of IT he has.
They obviously are not going to search the internet for alternatives. They don't know what communities are, and why they are so important, even for them or their business. Even if they heard about Linux, it's for spotty little geeks, eating pizza and drinking coke with 300 terminals around them in a dark and sweaty little room...not for him. What does anybody know about what they have to deal with in the world outside that room?

It boils down to some simple questions:
  1. How do we reach these groups (means)?
  2. How do we change their opinion about Linux, and SolydXK in particular (change image and opinion about Linux)?
  3. How do we let these groups realize there is a viable alternative?
There are probably more question to add, but for now, this seems more than enough to work with.

So...
What is your opinion about all this?
Which means should we use, and how to use them?


Even if you think your ideas are unrealistic, please post them here: it could trigger others which can lead to something that we can realize.


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby MAYBL8 » 11 Apr 2013 13:06

The (small) business owner, who wants to concentrate on his core-business instead of maintaining the little of IT he has.
I work in a small business. I am using Linux on my Workstation at work. I am the IT Manager here. We have about 50 workstations (all Windows).
I did this to see if it was viable to have some Linux workstations in the office.
At this point I don't see it happening yet.
Reasons I would say from my viewpoint.
1. People are use to Microsoft Products and changing over to Linux products like Libreoffice (for office software), Thunderbird (for Email), etc would be a daunting task that I cannot handle being the only IT persone here.
2. We still have software here that only runs on Windows. That might work in wine but I doubt it and would require too much effort to make it work. On that same line a virtual box would work but you would have to buy a windows license so whats the point in that.

If my Company didn't rely on sharing information with the rest of the world Linux might work here.
Maybe there needs to be a company that specializes in moving businesses from Microsoft to Linux.
Maybe a company or companies already exist. I don't know.
I will keep pushing linux where I can.
Thanks
Dan


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 11 Apr 2013 14:11

I'd like to react on your second point first (because it's the easiest to answer).

I think it would be a very bad idea for business to consider kicking out Windows out of their office. I believe that a healthy mixture would benefit business in general: use the operating system and software that is best suited for a certain task. For example, I've been working on a study on process improvents in a large hospital in this area. There were lots of systems running Windows with windows software which were used for emailing and adminitrative tasks done with a web-based application. Nobody even considered other possibilities, and it's the "considering" where I want to concentrate on: you cannot change the way people think just by saying it can be done differently.

How can you teach people (IT managers, business owners, etc.) that it's good for business to consider Linux as an option, depending on how, and what for, you're going to use it?


Back to your first point: I understand (I really do, I've been in the same situation for many years and different environments) that it seems almost impossible to change the thought of people in your organization regarding IT. For most of your colleagues it just "has to work", and don't change it or they will hit the panic button if they can find one...and that's bad for business.

However, I noticed that there's always somebody, or maybe a bit more then one person, that is interested. Not long ago, I showed my laptop with the unofficial LMDE KDE and she (yes) wanted to try it out. So, I left her my laptop to play around. She is now considering (the important part) of changing some of the systems in her organization to Linux. Of course, all the servers in that organization already are running Linux, which would make the step to change easier to take, but my point is, that there is a need for change, but it's not easy to find and address it.

How to take that first step? How to reach that one person who has the interest, but doesn't know where to start? What would he/she need to start "considering"?


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby MAYBL8 » 11 Apr 2013 14:50

How can you teach people (IT managers, business owners, etc.) that it's good for business to consider Linux as an option, depending on how, and what for, you're going to use it?
I think this should be one of the marketing targets.
One thing owners or Presidents of Companies like to focus on is reduced cost of doing business.
I am not smart enough to put together a plan but maybe someone out there has already introduced Linux into their business and could share how they did it and where its benefits were and problems were.


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby tuktuk22 » 12 Apr 2013 04:18

....maybe, if the computer and laptops shipped with linux preinstalled will make linux more familiar to common people. (i think ubuntu goes toward these path).

just like android that very popular these days.. most people use it and not even know that android is linux...
me too first introduced to android wondering why it has a kernel. :oops:
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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby Evil-K » 12 Apr 2013 06:05

I actually plan on opening up a small used computer shop, hopefully within the next couple of years. Should my plan reach fruition, I hope to ship computers with SolydK or SolydX (stats depending) preinstalled, with a portion of the sale donated to the distro. Part of the price will cover support for their new operating system (helping customers fix the inevitable goof-ups). 90 days of support will come at no extra charge, with a year of support coming with a reasonable up-charge.

Linus Torvalds, when asked why Linux didn't conquer the desktop, responded that the average person doesn't want to have to install (or reinstall) their operating system. What I want to do is take away that extra step, and even give a little bit of friendly tech support for the newbies.

(Of course, customers CAN have Windows preinstalled as well, with a nominal fee, of course)

At any rate, one of the biggest things that has been proven to work is to sell computers with the OS preinstalled, with sufficient easy-to-follow instructions geared toward the common user. Microsoft has done this extremely well over the past couple of decades ever since Windows first came out, while Linux has had to rely primarily on niche markets (Red Hat and SuSE) and word-of-mouth (every single other distribution).
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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 12 Apr 2013 06:30

That's a very good idea, tuktuk22, but Ubuntu already had a name, it was known to many people, a large community, and better financial means then we have at the moment.

We need to take it a step back, and talk about promotion (how to let people know about SolydXK) and branding (what to promote).

Who do we need to reach?
- Windows users, small business owners (and their IT managers).

What are they sensitive for (get to know your target users)?
- Security, ease of use, availability of services, what more?

How can they be reached (papers, magazines, news sites, etc)?
- We need to get a list of business sites, opinion sites, anything that relates to the specific needs of a business owner. This can be regional, and doesn't have to be IT related, but it would make it easier if it were.
e.g.: I'm planning to write an article for opensource.com (if I have some time, and a subject :shock: ), giving more interviews. There are things that people in the community could do too (like writing articles).

How to brand SolydXK (how do we people want to know SolydXK)?
- Design
- Advertising
- More?

This is where I could really use everybody's input, and ideas.


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 12 Apr 2013 06:44

Evil-K wrote:I actually plan on opening up a small used computer shop, hopefully within the next couple of years. Should my plan reach fruition, I hope to ship computers with SolydK or SolydX (stats depending) preinstalled, with a portion of the sale donated to the distro. Part of the price will cover support for their new operating system (helping customers fix the inevitable goof-ups). 90 days of support will come at no extra charge, with a year of support coming with a reasonable up-charge.

Linus Torvalds, when asked why Linux didn't conquer the desktop, responded that the average person doesn't want to have to install (or reinstall) their operating system. What I want to do is take away that extra step, and even give a little bit of friendly tech support for the newbies.

(Of course, customers CAN have Windows preinstalled as well, with a nominal fee, of course)

At any rate, one of the biggest things that has been proven to work is to sell computers with the OS preinstalled, with sufficient easy-to-follow instructions geared toward the common user. Microsoft has done this extremely well over the past couple of decades ever since Windows first came out, while Linux has had to rely primarily on niche markets (Red Hat and SuSE) and word-of-mouth (every single other distribution).
That really sounds great!
If you ever need help on your business plan or something like that, just let me know.
What would be the best way to reach people like you who are thinking about starting their own computer business?
Of course, people first need to know about SolydXK. That's what I'm trying to describe in my previous post.

And please keep us posted on your new business.


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby ane champenois » 12 Apr 2013 07:47

Let's go to this topic! 8-)

I don't have a real experience of small business owners so I will talk about windows users (WU).
WU are so numerous that we can't consider them as an only one category. IMHO, we have to decide who among them, we want to touch.I can see at least 2 categories:
- players
For them, the steam support in SolydXK is a very good point.We have to find the way to convince them. Perhaps with a presence on forum/sites/(...) dedicated for players.
- man and woman in the street
*It's true that for the man and woman in the street, the best way is not to install themselves the OS on their computers. Most of the time in France (I speak about what I know best), people just buy their new computer in a hypermarket and they just want an out-of-the-box product.
SolydXK is aimed to be very easy to install, so it's a very good point for it.
theses people first of all need stability and also someone to contact (phone or see) to help them in emergency situations.
*Another way is to aim XP users because the Microsoft support is going to end and we could propose them not to change their PC but to convert it into SolydXK. In this time of crisis, it could be useful for people and fight planned obsolescence. It makes me think about a french distro, emmabuntüs (see here: http://emmabuntus.sourceforge.net/).

That's all for a first contribution. Thanks for reading :mrgreen:

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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 12 Apr 2013 09:28

ane champenois wrote:players
For them, the steam support in SolydXK is a very good point.We have to find the way to convince them. Perhaps with a presence on forum/sites/(...) dedicated for players.
Do you know of the sites we could use for this?
ane champenois wrote:man and woman in the street
*It's true that for the man and woman in the street, the best way is not to install themselves the OS on their computers. Most of the time in France (I speak about what I know best), people just buy their new computer in a hypermarket and they just want an out-of-the-box product.
This feels like an addition to what Evil-K said: getting SolydXK preinstalled on laptops and pc's.
ane champenois wrote:theses people first of all need stability and also someone to contact (phone or see) to help them in emergency situations.
Phone or see...can they do that now they use Windows?
I ask because people here need a handy nephew or neighbor to fix things - calling MS is no use.
However, this is definitely a possible service we can provide in the future.
ane champenois wrote:Another way is to aim XP users because the Microsoft support is going to end and we could propose them not to change their PC but to convert it into SolydXK. In this time of crisis, it could be useful for people and fight planned obsolescence. It makes me think about a french distro, emmabuntüs (see here: http://emmabuntus.sourceforge.net/).
Do you have ideas on how to reach these XP users?
I know that about 4.2 million machines at Dutch offices are still using XP - that is a potential market.


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby stelios » 12 Apr 2013 16:51

Schoelje wrote:
ane champenois wrote:players
For them, the steam support in SolydXK is a very good point.We have to find the way to convince them. Perhaps with a presence on forum/sites/(...) dedicated for players.
Do you know of the sites we could use for this?

One could be this
http://phoronix.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?22-Gaming

A lot of high level developers frequent the phoronix forum, especially those developing drivers for video cards.

A lot of people tell me they want a computer just for "serious" work, not gaming. This is rarely true. It is mostly the younger ( at any given time) generation that sets the tone for what is to come. When i was younger, i played a lot of games. Now-days, i do not, but if someone told me back then that i wouldn't be able to play my favorite games, i would have turned my back and walked away without a second thought. The vast majority of people do not use a computer for programming, learning how to setup a server etc. That is the exception. So the ability to play games is essential. Which, for me, is the main reason why Linux never fared well as an operating system for desktops.

For companies, things are more complicated, but still, what people understand as an "valid and real operating system" is greatly affected by the operating system they are familiar with. The one they see around them. They are also less likely to take a risk with serious financial consequences than an average user, who will simply uninstall it if something goes wrong. Never underestimate fear.

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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby MAYBL8 » 12 Apr 2013 21:04

How about this idea:
So, in some shop i saw a magazine with an Ubuntu cd. I bought it, installed it and loved it!


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby Evil-K » 12 Apr 2013 21:10

Also, Linux discs were included with those "Linux for Dummies" and "Ubuntu Linux for Dummies" books.
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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby longtomjr » 13 Apr 2013 07:12

Ok... This is for a more long term viewpoint... We must get Solyd into schools. Microsoft did this very well and they are getting the fruit of it now... They gave Windows very cheap to schools here in South Africa (I don't know about other countries). The people used windows, learned to work on windows and now they see a computer as 'a windows computer'. When I try to tell people about linux they dont understand because the people dont know what a OS is... When you first tell them and they get it, then the answer is, "I already have windows, why change?" When I try to explain to them that windows is not free they say, "It came free with the computer."

Well Ubuntu did quite well to in this aspect, with Edubuntu. I know someone that is running the computers for a private school, because Microsoft only give windows cheap to public schools. This person then chose Edubuntu for her classes and the system is now running linux, Only linux... This is what we want... We want people to run Solyd from the start of learning computers... The problem is that people dont know the verity of linux Distros, only Ubuntu is in their minds...

And another thing is the third hit you get on Google when searching linux is Ubuntu's home....

Any Thoughts...

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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby MAYBL8 » 13 Apr 2013 12:33

Schools are a good idea.
The problem is as you mentioned. Windows or Mac's are already in the school systems.
If you are going to get Solyd on computers installed you are going to need a users manual with:
1. Instructions on commands
2. How to set up users.
3. A tutorial on Linux vs Windows or Mac (since this is what they already know)
4. How to get drivers and set up hardware like printers etc.
5. How to download and install software.
6. How to use wine.
7. Guide on how to get help.

This is just a start of a list.
Maybe a Solydxk for dummies book. Someone already mentioned Ubuntu for Dummies.

Another idea is to get Solyd in Libraries.
Maybe set up some classes in your community.

I need to quit now or I will never stop with this.


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 13 Apr 2013 12:47

MAYBL8 wrote:I need to quit now or I will never stop with this.
Please, never do stop with this.

Just a short update: I'm working on a bug in live-installer at the moment, and there's the update manager issue.
In other words: I'm a bit busy at the moment, but I promise to read all your posts, and give an appropriate answer as soon as I can.

Just keep the ideas coming!


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 14 Apr 2013 18:00

I've collected all that I think is the core of this discussion. I'll keep it compact because we'll have to be able to work with it: a lot of small steps are more easily taken than big steps (and there's little risk you fall flat on your face).

Scope
I'd like to concentrate mainly on the first two groups (for now):
  • The Windows user who'd like to try something else, but doesn't know where to begin.
  • The (small) business owner, who wants to concentrate on his core-business instead of maintaining the little of IT he has.
It boils down to some simple questions:
  • How do we reach these groups (means)?
  • How do we change their opinion about Linux, and SolydXK in particular (change image and opinion about Linux)?
  • How do we let these groups realize there is a viable alternative?

Education
This section is of a long-term nature. I needs to be addressed some time, but because SolydXK is a startup, focus and priority lies elsewhere.
  • Teach IT managers, business owners, windows users how to choose the best OS for their needs: the need to know first that Linux is a viable alternative in certain situations.
  • Find the early adaptor in an organization. He/she becomes the ambassador of open source thinking in his/her organization. Find such a person and find out what his/her motives and arguments were, what had to be done (convincing the right people, changing the organization = change management), conclusions after implementation.
TODO
  • Find suitable organizations that are already educating groups of people about the use of PC's, or how to implement IT in your organization.
  • Find a way to reach the current XP user. What magazines/papers do they read, or sites do they visit (I think this is potentially very interesting, but incredibly hard to realize).
  • Promote SolydXK to Libraries and non-profit organizations in your neighborhood.

SolydXK pre-installed
Have SolydXK pre-installed on laptops and PC's to give people an alternative when they buy a laptop or PC.

TODO
Find (online) shops that already offer Linux pre-installed on their systems. They are most likely open for the idea of having a rolling distribution as a pre-installed OS on their systems.


Branding
How do we want people to talk about SolydXK, and what will they talk about.

TODO
  • Write articles for open source news sites like opensource.com
  • Write reviews/tutorials for (paper) magazines, and promote with a SolydXK DVD to get people started.
  • Write a SolydXK for dummies book. I'd love the idea, but a bit ambitious to say the least: who'd want to write that?
  • Write an entry for wikipedia (who has experience with that?)

I have my doubts about attracting players actively: they are not our target public. So, I'll leave them out of the equation (for now).


So, what do you think?
Is this something that we can work with?
Not all is detailed enough yet, but that will come in time.


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby on4aa » 15 Apr 2013 10:32

Let's write a SolydXK entry for Wikipedia!
Here is a random example for another distro.

I often first check what Wikipedia has to say about a piece of software before installing it.
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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 15 Apr 2013 10:39

on4aa wrote:Let's write a SolydXK entry for Wikipedia!
Here is a random example for another distro.

I often first check what Wikipedia has to say about a piece of software before installing it.
Yes, that's a good idea!
I've added it to the TODO list under Branding.
The question remains: who has experience with this?


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Re: Howto market SolydXK

Postby on4aa » 15 Apr 2013 10:46

I have just read: "Good targets for GNU/Linux are not the computer illiterate, but people who have reached the pain threshold with Microsoft Windows."

(This also my personal background by the way.)
Kurtz: "Have you ever considered any real freedoms? Freedoms from the opinion of others... even the opinions of yourself?"


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