FreeBSD Articles for new LINUX ANSWERS magazine

mike at Chook.Demon.Co.UK mike at Chook.Demon.Co.UK
Thu Sep 2 14:18:25 BST 1999

On 02 September 1999 12:21, Culf [SMTP:culf at] wrote:
> Hi,
> It was largely the sentiments expressed here by David and others that
> mrompted me to forward the details to Roger; it seems this is a good
> opportunity to get in early and contribute, but having it called "Linux
> Answers" from the start immediately takes some of the wind out of the
> sails of the BSD community as a whole.  Not that we want to be seen to be
> in direct competition with Linux of course, but it's the whole PR thing 
> Jordan's mentioned from time to time.

Has anyone contacted Walnut Creek?  It's probably not too late to buy the 
back cover for a good looking colour FreeBSD ad, heck for enough cash they 
might even get FreeBSD on a cover disk :-)  In truth since this is a 
commercial venture, if a big advertiser wanted it, even the title could be 
changed, but I'd recommend against that, and here's why...

The "Linux" branding certainly won't give FreeBSD an edge, but with some 
careful maneuvering it may well get more people to find out about FreeBSD 
than a "FreeBSD Answers" or "UNIX answers" (BTW who owns the "UNIX" brand 
at present?)  The strength of Linux at present is that more people know the 
name than know what it is, so they'll buy the magazine as a cheap way to 
fill the gap in their knowledge - absolutely amazing in marketing terms, 
there are marketing folk who would give their right arm for such a brand 
(hey, I never said marketeers were bright!) Look at all the big firms, e.g. 
IBM, Corel, etc. who are using the Linux branding to gain market share. In 
many businesses, esp. US ones market share is EVERYTHING, more important 
even than (short or medium term) profit, e.g. web businesses that may never 
make a profit, but now have very valuable brands.  Free software is now 
important because it has a measurable market share.

The great strength of FreeBSD is that the product is solid, so any exposure 
is likely to gain users, and if the support is in place it will most likely 
keep them.

The history article idea sounds good, since it would not help, from a 
marketing perspective, to be seen only as a "me too" product.  And as we 
all know in this game you can't get a long term advantage over another 
product on features since any new feature is easily incorporated in any 
other UNIX. They can't take away your history, though of course having a 
history doesn't guarantee a future :-(

If there are enough potential, authors, artclies, etc. available then maybe 
"Linux Answers. incorporation FreeBSD answers" might be a good start.

I'll shut up now about marketing and go do some IT....

Michael Saunby

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