Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back > Blogs > williamfromtexas
User Name


Rate this Entry

A community of interest?

Posted 04-26-2010 at 11:05 AM by williamfromtexas

There are two reasons why I love to hear this: "I will switch to linux when I can use [specialized piece of software]."

The first reason is: if there isn't already a free software clone of the latest version of what you want, then a virtual machine or emulation layer will do the trick. This is the technical argument, and works well on certain people.

The second reason and better reason is: it tells me that the person knows of 'the third option', they just don't know about it. Linux is visible, we now need to inform the public that they need not be afriad.

People are scared of change, and uninterested in techno-babble benefits.

This is where a relationship based on trust will help to win people's respect. Trust and respect are cornerstones of the free and open source movement. Within the linux community, people have built bridges across the web to form a global network of mutual contributions.

If we want to include everyone, how can we reach users that are just... users?

People in general expect to trust certain things, holding on to the notion (and rightfully so) that the cogs of a machine should operate so that the whole system will stand by itself. It is especially true for tech systems, and is one factor that makes the web such a captivating thing: it's always on.

I have literally seen people panic when the internet is not reachable.

Service to connect to e-mail, news and friends are trusted to be what they advertise. Habit makes many people trust their operating systems (certain brands less than others), and this is why many rely on anti-virus software to keep them safe.

An increase of trust between the linux community and users in general will be key to winning people's respect. Graphical user environments have brought linux a long way into the public realm, and now technical barriers pose little-to-no problem.

The next step in widening our community of interest will be a campaign of awareness, engaging and challenging Joe User to trust.
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 1591 Comments 7
« Prev     Main     Next »
Total Comments 7


  1. Old Comment
    uninterested in techno-babble benefits.
    I picked up on this & in the context of the rest of the post, it would seem to me that we want to be emphasising the benefits of better stability/reliability to Joe User.
    Posted 04-26-2010 at 03:24 PM by rich_c rich_c is offline
  2. Old Comment

    And as well, the large offering of free and trust-able sources of software. The above post was sparked by a conversation I had with a friend last night:

    His normal routine consists of scouring the web for (what he hopes is) virus-free pirate software and serial keys. I told him "with linux you just click on some buttons over here and it takes care of it for you". He was shocked that such a thing as Ubuntu's add/remove software function existed.
    Posted 04-26-2010 at 03:32 PM by williamfromtexas williamfromtexas is offline
  3. Old Comment
    The main thing that I hear from people is the ease of installing different equipment and their drivers. They ask "If I buy a new printer can I put in a cd and it will install the driver and a program to make it easy to access." This is when you hope they have not experienced the problem of having a printer there is no native drivers for. Until hardware manufactures start making linux drivers available with there cds linux will be a hard sell.
    Posted 04-26-2010 at 06:20 PM by Larry Webb Larry Webb is offline
  4. Old Comment
    The answer to the hardware thing is that you have to do a little research to see what's supported. This is one of the other big fundamental differences. A lot of hardware is supported without the need to faff with 3rd party drivers, it's built in! Again, you lessen the chance that installing your potentially badly written 3rd party driver will bork your system. So really, a positive point if you look at it that way.
    Posted 04-27-2010 at 11:12 AM by rich_c rich_c is offline
  5. Old Comment
    This explains everything:
    Originally Posted by williamfromtexas
    People are scared of change
    It's most commonly not an issue with apps, drivers, anything but just a fear of change.
    Posted 04-28-2010 at 06:41 AM by Web31337 Web31337 is offline
  6. Old Comment
    IMHO, in addition to a fear of change it's also an apathy toward change & having to (Or percieving the need to) re-learn how to do things. Maybe an emphasis on how a change to Linux will make your life easier will outweigh this eventually. I can testify that my main PC is incredibly boring! It sits on the desk quietly doing what a PC should for days/weeks on end with hardly any intervention from me! Thank goodness for my 'spare' machines that I can play with and break! LOL.
    Posted 04-28-2010 at 03:43 PM by rich_c rich_c is offline
  7. Old Comment
    g'day mates; may I suggest in this era where parallel / VMware virtual hosting is getting so close to gui depdendent, granny end user level usibility, the whole hardware driver issue is ever closer to moot?

    As an evangelistic 'tux | FOSS | OSS' user infamous in my personal &/or professional serial entrepreneur endeavors, I'm somewhat renowned in my peer circles for last 5+ years now for converting anyone seeking my support to once again 'fix' [pronounced 'clean re-install'] micro$ux windoze environments, for refusing to waste my time on such, and simply converting their equipment to opensuse instead.

    In just the last 2 years I've actually even helped some clients of mine go full on OSS from top to bottom in their SMB &/or SOHO business systems.

    Must say, with rare exception last 2 years now [can you say NEVER BUY A LEXMARK PRNR!? ;]], virtually any hardware thrown at opensuse/linux will, with minimum community support + one's homework efforts, work in short order.

    2cents=enough said.. ;]]
    Posted 04-29-2010 at 07:07 PM by tech9iner tech9iner is offline


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:04 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration