[nycbug-talk] Re: BSD Success Stories (fwd)

Dru dlavigne6
Sun Sep 26 19:09:48 EDT 2004

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004, George Georgalis wrote:

> Well anyway, what I really wanted to post about was the BSD book
> buying audience.  I don't think it will really hit a critical mass,
> sorry. Think about it, who buys Linux books? People from windows who are
> new to command line, info and man pages; and advanced admins, who somehow
> also have time to read a book too. But look at the BSD user/admin, they
> already know some kind of shell and are good at using electronic doc,
> and happy they don't have to look at info pages. Nobody starts out with
> BSD, right?

One of the questions I'll be bringing up at EuroBSDCon is "where does the 
BSD Community want to go?" Are we only interested in the technically 
adept sysadmin/hacker/ISP? If that's our target audience we're doing a 
pretty good job of keeping our heads above water. Or, is it considered a 
problem that that audience represents a miniscule percentage of the IT, 
and increasingly, the Open Source market? If we want to target so narrow a 
niche, we have to be ready to accept the cost: fewer multimedia drivers, 
browser plugins, BSD rollouts/migrations, and big company support.

Personally, I don't think the community as a whole has defined an advocacy 
focus. (I'm not talking the developers here; they have design plans and are
busy implementing them.) And I think most users are very interested in seeing 
improvements to the desktop and not feeling isolated because noone has heard
of their favourite OS.

The book industry is displaying the symptoms of a much bigger cause. If 
BSD is interested in a larger audience, there is an entire untapped book 
buying market. Books would be needed for the average Linux user who wanted 
to translate his existing skills over to BSD. For the Mac user who wants 
to learn more about his distant cousin. For the Windows user who wants to 
know how to get as much productivity out of his BSD desktop as he's used 
to getting on his Windows platform. For the gamer who wants to know how to 
hack as much as he can out of his hardware. For the bookkeeper who has no 
idea there are equivalents to expensive software and OS licensing. The 
possibilities are mind boggling.

And, I don't want to sound like I'm pushing books or publishing. I'm a 
writer, I can't help but think in writing terms. I'm not a marketing analyst
but I do see other projects getting the limelight they don't necessarily
deserve and it bugs the heck out of me.


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