Freedomware Marketing < Apple Marketing
I have a little secret to disclose. I sometimes visit Apple.com, not because I have an Apple product. I don't have a Mac and I don't have an iPod nor an iPhone nor iWhatever. Often the sole reason for me going there is to look at the design of the homepage, what new shiny thing do they have to show off. I may be a geek with no life, but pretty much anything that comes out of Apple just screams "You want me! You want me baaad!" :D
OK, that may have been a little bit out of line, but I think quite a few readers here may get the point. Apple is slick. And when I say slick I mean it to the fullest meaning of the term, and probably even more. They have this whole world, or an illusion of one at least, the world of class, style, simplicity, cleanliness, beauty - irresistible, almost like forbidden fruit - almost, as for the right price, you too can take a bite, and Apple can make more money.
But one thing it misses, this beautiful world of Apple, is real freedom. Hey, you took the bite, you made the deal with the devil, don't expect your soul to be owned by you. :) OK I know, another exaggeration, but there really is some truth in it. It's like taking the blue pill in the Matrix and enjoying your ignorance. It's like a golden cage, so beautiful you're barely even aware of the bars, or just don't want to see them. Apple is in control, but you, sort of, love your boss. Well.. almost..
Freedomware is different. It is about Freedom. You are the boss. You are in control. And your computer as well as the system it runs reflects You, your personality. With Freedomware you not only took the red pill, you already won the war. You are in a free land, and nobody is going to tell you that one way or another is better for you.
I am not going to be getting into an argument of which of the two better. I'll just say that I personally consider the latter to be a more logical choice. Sooner or later, the taste of the bite which sold your freedom away will be bitter and you will wonder why can't you be the one in control.
What I want to point out, however, is that we can have both the freedom and the wonderland that Apple built. We can offer this wonderland to the masses so as to make Freedomware irresistible to them. Instead of biting an Apple that poisons you to ignorance of your own freedom, you get to take a deep breath of fresh air on a sunny spring day with beautiful fields awaiting you to take initiative and explore. "Now that you've got the energy, let's party!
But no. The only one who came closest to marketing GNU/Linux the way Apple does is Ubuntu. And it's... um.. brown and cheesy. I mean, people hugging each other smiling? COME ON! We don't want to see cheesy smiling faces. We want smile ourselves, out of sheer impression we get from what we see Freedomware represents. We want to feel blown away. We want to feel like reaching to our pockets because "this is just something I gotta have" and then chuckle as we realize "no no no, this is free, leave your wallet alone!".
Heck.. we have so much going for Freedomware. In many cases it is probably even more compelling that what Apple has to offer. We just have to attune our message to the way messages are most efficiently delivered in a capitalist society we are in: Good Marketing!
You may say this is like tricking people, brainwashing them, and we are all better because we stand for some ethical values. But which, exactly, ethical principle are we violating by trying to reach people who would probably otherwise be totally ignorant towards it, to tell them that they can live a freer life in this digital age, starting by changing their computing platform??? If you wanna call it "brainwashing", fine! We brainwash them from previous brainwashing! ;)
Seriously, I wont take a no for an answer on this one. If you want realism mixed with idealism I think this is one of the rare points at which the two meet without cancelling each other out. This is not an "Open Source - let's not talk about freedom cause suits hate hippy idealists" kind of thing. This is about going full on with what we are about, but saying it the right way, tuning our frequency to the receptors of the masses - good marketing that applies to Freedomware.
Look at Apple. Drool. And then think of ways we can make our own beautiful world SPEAK to the masses and make them drool over it too - until they get it - until Freedomware totally wins all markets and proprietary, old, bloated, restrictive software becomes a relic of the past - a dark middle age of the software industry.
Oh and.. the term "Freedomware" is a must have. It is quite possibly the most marketing-wise term ever used to refer to Free-as-in-freedom software! :)
Marketing. Marketing. Marketing. For Freedomware. I have a feeling I'll be repeating this for quite a while to come. And then... there will be an organization founded to do just that.. Oops.. not telling any more. ;) - Keeping you in suspense, another great way to market!