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Advocacy. Not Marketing

While on the UK LUG Tour, Brother Bacon and I discussed effective open source advocacy from many different angles. Around that time, I started considerinng stripping "marketing" from my blog's title and using "advocacy" instead.

Yesterday, Martin Buckely called my attention to Jem Matzan 's claim that the nature of open source advocacy has changed. Or, rather, diminished.

Matzan's points about the two kinds of trolls is dead on the money. We have all seen the behavior types that Matzan identifies ("just use my preferred distro if you have a problem" bigot trolls, "i'll stop using this distro if I don't get some help" grifter trolls). But I disagree with Matzan's big premise about the decline in advocacy.

Trolls aren't advocates, effective or otherwise. Clearly, they are detrimental to advocacy because they put noise into the advocacy signal. Matzan makes that point well.

Counter to Matzan's eneral assertion, I say that advocacy is thriving. Planet Advocacy aggregates several the blogs of several open source advocates (including Yours Truly). FLOSS Weekly, Chris DiBona's franchise within Leo Laporte's TWiT.tv empire, follows open source well. LugRadio constantly looks at various angles of advocacy. The Linux Linux Tech Show valiantly broadcasts live weekly. Journalists like eWeek's Steven Vaughan-Nichols and Network World's Phil Hochmuth keep the media drumbeat going. Legends like Jon "Mad Dog" Hall are out there. I'll forget too many if I try to make a comprehensive list, so I conclude by saying that we should absolutely not forget the hundreds of Linux User Groups who tirelessly advocate at local and regional events all over the world.

So, maybe it's time to shed the marketing name from my blog's title. My work these days is more like advocacy anyway.


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