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How to Talk About FOSS Without Sounding Like a Total Dweeb

Dec 12, 2008, 19:01 (0 Talkback[s])

"#4. Be even-handed. Lest we stray into "wake up, sheeple!" territory, we should be careful not to be radicals about it. There are other important issues in the world, too. And I don't - and never will - say that FOSS is for everyone. I think healthy eating is good for everyone, too, but I know there are some people who will live on junk food regardless of how many nutritional surveys you read out loud to them.

"#5. Demonstrate it. By all means, let people look over your shoulder while you work on your laptop. The most interest I've ever gotten from people is when they see actual FOSS software in action. Just quietly go about your business, and answer the inevitable "Cool! How'd you do that?" questions.

"#6. Mention who uses it. There's a dangerous idea floating around out there that Free Software is populated by a community of hippies and flakes, and the hippies and flakes who claim to speak for us will never shut up, so that misconception just has to be tirelessly fought against. Point out places like IBM, Wall Street, Google, Hollywood production studios, and of course the backbone of the Internet. Yes, people in suits and ties with jobs use it; it is part of capitalism! Not outside of it!"

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