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NewsForge: Marketing FOSS with Donor-Paid Ads

Sep 01, 2006, 10:30 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

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"On December 16, 2004, the appearance of a donor-sponsored ad for Firefox in The New York Times became a landmark in the history of free and open source software. The first of its kind, the campaign received widespread attention, while the ad itself was seen as a sign that FOSS had entered the mainstream consciousness. Since then, similar campaigns have been organized both in the FOSS communities and in online social actions groups. While not suitable for every FOSS project, such campaigns remain an important marketing tool. However, they require careful consideration of their suitability, a high degree of organization, and the recognition of donors' contributions if they are to be fully effective.

"As Gregory Heller, manager of the Defective By Design campaign, points out, donor-paid ads have been used for decades in newspapers..."

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