[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Better visibility of "what can you do with Debian" on the?Debian main page

On 11-04-15 at 12:10pm, Andreas Tille wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 11:49:14AM +0200, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> > To google" only means "to search the web using one specific service 
> > which happens to be very popular".  Just as (at least in Denmark) 
> > non-geeks since long use the term "Word" to mean "word processor" 
> > even though it only means "one specific word processor which happens 
> > to be very popular".  I have tried fighting it in public schools 
> > where teachers are supposed to teach generic skills, not train for a 
> > particular environment (which is anyway outdated when the kids 
> > finish school).
> I agree that my example "to google" was perhaps not perfect.  Probably 
> the term "Excel sheet" instead of spreadsheet, or PowerPoint 
> presentation instead of overhead presentation or something like this 
> would have been a better example.

I fail to see how those other examples are any better: They too are a) 
popular terms but also b) describe populistic and commercial 
simplifications of computing tasks.

> > When my brother and I - back in the dark ages when only geeks had 
> > heard of the term "Linux" - tried persuade some public schools to 
> > adopt use of Linux, he made an observation: Don't say that it is 
> > "similar to Windows" because then they will always treat it as a 
> > (cheaper) imitation of "the real thing".
> > 
> > Similar is my reasoning that we should not use a term which 
> > non-geeks have adopted as meaning "members-only shop for commercial 
> > and freeware applications".
> I got your point.  That's why I pointed out in at least two of my 
> mails that the real thing in fact was just invented *here*.  Thus I 
> would rather try to turn around the argument: Those propriatary app 
> stores just use what we are doing since a long time.

I suspect I did not get my point across: With "the real thing" I do not 
mean "the original thing".

> > It does not matter if Debian was here first.
> IMHO this does matter.

What I meant was that the historical context does not matter to those 
users who embrace commercial terms for generic computing tasks.

When you tell your non-geeky user that "this is just like iPhone or 
Android - we also have an app store (which is bigger, better, came 
first, is Free, etc. etc.)" then your user will hear it as "we have 
adopted that same cool design as Apple invented for their phones (and 
perhaps if you wait long enough we will also adopt other cool ideas from 
the powerful commercial players)".

It does not matter in that story telling that Debian was here first.  
What matters is that the foundation you chose for your story telling was 
that of an "app store" - which all modern computer users know was an 
invention of Apple, because it was _marketed_ as such - no matter if 
technically there is little invention.

I am in favor of better marketing Debian.  But I dislike marketing 
Debian using the "slipstream" of existing succesful marketing terms 
meaning (in the mass consumer market) something else than what we want 
it to mean.

> > As you mention yourself it is very important how our users 
> > comprehend the terms: our "store" do not fit the modern use of the 
> > term, so embracing it confuses and devaluates more than it helps our 
> > users in understanding what we offer them.
> At first I had my doubts about this.  However Ben (as a native 
> speaker) explained that this is not necessarily true.  BTW, aren't 
> there app stores that contain some free (as in beer) apps as well?  We 
> just have everything for free (and will explain the beer versus speach 
> in the next lession).

I am perfectly aware that the core meaning of "store" is not necessarily 
tied to shopping.  The combination "app store" is, however, in the minds 
of those that you want to reach with this marketing, tied to shopping.

You want to hijack a succesful marketing term and use it for a different 
purpose (not a new purpose but its old one before it was hyped).  I 
argue that such attempt at enlightening your users by helping them 
extend their definitions of computing terms will fail.

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

 [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: