Open Source Marketing--NOT!!
Open Source Marketing. Sure. We've
seen the cartoon--
But wait...is it Marketing? Kathy Sierra and I discussed this at
length this weekend at FOO Camp-- Building communities and creating Passionate
Users is not about marketing to them. After all, marketing takes
certain steps to create a need, and solve it in a consumer's mind. That
isn't what happens in Open Source. First of all, it's not a product,
and more importantly, it's not for the con$umer.
Let's review: Traditional Marketing is about identifying segments,
and features to a certain segment and pricing, promoting and packaging
the item so
as many segments as possible can purchase the product. Proctor and
Gamble. Daimler Chrysler. Harley Davidson. Apple. DELL. That's
marketing. Create a need. Imply the product is the answer, nudge
the consumer, Make the $ale.
Open Source isn't a consumer product. So building a community is
absolutely not about marketing. And, as tired as it will sound to the
43 readers who notice this post...it's not completely about "The
Conversation"...although there is alot of talking going on...
Let's consider: Open Source community building is not based on
promotion. Open Source
community building is based on attraction.
So, it's not Traditional
Marketing, it's Modern Attraction.
Did we see the soon-to-be-famous InfoWorld
article? Did refugees from the prisons of
"traditional marketing" cringe? I do hope so. Because I am a
complete cynic--I actually considered this might have been a play
to radically increase the readership and click through on
infoworld's site...we all know controversy, drama (and sex) sells!
I envision hundreds of thousands of users staring blankly at the
screen, head tilted 22.5 degrees left, ...trying to grok...Open
Source M-M-M-M Marketing??
friend of opensolaris.org and really cool guy said just this morning
that "...It's clear they don't understand that its more than a
development model, its a philosophy and it applies directly-- to even
marketing. Seeing so many companies now fire the engineers and
hire marketing staff and then slapping "Open Source!" on their front
door is disturbing."
You can say that again. We're into a modern era now...where
Marketing will be replaced by Attraction.
So--Where are all the open source marketers?