HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

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HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby RepElec on Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:08 am

Hello again!

Now that my graphics are functioning properly, I am falling more and more in love with this nifty little OS called Linux Mint. Why?

Simple. It's a hell of a lot easier than I thought Linux was going to be. Unfortunately, there's still a lot of people out there - a LOT of people - that think Linux is a giant pain in the tail that OMG WILL NEVAR WORK FOR THEM MUST FEED MORE MONEY TO JOBS AND GATES.

But it IS easy now, and cheaper than Windows or MacOS, thanks to Linux Mint. But how best to inform the unwashed masses?

* ADVERTISE ON WEBCOMIC SITES. The more popular, the better, but not overly necessary. There's lots of good webcomics that get plenty of traffic, and their visitors are generally more receptive to alternative tech options if properly marketed. I'd suggest something along the lines of "Why pay tons for Windows when elegance is free?" - push the cost issue big-time, especially as more and more XP users are finding out their operating systems and their security updates won't be supported for much longer.

* MAKE IT EASY TO FIND COMPATIBLE HARDWARE. I'm sure there's a list somewhere, but the average user won't dig too far if they know they have a comfortable alternative like Windows or MacOS available. I would suggest a big, fat list of compatible hardware (printers especially - I was disappointed to find I could not easily install my Pixma MP310 despite there being newer and older drivers for the Pixma series available), with a big, shiny button screaming the list's existence to the world, right on the front page.

Matter of fact, change that to an entire "New To Mint? Click Here!" category that includes the aforementioned list as well as any other pertinent newbie info. You know what would REALLY kick tail? A "Linux University" series of webisode tutorials going over the basic aspects of use, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING INSTALLING PROGRAMS!

RUN AWARENESS CONTESTS, ESPECIALLY ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES. Firefox did something like that and it didn't turn out too badly for them messagewise, as I recall. The basic idea is to promote competition between small groups, preferably on college campuses but could also work with other types of groups, to get this Minty message out to as many people as possible. An example contest could pit groups of 5-10 against one another to see how many unique converts can be gained in a certain timeframe. Prizes would be nominal swag (merch autographed by the Mint team, preconfigured custom-built Mint systems donated by partners, stickers, swag bags, standard promotional fare).

These contests can also be used to generate home-grown advertising. For example, a contest could be sponsored that has individuals or teams creating web commercials or banners or websites or what-have-you that shows why Mint whips the llama out of Windows and MacOS. As an added bonus, some good advertising can be dropped on Mint's doorstep for a helluva lot cheaper than if the project were to hire pros.

* OMG FIX THE LITTLE ANNOYING THINGS. Linux Mint is fanshmabulous, but it's got some really annoying little quirks that will turn off casual Windows and MacOS users (but more so Windows users). For example: the Mint Start Menu needs to be default-mapped to the Windows Start Menu key on thusly-equipped keyboards, Ctrl-Alt-Del needs to automatically bring up the system monitor/task manager instead of the shutdown prompt, and not being able to capitalize the username annoys a lot more people than I thought it would. (In our dev testing, it was the #3 complaint behind limited iTunes support and confusion over how to install programs.)

Which reminds me...

* ITUNES IS A REALLY, REALLY BIG DEAL. Don't ask me why. I don't know. But almost everyone we tested out of a group of 40 said iTunes compatibility would be something they considered - even among the people who didn't have iProducts, because they said they might get one in the future and wanted to make sure their OS would be compatible. iTunes DOES work, we've found, but not easily and not the most recent versions.

I'll add more as I think of them, but for now I have to disassemble a pile of legacy components to see what's useful and what's recyclable.

End communication.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby Rodrigian on Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:26 pm

These are great ideas. Specially the hardware list part. I think it would be better to apply a script so to check hardware support in a pc running windows, so that if it has good support, then the user installs linux mint.

For the college things, I think that local comunities of linux mint users should be established, so to *probably* make these users meet or arrange local meetings. I think although that there is a map function in the website, isn't it? It would be great that when somebody registers in the forum, and setups his/her account AND chooses where he/she lives, then a "pin" could be put in the map.

The adverts could be made by the comunity, and a more cheaper way to promote, could be that those who have blogs, could insert this ads in theirs blogs
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby myspacecommassergio on Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:59 pm

wow what an excellent post... smart thinking there! I love that word he used shmadbafuaofbafaboulous...or how ever your pronounce it lol. :lol: props to this post. It covered a few things that did take some getting used to for me when I transitioned over for the fist time to try Mint.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO WINDOWS USERS

Postby waldo on Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:26 am

Lots of good ideas. Really.

I have another one. Let's call them "Windows Users", not "Average Schlubs". It's got more "elegance". :)
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby vincent on Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:08 am

Just a comment on iTunes...as long as Apple only provides iTunes for Windows and Macs, there will be no way to get iTunes to work as easily as on those two aforementionned OS'es. As it stands right now, the only way to run iTunes is through Wine (or a VM, or dual-booting), but that's no more than an ugly and inconvenient workaround compared to having a native iTunes application designed for Linux. Because iTunes is closed-source, it's up to Apple to choose whether or not they would like to support Linux with iTunes, and unless you want to (illegally) reverse engineer iTunes to produce a native Linux application (and be sued by Apple in the process), iTunes compatibility will continue to be a hit-and-miss issue for Linux. It's not up to Linux and the open-source community, it's up to Apple...
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby OldManHook on Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:20 am

vincent wrote:Just a comment on iTunes...as long as Apple only provides iTunes for Windows and Macs, there will be no way to get iTunes to work as easily as on those two aforementionned OS'es. As it stands right now, the only way to run iTunes is through Wine (or a VM, or dual-booting), but that's no more than an ugly and inconvenient workaround compared to having a native iTunes application designed for Linux. Because iTunes is closed-source, it's up to Apple to choose whether or not they would like to support Linux with iTunes, and unless you want to (illegally) reverse engineer iTunes to produce a native Linux application (and be sued by Apple in the process), iTunes compatibility will continue to be a hit-and-miss issue for Linux. It's not up to Linux and the open-source community, it's up to Apple...

Thanks for all your work Vincent, As for I-Tunes The way Rhythmbox is working now might not need itunes it does everything but Sync You can drag and Drop (baby steps) As for Promoting mint I'm Telling XP users about mint The stuff I'm seeing in the shop will Not run Win. 7.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby hearty on Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:12 pm

YAY, lets do this!
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby DrHu on Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:09 pm

For example: the Mint Start Menu needs to be default-mapped to the Windows Start Menu key on thusly-equipped keyboards, Ctrl-Alt-Del needs to automatically bring up the system monitor/task manager instead of the shutdown prompt, and not being able to capitalize the username annoys a lot more people than I thought it would. (In our dev testing, it was the #3 complaint behind limited iTunes support and confusion over how to install programs.)

I found that funny
--matching windows OS quirks, just to make those average users feel right-at-home is not only a waste of effort, it has never worked

Cloning the look & fell of an OS, while the user knows it is not the same as the native OS, if provided by Microsoft (your examples..) doesn't fly with then, no matter how good the look&feel is
--they will always be on the lookout for some minor quibble about it not being EXACTLY the same (sorry about the CAPS, I fell into a window's quirk mode and forgot where I am
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby Cheesethief on Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:02 am

On the topic of quirks... Making the system look and feel more like windows does not help. If two things are the same, they will both have the same problems, etc. Linux is not Windows and Windows is not Linux. One cannot be better if both are the same.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby tdockery97 on Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:51 am

Will the average schlub even be interested? I always thought all of you were way above average. :wink:
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby Cheesethief on Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:06 am

tdockery97 wrote:Will the average schlub even be interested? I always thought all of you were way above average. :wink:

He probably would if it meant not spending $100+ on an OS.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby sythe on Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:20 pm

I agree with almost everything that you've suggested. However, we won't need iTunes when Nightingale is released.
I also suggest a tutorial on the Mint download page, that shows how to burn Mint to a CD, and how to install it.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby SMT on Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:05 pm

Cheesethief wrote:On the topic of quirks... Making the system look and feel more like windows does not help. If two things are the same, they will both have the same problems, etc. Linux is not Windows and Windows is not Linux. One cannot be better if both are the same.



Cheesethief hit the nail on the head here. Really simply it comes down to users not wanting to see how something can be better, faster, and easier, if its not the same. I read an article a while ago about Linux not being windows and this is what really got me to stop trying to push Linux on my friends. I Love Mint, I love Linux, its what i use and its what I want... but for the most part my family wants to buy a laptop from Best Buy and sync their Ipods and Phones and watch youtube videos. Would they love to not have to contend with stupid security updates, or running anti-virus, or BSOD's, or slow boot ups, or have the extreme eye candy available from compiz or emerald? hell yes. My friends are AMAZED by some of the stuff that my old dell D810 does SCREAMING FAST. And SOME of them have started using Mint. I promote Mint to Navy Sailors almost daily (they get hooked on the rotating cube, and my cool AWN dock bar). I give out Mint CD's all the time. But inevitably the second that something doesnt work, or they have to "OMG... search a forum???!!!" or god forbid I tell one of them to pop a term and enter "sudo blahhh blahh blahh" its too hard. People want windows without the headaches, and are willing to give Linux, especially a beautiful distro like Mint a try. But what they WANT, is free windows without headaches. It has been my experience with several family and friends that they are more willing to put up with waiting on windows, running virus scans, downloading MSI installers and contending with AOL tool bars, and comfortable annoyances, than they are willing to learn something different.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby cudayne on Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:13 pm

I show mint off if you can show them (the average user)that mint does what thtey want most are willing too give it a try.

That being said the above poster had it right its not windows.

An unless your also willing too put in the time too help them with there linux install an geting the odd software program running inevitibly they will run right back too familure windows.

One of the things mickiesoft has done beutiflly sence 95 an above is get rid of the scarry old command line.

People were always scarred of it an some how messing there entire computer up with some mis-typed command. Linux has went a long way too get rid of it too but still on occasion you do have too go there an that scarres the hell out of the average computer user.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby vincent on Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:13 am

I still don't fully understand why newbies are so afraid of the terminal anyways. Besides, the average person doesn't have to use a terminal on a regular basis. It's true that a mis-typed command could cause havoc, but the terminal grants you an enormous amount of power over your Linux install that no GUI can accomplish, thus with great power comes great responsibility.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby randomizer on Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:59 am

Lack of familiarity causes fear. Most people aren't even allowed access to a command prompt on Windows while at work, even if they needed to use it. They've grown up with GUIs so they expect GUIs as though there's some intrinsic superiority with one (for some things there is, like browsing a directory of photos). Oh, and then there's that magical term "user-friendly" that gets thrown around.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby mehmet7 on Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:59 am

Excellent ideas!

I think people who are discovering Mint via websites etc. are already ready and willing to use an alternative OS to WIN.
For the "average" PC user who only is familiar with windows the best strategy is to show it to him in person, and try not to proselyte but give him the choice to do something different. The important thing is to get people curious and make them aware of the existence of things like Mint...thats the way I started to use it!
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby SMT on Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:46 am

vincent wrote:I still don't fully understand why newbies are so afraid of the terminal anyways. Besides, the average person doesn't have to use a terminal on a regular basis. It's true that a mis-typed command could cause havoc, but the terminal grants you an enormous amount of power over your Linux install that no GUI can accomplish, thus with great power comes great responsibility.



Vincent, while its true that Linux, Ubuntu based distros especially, dont NEED the CLI, its much easier for those familiar with the commands to assist others by using the CLI. My wife uses mint as her main OS these days, but only because any issues she has she can call me about, and she obviously trusts that i am not going to tell her to enter a command that isnt going to bork her system. Its a scary thing for someone who have NEVER had to enter a command to pop a term and type in some strange text that they have no Idea what its going to do. The forum users that are providing assistance to newbies also need to remember that Windows Users have lived with and become used to the constant threat of malicious entities that will have them do something JUST to bork their system.

There is a basic disconnect that i have seen often on this very forum where the individual seeking assistance is unwilling to utilize the assistance given because its in the form of CLI commands.

With the freedom offered by Linux and Mint, comes the many different DE's and File Managers and all sorts of other stuff that make offering assistance to via button clicks or gui's virtually impossible. I cant even begin to tell someone how to access synaptic in a KDE or e17 DE, becuase i have no idea what mouse clicks would be necessary, but i can get something installed on either of these systems with a "sudo aptitude install XXXXXX."

Again this is due to the fact that most PC users have NEVER had a choice in DE, or File Manager, or Menu style, or window decorator, so they have no idea that providing this information is even relevant. The expectation is assistance offered in the win / mac style of click here, click there, click this button, close this, check that box.

Showing a new user the beauty and simplicity and greatness of Linux or Mint is easy, Imparting the theory and understanding necessary for understanding is something that only the user can gain for themselves.
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby OldManHook on Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:18 pm

But these same average users don't mind using Reg-Edit on their Windows install to use key-Gens etc;
On some levels it's the same as using the CL-This is not to say all Window user do this-But look at the Sites and some of the How-tos,and you don't want to use the CL :)
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Re: HOW TO PROMOTE LINUX MINT TO THE AVERAGE SCHLUB

Postby SMT on Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:39 pm

OldManHook wrote:But these same average users don't mind using Reg-Edit on their Windows install to use key-Gens etc;
On some levels it's the same as using the CL-This is not to say all Window user do this-But look at the Sites and some of the How-tos,and you don't want to use the CL :)



Oh i agree. I recently bought a new phone, a WM 6.5 device with every intention of installing and running Android. It was successfully ported and funs flawlessly on the device. It's been quite a while since I have been on the XDA dev's forum and Linux Gurus have come out of the wood work to work on Android Builds and apps. I now have Ubuntu 9.10, android 2.2 froyo, and WM 6.5 properly running on my PHONE. Windows users are all over running linux on their phones. I think this in itself is going to do wonders for promoting Linux.

But its still the sad fact that the VAST majority of people dont even know that Android IS a Linux distro. I have asked people that have Moto Droid phones, if they have ever used linux and the resounding answer is no. They have no idea that it is linux. I think THIS is a way to promote Linux and Mint to the average schlub. Everyone and their brother wants Android phones now. They are slowly moving away from the Icrap and seeing the light of the opensource way via the android market. Teach people that they are ALREADY using Linux, and that their PC can be just a slick and fast as their phone with a distro like mint.
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