Marketing Your Open Source Project

In March of this year, I spoke at the Southern California Area Linux Expo (SCaLE), a conference I’ve been attending for years and highly recommend for its kind community, and great people and content.

Here’s the video of my talk:

Here are the slides:


I’m submitting this talk to other conferences, and it will evolve over time, so I hope to get a chance to continue refining it and sharing what I know with more people.

3 thoughts on “Marketing Your Open Source Project

  1. Ben in Seattle

    “Ewww, Marketing!” 🙂 That’s the way I felt when I stumbled upon your talk when trying to look up some phrases in Italian. but I was intrigued that you were teaching marketing to Open Source developers.

    I consider it a serious problem that the only woman in the room was the one talking about marketing. As much as I love the Free Software ethos, I am sorely disappointed with the culture. I think Free Software’s biggest marketing problem is not how to promote any one particular project, but how to promote our fundamental values to a wider, more diverse audience, especially women.

    As an expert on marketing, how would you propose we appeal to women, given these core values:

    * sharing what is naturally abundant
    * encouraging makers and hackers¹
    * reciprocity: giving back and paying it forward

    1. Of course, by “hackers” I mean those who explore and learn, not the criminals that break and steal.

  2. Ben in Seattle

    Or, should we focus on differentiating ourselves from the opposite of Free Software: Proprietary Software?

    I believe proprietary software is primarily harmful to society because it curbs our natural instincts of sharing and curiosity, but off the top of my head I can name quite a few more ethical problems:

    * it relegates people to the role of “end” users: consumers that are the terminal destination,
    * it takes away control over our devices: we cannot choose to run only the parts we want,
    * it requires acceptance of obscenely long binding contracts (EULAs) that take away rights,
    * it encourages monocultures in software (more vulnerable to malware),
    * it places unnecessary work on everyone (for us, reinventing wheels or circumventing DRM; for them, creating DRM and litigating violations)

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