The Linux Foundation will launch a contest in late January aimed at getting users to create 60-second videos showcasing what Linux means to them. In the finest tradition of open source, the contest riffs off of existing videos developed by commercial software firms.
Specifically, the contest asks contestants to help create Linux's riposte to “I'm a Mac” ads from Apple, and to subsequent “I'm a PC” ads from Microsoft. “Me too” marketing, perhaps — but with a “grass roots” bent: Videos need not parody the existing commercials, but instead should showcase “just what Linux means” to its user base, the Linux Foundation says.
“I'm Linux. I mean Linus. I keep typing that wrong.”
Our guess is that the contest responds to the incident a couple of weeks ago, in which a Texas schoolteacher chastised and punished a student for demonstrating and distributing Linux to his school chums. She reportedly said things like, “No operating system is free, and to say otherwise is lying” (this is paraphrased).
The incident provided a sort of “ah-hah” revelation for many in the community: Linux really has no marketing voice independent from the commercial distributors whose messaging, after all, may not really emphasize its free nature.
The winner(s) will be announced at the LF's Collaboration Summit in SF this April, and will then fly to Tokyo for the LF's Japan Linux Symposium, in Oct. 2009. Further details can be expected in late Jan., though obviously creative minds can immediately begin pondering the possibilities. More about the contest, including rules and video upload links, can be found here.
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.