Freemedia vs. Media for Free

We have been debating for some days now about restructuring Freemedia. This comes from a long way since Susmit made a great job creating a ticket system to get control over the requests to Freemedia program. Thanks Susmit!. Then Frank has been banging every door to get more volunteers, which is a big task and he has keep up. Thanks to you too, Frank!

But after looking some emails in the brainstorming for getting things properly thought, I think some clarification it is needed to move forward. Probably after we move forward that clarification may result dumb. But now I really fell it is needed.

There are some efforts from ambassadors perspective to give away «media for free» to lugs and other ambassadors, so they can distribute the media for free. Distribute in events, to people they know, to colleges trying out … And I think it is wonderful to provide that.

In the other hand we have Freemedia as a program made from volunteers, who donate media to those who fill a request form. The persons who Freemedia aims are those that have a bad internet connection and difficulties to get an online vendor to send a disk to their home town. Volunteers are disperse around the globe, some are ambassadors and some are contributing to fedora in other programs. These volunteers take their time and resources to burn media and ship it where it is needed. This bond people to fedora, as it is not a faceless shipment, but a personal effort. (Well, not always … maybe a few cases, but it is really nice when it happens!)

The problem is that some time Freemedia get confused by some people with «media for free». They disregard Feemedia, as they are working hard to move «media for free» to reach potential users. The same objective objective but different ways.

This is really a problem when you get an Ambassador looking for «media for free» so he can give media to the nearest person. And in order to get the media, they join Freemedia and afterwards become frustrated.

Replies to the work Frank has done to get volunteers, are along those lines too. For example, when you ask people from a country to help Freemedia, and they said there is not formal structure or money for doing that. They are thinking about “media for free”, instead of thinking of a personal voluntary donation of a couple of disks each month.

I am not saying that there is no need for “media for free”. I would love to have more media to give away on events. It has been really hard to me to get “media for free”. What I am saying is that this is a nice task to undertake, while other ways of get media are just not enough to cover the demand. I can’t say what will happen with Freemedia in teh future. Susmit has to much drive and he is looking to rethink Media Distribution as a whole. But by now, I love this small task that Freemedia allow me to do. I want to invite other Fedora contributors to join Freemedia, not just Ambassadors. Other duty that I have in Freemedia program is to check applications, so I will be there to welcome you all.

3 pensamientos sobre “Freemedia vs. Media for Free”

  1. BTW, I just push an article on Fedora Mirroring to a Linux mag. (http://www.lfymag.com/).Almost every institute keeps a copy of it in their library. If more mirrors come up here, hopefully the craze for media will reduce a bit.

  2. One of the aspects that we are trying to wrestle is to figure out the «sweet spot» in Freemedia and, using LocalContacts and, so forth to make the media available.

    The concern is that anyone who requests a media and, does not receive it, gets a bad experience of The Fedora Project and, the way towards fixing this problem should keep this at the back of the mind.

    Shipping media for events is trivial. Get to know the details of the event, the postal address and, the number of DVDs required and, ship them across. It is the single requests (the long tail if you will) that causes lots of issues. There are multiple ways to meet that deluge, the issue is that it does not remain «free» (as in beer any longer). In places where the postal charges are significantly high, there is a ceiling beyond which voluntary efforts are going to make the cut.

  3. I believe strongly in humanitarian FOSS and feel that services like free media, in particular Fedora’s Free Media program, when done right, contribute to this. I joined as an Fedora Ambassador to promote not just the OS but also the ways in which it is used to help others. Notable example being One Laptop Per Child and Free Media. However, I also think that the process needs to be tight, efficient and tailored to achieve the goal of the project as close to every time as it can. Leave nobody behind when possible and if a goal can’t be met, be clear that it can’t and communicate to the serviced community. I’m looking forward to making a difference, myself. Thanks for setting an example, Neville. Cheers.

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