VectorLinux

Marketing VL => General => Topic started by: blurymind on July 02, 2008, 01:14:42 pm

Title: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: blurymind on July 02, 2008, 01:14:42 pm
i think that Vector linux's main "fame indicator" is the all powerfull distrowatch hits ranking system,which is curently dropping to make way for other distros that got lots of publicity recently,eventhough they are new on the scene.

The new factor was their strong card,the magnet for curiousity- they all have flashy websites that are oftenly updated, lots of screenshots,original themes,features that other distros didnt have at the time,etc etc...
Ubuntu forlk were smart enough to divide their distro into different camps (kubuntu,xubuntu,etc etc) and that way they won numerous positions on the ranking system and lots more popularity.

Vector's curent version scheme emphasises on enterprise kind of linux that has both a standart version and a paid version- making it look like a company,rather than a community driven distro. Not only so,but it states that only users that payed can have the soho version,eventhough one can install kde from the repo without any problems. Even the website emphasises on that,which i think is not very welcoming to people who never heard of vector before.

Yes,having a deluxe version is just fine,but it would be good if it looks like a way to sponsor VL's development by buying it rather than VL's philosophy model. You should emphasise on the beautiful idea of freedom and avaiability,always free of chargeness,thats good publicity.Thats what all the others are stating one way or the other.

VL's goals: I believe that VL has a lot to offer that other distrost dont have at all.But its goals are not clear to the masses.The website doesnt promote its philosophy,its model and inner charm. And it should - not only the welcoming website,the release announcements at DW too. What are you striving for,what do you have that others dont and the new user would be curious to check it out.Yes,VL has it, it has utilities such as the vlpackager, it has a basic portage system, it has vl-hot,vasm and many exciting features under the hood.Promote that with each release you upgraded one or two of those utilities and fixed bugs and added interesting features and so on. Having a section at the website for each of those utilities at the website with screenshots and all that would also be a good thing- just look at pardus linux- thats their scheme to get the crowds! Unique utilities/features should be promoted,they are strong pawns in the game.
Other than that vector can always promote new and exciting open source projects with its future releases,making them avaiable to try out,and noting that at its DW announcements.
Whats VL's philosophy? As i see it- stay as close as possible to slackware's latest and best,putting it together in one single cd, keeping it light and optimized,fast,user friendly,easy to install! Thats what it does,it does it better than all other slackware based distros i've tried,it should be known that its stable,fast and up-to-date with full compatability with slack's repos.(unlike zenwalk)

portability/avaiability
the ability to load slax modules would be an interesting feature (if not already possible)
wubi-type of try it installation from windows -if its even possible at this time,would make a great change.

live-cd installer capable of installing even on a flash device-I believe dream linux has that feature http://www.dreamlinux.com.br/desktopedition/usblive-overview.html
easy way to compile your own version of the distro: again dreamlinux has its own utility that lets you do that  http://www.dreamlinux.com.br/tutorials/3.0/liveremaster/liveremaster.html   both thanks to the flexiboost technology

Linux on flash devices will get more and more popular with time,especially with the sales of mini laptops thats going on lately. So it will be a good idea to make it possible (via some automated script or something) for one to install it on a flash thumb or sd card.

VL business plan- would be great if we start to see laptops and computers with VL preinstalled   :P ,or flash thumbs with VL on them-  i believe that the hardware+software combo sells more than just software.

VL's Interface design- It made great leaps and i cant really add anything here but a praise to the people who made that possibel and had the exterior design in consideration while getting the latest version ready.

VL's logo and name - some distros make publicity stunts such as slightly changing their names,logos,even merging with other distro projects and so on. I dont think Vec needs any of that.A redesign of the logo for version 6 would give it a fresh vibe though..

these are my thoughts and crazy ideas on the topic curently.What do you guys think?How can a distro's popularity grow?
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: Lyn on July 03, 2008, 12:49:01 am
I am not sure that a complete logo design would be a good idea, certainly tweek it but I am rather fond of the world and V mix that we have.  Yes a bit of a fresh spin is helpful but a wholesale change doesn't aid recognition - some continuity is desirable.

I think Vector meets my needs admirably, its fast and has the features I like.  However for other people other distros meet their needs - I have to admit not being into the whole my distro is better than your distro wars.  Its strenghts are its forum, speed and the fact that it combines free with non free that makes use of the computer easier.  These are the virtues that need to be emphasised.  Given the current number of developers could we ever challenge (or want to) Fedora/Suse/Ubuntu?

What resources do we have to improve the distro?  Where do we want to take it?  What is reasonable and realistic?  What sort of time frame are we talking about?
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: blurymind on July 03, 2008, 02:23:53 am
im not implying we should challenge any other distro,nor that vector has the resources to work out more unique features that it already has. My only concern is the lack of any information to the public about what it has and other slack-based distros dont,that can be helpful to lure new users to try it. It has unique tools,its a very tasty compilation of slackware goodness and its stable.

my idea for a strategy is taking advantage of open source projects that are new and exciting,that would make the distro interesting for a test drive to newbyes and also promoting the open source philosophy of the distro,instead of saying it has a better payed version,that way the public will think that what they are downloading for free is not the full product and that they only can get the full product by spending a buck.Now thats what drives away some linux users,who will think that they can get everything free and better on some other distro. Exactly that "download this version to try it,but if you want the real deal- go and buy it" message is a bad strategy to lure linux users,i think.


Posted this thread for people to share "crazy ideas" and not order a plan of action for the future. The main question remains to everybody who is reading - "How can a distro's popularity be boosted, what are the things that make people eager to try it and then like it"  Share your thoughts,ignore mine if they dont seem right.They are just floating words in the air, just by saying them that doesnt mean they would affect vector or its comunity somehow.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: Witek Mozga on July 03, 2008, 03:30:51 am
Posted this thread for people to share "crazy ideas" and not order a plan of action for the future. The main question remains to everybody who is reading - "How can a distro's popularity be boosted, what are the things that make people eager to try it and then like it"  S

It seems that distro popularity depends three (not so) simple things:
1. must be visible on distrowatch by regular releases or betas
2. must be stable and easy to use - implies vision and committed developers - implies a company behind it to pay money
3. it needs community to support it

I guess Vector falls short for point 1. It also lacks some basic things like stable website and forum, bugtracker and, In my opinion, the developers are wasting their effort by trying to have a version for everyone: standard, soho, light, livecd, 64, etc.

Interesting article: "Which Linux Distributions Are Dying?"
http://codingexperiments.com/archives/149

It shows that Ubuntu might soon be synonymous for linux, however comments argue.


Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: wcs on July 18, 2008, 03:24:46 am
I agree with most of what blurymind has said.

There's something about the paid version that bothers me, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's not the cost itself, as I have previously paid for Deluxe versions 5.8 and 5.9. But it somehow suggests that you are missing on a lot of things, unless you pay. Of course, the software is available in the repos, and the source code is available as well, so it's no big deal.

I think it's a bit of a catch 22. If you advertise it as something very different, it makes ideas about closed software come to mind. If you emphasise that it's just about packaging, configuration and testing, and you can get kde for standard anyway, then the motivation for actually buying it goes a bit down.

I also agree that a proper Live CD that you could use to install VL and the ability to install from a USB pen would be very desirable features and the crucial ones that could make interest in VL grow a lot more. Of course, I appreciate that it must be very hard work.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: overthere on July 24, 2008, 05:12:31 pm
well..here is a radicle idea..if vector-std were a live cd with the option to install to hd and were as wonderfull as the current install...with a dillo pop up that not only gave a few tips on how to get k3b started and how to connect to the net via dial-up and high speed, but also noted the community driven nature of the project and the support that was always needed and rewarded and listed for a donation of 20 we'll send you a vector tee shirt, for 25 the MMBD for 30 the deluxe set so you can get lots of vl extras with out several individual installs from the growing repository..this may get the live cd slinging crowd stopping in there tracks and maby a few donaters on the wall of fame..just a thought...this may also get listed on DW and the live cd is still very powerfull..I downloaded 32 before I finally decided to install something useable..vector won..if it had been a live cd I would have found it sooner. I realize this is a lot of hard work and perhaps crazy but the thread was for ideas...on the web site as always the soho version with support is available in the vl store along with lots of great items for you and your home or office needs...but if you want that shirt or cap it can only be had with your community spirt and kindly donation..some people love mailing lists and since donations would require addresses for rewards...well what ever..it makes a caps seem so much more than just another purchase.. it's a reward, it's easy and that's fun..maby..
cheers
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: BlueMage on July 26, 2008, 09:20:06 pm
Linux on flash devices will get more and more popular with time,especially with the sales of mini laptops thats going on lately. So it will be a good idea to make it possible (via some automated script or something) for one to install it on a flash thumb or sd card.

There are few USB-based distros that I know of, and of them, I only use Puppy regularly (and even then, only because I can't get a Vector-version to work properly :( ) so I believe that this would be a major draw card.

Quote
VL's logo and name - some distros make publicity stunts such as slightly changing their names,logos,even merging with other distro projects and so on. I dont think Vec needs any of that.A redesign of the logo for version 6 would give it a fresh vibe though..

I admit, I'm an engineer, not a marketter, but it seems that a logo redesign - especially when the logo is distinctive, as Vector's is - is not a smart move.  It clouds the consumer's view of the product, and can raise the question that something is trying to be obscured, but what?  A consistent logo conveys exactly that - consistency.  And consistency is a good thing to consumers (which is what users are, really).

Quote
these are my thoughts and crazy ideas on the topic curently.What do you guys think?How can a distro's popularity grow?

You mean beyond being free and awesome?
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: overthere on July 27, 2008, 04:08:36 pm
I agree that the logo need not change..the reason I always loved a jag is that it always looked the same...sure the nose changed over the years but at a glance its still the same old jag to me...I like the spinning globe behind the stylized V...I think it would be cool if the std vector wallpaper was animated with the spinning globe logo in the center of a black screen. people love bling..I use rocks screen saver as fluxbox wallpaper and have been wondering how I could do this with the logo..
cheers
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: Tommy599 on August 07, 2008, 02:36:30 pm
I was reading an article about LXDE (http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS7428727466.html?kc=rss) and it featured a list of distros that were using it, and among them there is

Quote
Vectorlinux LITE -- LITE edition uses complete package

I read somewhere on the forum some debate over lite and light and was wondering if the article needed to be corrected. It features on Digg and I stumbled it, so it's getting exposure, maybe it needs to be more accurate.

Should the author be asked to correct it?

Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: caitlyn on August 07, 2008, 03:55:19 pm
Yes, it;s Light not Lite.

I also agree that Blurymind makes some excellent points.  Vector Linux betas and release candidates don't seem to get submitted to Distrowatch.  Maybe that's something Vector can do or else delegate out.  That would certainly help.

While I did write a review of SOHO for O'Reilly some of the e-mail I received indicated a definite resistance to a paid version.  Granted, those people probably would have objected to Deluxe already but... SOHO was free for previous releases.  Going from free to fee clearly rubs some people the wrong way.  It doesn't seem to matter to them that the cost is about the same as a large pizza.  Any cost is too much cost and there is a definite attitude of entitlement among some people in the Linux community.  Equating Vector with Red Hat is silly but I actually received an e-mail that did just that.

The main thing Vector could do to attract more interest is improve internationalization and localization.  Look at Zenwalk -- You can choose your default language/locale in the installer.  You can choose your language and locale at login or change the default in the Zen Panel.  Ditto keyboard layout in xorg.conf, something that the Xfce keyboard switcher definitely doesn't do.  Zenwalk also has all the language packs for OpenOffice, Iceweasel (Firefox), and Icedove (Thunderbird), as well as full sets of hunspell and aspell dictionaries.  We have some of that but nowhere near all.  There are lots of people in this world who speak/read/write a perfectly good English but prefer to have their system in their native language.  We probably could also have fora in different languages and a translated website as well.  That would definitely increase our audience.

Another issue VL has been criticized for is security.  Sometimes security patches or updated packages appear quickly (thanks rbistofi) and then languish in testing where people don't always see them.  The patches repository should be enabled by default but it isn't.  Sometimes there isn't a timely package at all.  Firefox 2.0.0.14 has known security vulnerabilities and newer versions haven't been packaged.  If VL wants to team with consulting firms and sell to businesses, even small businesses, then prompt security updates has to become a priority and they have to be moved into patches or extra on a timely basis. 

Oh, and you have to reenable automated updates in gslapt and also incorporate gslapt-notifier into the desktop so people are aware of the need to patch.  Trust the users to make smart decisions about whether or not to upgrade.

Package GNOME again.  I don't like it but it is popular.  Folks who don't see their favorite DE may just avoid the distro.

Those are my suggestions.  Yes, I understand VL would need more volunteers to make them all happen.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: wcs on August 07, 2008, 05:47:11 pm
Quote
I read somewhere on the forum some debate over lite and light and was wondering if the article needed to be corrected. It features on Digg and I stumbled it, so it's getting exposure, maybe it needs to be more accurate.

Turns out the author of that article took his info from the lxde webpage:
http://lxde.org/download.html (http://lxde.org/download.html)

And the link points to a vl forum thread about the release of Light RC1 (both in the article and lxde page).
Yea, I guess the lxde people should be posted about the Final release and the name.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: rbistolfi on August 07, 2008, 06:28:03 pm
I agree also with the constructive critic exposed here. I am glad also many of them are being attacked right from the beginning by the developers in VL6. I think we could agree on a sort of l testing cycle for the security patches, and move them to patches more quickly in that way. The notifier will be there in VL6, I run it on alpha but there is not much patches there yet to test it :P. I know exeterdad is working on some stuff that will allow us to have latest ff and t-bird really fast after release. Also gnome will be an option as you guys can note from the std-alpha iso, I agree with Cait, I dont like it but lot of people do and choice matter :)

About SOHO being paid, I would love to see all VL versions for free, but I understand the developers do invest time and money that has to come out from somewhere, so I guess we would have to offer them an alternative attached to the suggestion of making deluxe editions for free. I cant think about any right now.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: budulay on August 07, 2008, 10:47:53 pm
Hi
The main thing Vector could do to attract more interest is improve internationalization and localization.  Look at Zenwalk -- You can choose your default language/locale in the installer. ...  We probably could also have fora in different languages and a translated website as well.  That would definitely increase our audience.
I totaly agree on that. Now I have quite a lot of headache with cyrilic filenames, while I have an information that they work perfectly on Zenwalk.
I speak Russian and Ukrainian, so if translated website and other stuff is needed, I will gladly help.

In my opinion, the developers are wasting their effort by trying to have a version for everyone: standard, soho, light, livecd, 64, etc.
As for me, having version for everyone is great thing that attract people to Vector Linux.

Also there is one thing I'd like to add. Maybe there's something wrong with me, not with Vecto Linux, but I often feel that I know much less than I'd like to know about it. I often face that I don't know the most basic and primitive stuff. I haven't read a single Linux book, so maybe that's the problem, but... Is there a practical, not a theoretical way to become more familiar with it? Maybe some great condensed docs for packagers-begginers about often packaging errors and ways how to fix them, tutorials on kernel modules, information on where different staff goes during instalation(for example, *.desktop files)... The docs that could be practically used for making things work and education at the same time. Maybe I just didn't know where to look.
Also a thought - the forum is quite big, so maybe some not annoying advertisements could be placed here to earn some money to help developing process. I just saw quite a lot of them on linuxquestions.org
Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: wcs on August 08, 2008, 02:13:12 am
Quote
I guess we would have to offer them an alternative attached to the suggestion of making deluxe editions for free

Oh, I don't think *Deluxe* editions should be free.
I've been happy in the past paying for Standard Deluxe (and will probably keep on doing it). The 5.9 Std Deluxe came with a couple more themes or wallpapers, some new utilities, more packages in cd 1, and a 2nd cd. That's a great mix, and I liked to contribute.

What's bugging me is SOHO not being free. Arguably a lot of people use KDE, and don't want the hassle of starting with another environment and installing it themselves. Having SOHO being a paid version might turn those people off and actually *reduce* VL's exposure.

I'd say an effort should be made to make both Std and SOHO 6 reach a lot of people and that is easier if they're cost-free.
But the Deluxe editions could stay the way they were....
I understand that those sales might not give VL enough income, so new ideas are needed.

I wonder how the paid support is going?
Getting VL to businesses would be a great way of getting money, but I don't think VL is ready for that yet.
At least not without more (and faster) packagers and testers, more localization, more docs.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: rbistolfi on August 08, 2008, 06:47:49 am
Oh sorry wcs, my mistake.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: M0E-lnx on August 08, 2008, 08:09:54 am
Actually, if you really think about it, the VL product line has not changed a whole lot for the 5.9 release

Users are used to STD and SOHO being free, while Deluxe being the paid version... well, now we have the Light and STD release available @ no charge, and SOHO being sold.... which makes me wonder.... would it make any difference if SOHO would have been renamed to Deluxe?

My point in a nutshell
We still have 2 releases available @ no charge, and one being sold... it's not that different to me.
On top of that, SOHO is being sold with extra software packs.... which indeed does make it equal to the previous "Deluxe" releases.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: caitlyn on August 08, 2008, 10:11:48 am
, the developers are wasting their effort by trying to have a version for everyone: standard, soho, light, livecd, 64, etc.

I completely disagree.  Most of the more popular distros do this including ones with relatively small development teams that are highly rated on Distrowatch.  PCLinuxOS would be a great example.  TinyMe and MiniMe are their two light alternatives, for example.  Zenwalk has four versions and that number will soon grow to five with a GNOME release.  This is part of what makes a distro popular.  Going in the other direction would make VL less popular, not more.

VL64 is particularly critical.  I expect to buy a new laptop next month.  It will be 64-bit.  If VL doesn't continue with 64 bit development I know that I will have to look elsewhere and VL will be relegated to my legacy hardware.  Similarly, Light continues VL's 10 year long history of supporting older, legacy, and limited hardware.  With the growing popularity of Netbook/UMPC systmesm (i.e.: Asus EeePC, Acer Aspire One) I expect Light will be increasingly popular.  SOHO is and has been the flagship distro for some time.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: caitlyn on August 08, 2008, 10:16:22 am

Oh, I don't think *Deluxe* editions should be free.
I've been happy in the past paying for Standard Deluxe (and will probably keep on doing it). The 5.9 Std Deluxe came with a couple more themes or wallpapers, some new utilities, more packages in cd 1, and a 2nd cd. That's a great mix, and I liked to contribute.

What's bugging me is SOHO not being free. Arguably a lot of people use KDE, and don't want the hassle of starting with another environment and installing it themselves. Having SOHO being a paid version might turn those people off and actually *reduce* VL's exposure.

I'd say an effort should be made to make both Std and SOHO 6 reach a lot of people and that is easier if they're cost-free.
But the Deluxe editions could stay the way they were....
I understand that those sales might not give VL enough income, so new ideas are needed.

I wonder how the paid support is going?
Getting VL to businesses would be a great way of getting money, but I don't think VL is ready for that yet.
At least not without more (and faster) packagers and testers, more localization, more docs.

I agree with wcs on most of this, particularly his take on Deluxe vs. SOHO and free vs. paid.  I also agree with the last part, that VL is not ready for the business world.  The thing is, from a purely code perspective, it is awfully close and could be ready with VL6 if a serious effort is made in that direction.  I think that is far more important that Dweeberkitty's expanding lineup of extra discs if business is the goal.  OK, the server support disc is probably the exception here as it would be part of an Enterprise or Server version of VL.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: caitlyn on August 08, 2008, 10:21:57 am
Actually, if you really think about it, the VL product line has not changed a whole lot for the 5.9 release

Users are used to STD and SOHO being free, while Deluxe being the paid version... well, now we have the Light and STD release available @ no charge, and SOHO being sold.... which makes me wonder.... would it make any difference if SOHO would have been renamed to Deluxe?

My point in a nutshell
We still have 2 releases available @ no charge, and one being sold... it's not that different to me.
On top of that, SOHO is being sold with extra software packs.... which indeed does make it equal to the previous "Deluxe" releases.

In principle you are correct but that isn't the perception.  Part of the reason for that is the retention of the SOHO name.  There is a SOHO Deluxe but there isn't a SOHO that isn't deluxe any longer.    You're right that renaming SOHO to something else might have been helpful. 

It's an issue of marketing, something VL has never been very good at.  Of course I am a marketing idiot which is the main reason I went from trying to build a consulting business to taking a full-time position again.  I can see the mistake in hindsight but I'm the last person in the world who should be giving marketing advice.
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: badgrass on September 02, 2008, 10:24:55 am
push marketing to third world countries...like here in the philippines...we depend on relatively "old" hardware...linux is seems to be still unknown here even to computer geeks...and i think starting a linux craze with VL as the lead could be good
-newbie
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: tripleRsystem on September 18, 2008, 07:37:28 am
Posted this thread for people to share "crazy ideas" and not order a plan of action for the future. The main question remains to everybody who is reading - "How can a distro's popularity be boosted, what are the things that make people eager to try it and then like it"  S

It seems that distro popularity depends three (not so) simple things:
1. must be visible on distrowatch by regular releases or betas
2. must be stable and easy to use - implies vision and committed developers - implies a company behind it to pay money
3. it needs community to support it

I guess Vector falls short for point 1. It also lacks some basic things like stable website and forum, bugtracker and, In my opinion, the developers are wasting their effort by trying to have a version for everyone: standard, soho, light, livecd, 64, etc.

Interesting article: "Which Linux Distributions Are Dying?"
http://codingexperiments.com/archives/149

It shows that Ubuntu might soon be synonymous for linux, however comments argue.




Thank you for the link.  This is a grand opportunity for VL to shape and sharpen its user friendly image.  This article tells me Linux users and those waiting to be convinced to become Linux users are ready for a more business like approach.   Brown distro is all about market share; VL can use the brown disto approach, and gain market share.  It's not good enough in todays dynamic market to wait for the customer to discover how good your product is, the customer base must be informed as to the worth of the product and how how much better off they will be when they use Vector Linux.       
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: waynev on September 20, 2008, 04:15:54 pm
i think that Vector linux's main "fame indicator" is the all powerfull distrowatch hits ranking system,which is curently dropping to make way for other distros that got lots of publicity recently,eventhough they are new on the scene.

Careful blurymind using a word like "Publicity" may be seen as marketing, and we sure don't want that now do we ;D ;D
Title: Re: VL's image to the masses / Ideas
Post by: edwarben89 on November 13, 2008, 11:03:01 am
If we could instead attract devs and artists to VL, we could work on image.