The FreeBSD 'zine
March 2000 : Advocacy

Advocating FreeBSD
by Jim Mock <[email protected]>

Every once in a while, I'll be sitting in a restaurant or at a cafe, or in line somewhere, and I'll hear someone mention what seems to be the latest crazy in buzzwords... "Linux". Everytime I hear someone mention this, I can't help but wonder if they've ever even heard of FreeBSD, let alone know what it is. We as a community, and all of the BSDs in general, really need to push the whole advocacy thing a little harder than those in the Linux camp since the media seems to be doing that for them just as much as they are.

By now you're probably wondering what exactly my point is. Well, it's simple. ADVOCATE! Do something to advocate FreeBSD. Believe it or not, every little bit helps. I also wouldn't be surprised if you were wondering what you could do to help. The answer to that is also quite simple, and I've listed a few things below that would be a good start in becoming a FreeBSD advocate.

  • Start a Users Group.

  • Tell friends, co-workers, family, anyone you have a semi-computer related discussion with about FreeBSD.

  • Hold an install-a-thon.

  • Help someone install FreeBSD.

  • Buy a t-shirt, polo, denim shirt, jacket, coffee mug, or anything else with a FreeBSD logo on it and wear it or put it somewhere people can see it and ask what it is (they will, they can't resist when they see the daemon since he's so cute).

  • Go to a Linux Users Group meeting and give a talk about FreeBSD. Keep in mind it's a good idea to contact the group first to plan it otherwise if you just stand up and start ranting manically about FreeBSD you might get lynched by a mob of angry Linux users. This is also an excellent place to hand out FreeBSD CD sets and stickers (email me if you are interested in doing something like this, helping out User Groups with CDs and stickers and so forth is part of my job. If you're not serious about it, don't waste my time or yours.).

  • Write an article for an online magazine such as the one you're reading right now, or Daemon News, or any of the other ezines out there or take it one step further and submit it to published magazines, such as SysAdmin, etc..

  • Give a talk on FreeBSD at a convention such as BSDCon or LinuxWorld.

Another good way to help out the project is to answer questions on the FreeBSD mailing lists. The freebsd-questions list is a good place to start.

Being an advocate is a tough job, but not only does it benefit the project, it also benefits you by making yourself known to the community. The items above are just a short list of what you can do to help spread the word about FreeBSD.. now get out there and advocate! ;-)

- jim

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