Better than a decoder pin: New FSF bootable membership cards

Summary:It just isn't the holidays without "A Christmas Story," and Ralphie's quest for his decoder pin and Red Ryder BB Gun. Like Ralphie, the Free Software Foundation understands the benefits of membership and they have a unique hook for prospective new members: A bootable membership card.

It just isn't the holidays without "A Christmas Story," and Ralphie's quest for his decoder pin and Red Ryder BB Gun. Like Ralphie, the Free Software Foundation understands the benefits of membership and they have a unique hook for prospective new members: A bootable membership card.

Loaded with gNewSense Live!, they are shipping out to members first thing in January 2009 (production problems have caused us a delay). Each card includes a member user name and member number and on the back displays an extract from the free software definition. We've also included some exciting advocacy tools, like speeches from Richard Stallman and videos about free software. Since the card fits right in your wallet alongside your credit cards, you can take the message of software freedom with you everywhere you go.

As an added bonus, parents don't have to worry about junior shooting his eye out with the bootable business card. Membership will only set you back $120 per year, which can be chunked into monthly payments if you don't want to cough it all up at once. Now you can really be a card-carrying FSF supporter.

My question to the audience -- does a membership card (bootable or not) inspire support of the FSF any more than understanding that the money goes to support the FSF? Why or why not? This is a serious question -- I'd like to understand whether a bootable business card would inspire a $120 payment if a person wouldn't already be inclined to support the FSF.

(Whether gNewSense actually qualifies as an entirely free distro is still a matter for debate, but they should at least get credit for intent.)

Topics: IT Employment, Software

About

Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier is the community manager for openSUSE, a community Linux distro sponsored by Novell. Prior to joining Novell, Brockmeier worked as a technology journalist primarily covering the Linux and FOSS beat, and wrote for a number of publications, such as Linux Magazine, Linux.com, Sys Admin, UnixReview.com, IBM developer... Full Bio

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