Open source has yet to learn it pays to advertise

Open source is making people money. It's helping people build brands organically. But even organic processes need a little fertilizer.

your ad here, from Ad:tech Chicago blog 2007
The latest Microsoft move to upset open source advocates is word the giant of Redmond is helping sponsor the open source census. (Picture from the AD:tech Chicago blog.)

Oh noes, says Matt. Is it a conspiracy, asks Dave? Are they trying to mess with teh results, asks Mike?

What makes this funny is the first time I read this story, on Matt's blog, there was a Microsoft Live Search ad next to it. Last time I checked Dave Rosenberg's shop, there was an ad for a Dell laptop, doubtless running Windows.

Yet Alfresco is doing well. Mulesource is doing well. What gives?

In fact the census has a number of sponsors who aren't Microsoft. We have a lot of advertisers who aren't Microsoft. Trouble is, there aren't enough in any case.

There are many open source companies, especially in the enterprise space, which are making good money these days. Michael Tiemann's employer, Red Hat, comes to mind.

Why is it that all these open source news sites, blog sites, and resource sites are still being sponsored by Microsoft?

We have no choice. Their checks don't bounce. And many open source companies have yet to open the money spigot.

Now I understand that, in an open source business model, marketing is among the functions that gets hit. But we're no longer at the brother-can-you-spare-a-dime stage of development.

Open source is making people money. It's helping people build brands organically. But even organic processes need a little fertilizer.

I don't work in ad sales, but it seems to me they might start with some targeted buys at selected sites where open source advocates write or just hang out.

You don't have to take 30 seconds on Katie Couric or CSI to make your point. Just some reasonably-priced Web sites, some of which might also be CBS properties.

Hint, hint.

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