Entry: re-Vision grunts, part III (a translation) 1/17/2005

A rough translation of this morning's rant.

Why Firefox? Why not OpenOffice?
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) should not be all about price. The argument that there is economic advantages ini switching from MS Office to OpenOffice.or is valid and real. And the argument that said economic advantage is more real and valid compared to the economic advantage gained from switching from MSIE to Firefox is also real.

But FOSS is not solely about economic freedom. It is also about socio-cultural freedom.

The struggle (in Indonesia) to switch attention from MS Office to OpenOffice.org is a significant, worthy, and important struggle. The efforts expended have given real resuts in the form of attention towards OpenOffice.org as an MS Office alternative. But you can feel the buzz stopping, because the public in general still have not become overly eager to switch if it does not become a trend. This issue of trendyness can be answered by Firefox.

Firefox as a trendy program
One fact that must be admitted is that the World Wide Web as a (mass) media is very uniqe (compared to traditional mass media) in that it opens up the possibility of interactivity never before imagined, be it from the point of view of participant volume, turn-around speed, and freedom of expression. These freedoms have emerged the presence of the World Wide Web as a medium of cultural escape for those that have felt unable to express their (individual) personalities and opinions through conventional channels.

This is the reason of malesbanget.com's birth. This is the reason for Friendster's runaway popularity. This is the reason behind the emergence of thousands of local blogs, with a lot of them having tagboards (or other form of public forum).

Firefox can potentially become a trend because it as a web browser has a close tie to cyber culture and also to things that cause hundreds of young people to waste hours online everyday (when they're not playing Gunbound or Ragnarog, of course).

The FOSS movement in Indonesia
KPLI becomes a taxi system; paid membership, registration for support services, house calls, reward-system for local hackers. All through email, website, SMS server, RSS.

Can be introduced to the masses during the Firefox workshop as instructors. LinuxIndo cooperates with KPLI and other user groups that have existed at local/institutional levels and start an initiative to form a support web for Free and Open Source Software.

Registration as a support client should be cheaper than a standard KPLI membership. KPLI full members get discount support rates, but they must also contribute code. Support service is coordinated by LinuxIndo through an Email-Web-SMS platform.

LinuxIndo contacts KPLI and other LUGs for cooperation (paid cooperation) in the workshop to be held.

- Not just skill building; but also TREND BUILDING
- Taking advantage of the fact that people love a technology trend, especially when perceived as being 'cool' in the mainstream.
- That is the main reason Firefox is chosen as the marketed product.

note: underlined text in parantheses are postscript additions.


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