Why Open Source Needs Marketing (Even Though Developers Hate It)
The concept of creative commons is far older than the advent of Linux some 25 years ago. Like creative commons, word of mouth has long been the foundation of open-source marketing. Indeed, it is how open source has grown its community of contributors. Talk to just about any developer, however, and they’ll tell you they don’t want to be marketed to -- not in the traditional sense, anyway.
So, what role does marketing have and what value does marketing bring to the open-source community?
In my fifteen years of marketing -- several of them for open-source projects, including my current role -- I’ve learned that marketing is absolutely essential to open source’s ability to thrive. I may be a bit biased, but hear me out. What does open source need most? Code contributors. Community. Adoption. All the code and community in the world will be useless if no one adopts it. And user adoption won’t happen without marketing.
It might help if we reframe marketing as advocacy. You need passionate people dedicated to advocating for open source’s success and adoption. That’s where marketing (or advocacy, if you prefer) can help.
The bottom line is that "success" is ultimately measured in perceived value and usage by users... and marketing (or advocacy) is what helps makes this happen.
|Why Open Source Needs Marketing (Even Though Developers Hate It)
Marketers must recognize and champion the importance of the community for open source to thrive.