Tuesday, June 20, 2006

red diamond OpenOffice.org activist takes a page out of Firefox' book

Ben Horst and a group of OpenOffice.org activists has started a fund raising campaign to raise awareness for the open source office suite Their plan is to place full page advertisements in New York's Metro newspaper. The concept has been pioneered by the Spread Firefox campaign in 2005 when the open source community raised the substantial funds required to place a double page ad in the New York Times.

The Spread Firefox campaign raised awareness for the launch of Firefox 1.0. The campaign to place an ad in the NY Times became news in itself, because it seemed so outrages. The fund raising was so successful, that a double sided ad appeared in the NY Times with the names of thousands of donors.

Ben Horst, a long-time activist for OpenOffice.org takes it on him self to organize the effort. He set up a project at Fundable.org to raise $10,000 for two full page advertisements in NY Metro. New York's Metro is a free newspaper that is distributed to 330,000 people every day and read by 450,000 readers. The goal of Ben's efforts is to raise awareness that there is an easy to use, free and guaranteed legal alternative to high priced office productivity suites.

In addition to raising the funds, Ben Horst runs also a grassroots discussion group and a competition to design the full page advertisement. This is a real grass roots effort that should help to put OpenOffice.org in the minds of people outside of the geek community.

If you'd like to contribute, please hurry. Ben's goal is to place the ads in the first week of July.


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