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Re: Fear of Change is a Linux Peril; But Vista Will Change This

"Rex Ballard" <rex.ballard@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:1154706570.868879.44700@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The fundamental difference between fear and excitement, is our interpretation of the events. Two people are on a roller coaster. One is certain that the safety equipment will fail, they will fall out, or the car will just jump off the track and drop them thousands of feet. The other person knows that the ride is safe, trusts the safety equipment, and is looking forward to a wonderful experience.

Almost from the moment the coaster reaches the top of the hill, the
first person is in abject terror.  The adrenaline is pumping, and they
are experiencing sensations of weightlessness and they are nausiated
and ready to vomit.  The second person is getting the same adrenaline,
the same sensations of weightlessness, and they are letting their hands
float as they crest the hill, screaming with joy as they reach the
valleys, and they are enjoying every minute.
I've always
said that if someone put out a "Madison Avenue style catalogue",
complete with pictures, screen shots, and sales pitches for each of the
Linux packages and/or programs, people would be frantic to try Linux
and all of these new and wonderful programs.

You're right about the need to show people what they're missing out on. Just the other night, I introduced my brother to Democracy TV (http://www.getdemocracy.com/) and he was extremely skeptic. He kept resisting, but I told him "Trust me, you're gonna love it." One of the channels on Democracy is "KnoxKast" which features clay animation comedy. I knew he knew of the series, so I told him about KnoxKast as one potential incentive. He pointed out that he could already watch KnoxKast on NewGrounds (http://www.newgrounds.com/) but I told him Democracy TV uses full screen, high resolution videos, while NewGrounds has small cell-phone sized videos. We watched a couple episodes of KnoxKast together, but he was still somewhat reluctant. Then I showed him Channel Frederator. And he was hooked. He loved the shows.

The point is I was with him the whole time, and I told him what to click on to get find new channels, and which ones I recommended. For something as simple as "watching TV", I just had to stick around for 2 or 3 hours and he pretty much knew how to do everything he wanted to do with Democracy TV.

I'm not so sure it's as simple with operating systems. There's a lot of topics to cover: How does e-mail and webbrowsing work (this'll be easier if the potential convert already uses Mozilla and FireFox, for example)? What about office productivity? Mp3s? Chatting with friends? Games? I figure it'll actually take several days, maybe even a week, to hold the convert's hand through everything until they're satisfied that anything they could possibly do with the old system, they can do with the new. And the last two are a bit iffy. If they used to use some of MSN's features which aren't available in gAIM, you won't be able to win them on that point. It doesn't matter if you think the feature is dumb or a security risk, the converts who are driven by fear are going to look for any excuse to latch onto the old ways of things.

Not sure how this could be resolved. Perhaps a DVD with example animations showing how to do stuff in Linux? Might be too impersonal. Force the potential convert to attend LUGs where presenters demonstrate features of Linux? This puts the burden on the convert, rather than the converter.

- Oliver

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