[Consortium] Advertising Policy - linuxaudio.org

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Sat Apr 21 00:53:15 UTC 2012

On Fri, April 20, 2012 11:21 pm, Jörn Nettingsmeier wrote:
> if i may:
> i share ico's sentiments expressed earlier in this thread, and also
> aymeric's wrt to advertising on the net.

Do you dislike all advertising or just advertising that is on the web?
What specific issues do you have with web advertising. It would be helpful
for building policy guidelines.

So far we have identified these concerns:

1: Tracking
2: Offending existing non corporate sponsors - Is this really an issue?
which sponsors would stop supporting Linux Audio if we allowed advertising
on specific sub domains? Don't Universities receive corporate funding
anymore? Does that mean all bars and nightclubs that host Linux Musicians
should also stop taking sponsorship to make ends meet? How far do we go if
we decide that advertising is not an acceptable way of generating funds
for consortium requirements?

> let's not go there. the whole thing is a bureaucratic nightmare and the
> prospective gains are in no relation to the pain.

What is the pain exactly?

There are just a few things that need to be done in order to make this

1: Allow select subdomains to be hosted on different servers. So far no
one seems to have a specific problem with that request.

2: Agree on a policy that sets specific guidelines for the kinds of
advertising we would be prepared to accept. Just a simple discussion that
can be had over the coming weeks/months.

3: Agree on a way to manage any income received. Pretty simple process as
far as I can tell and doesn't require anyone else to make any effort at

4: Populate some pages with links/ads that meet our guidelines. Again this
does not require anyone else's effort or time.

5: Get on with our lives and see where the experiment takes us over the
next decade or so.

> as an aside: even though i'm perfectly willing to accept patrick's
> judgment about the reputation of the company that is interested in
> advertising, i find this request in particular a bit shady: the page in
> question is totally obsolete, and to use it as an advertising platform
> just because of its search engine visibility seems a very questionable
> thing to do. SEO is (not only in my book) the second greatest evil on
> the net after spamming, and i'm totally opposed to supporting it or
> making any money off it.

SEO is simply a way to increase page ranking. It is a perfectly legitimate
business practice and doesn't have to be spam. The page is an old page
with a lot of useful keywords and a high ranking which makes it a viable
location to place a link. This ad in particular is a single text link and
would cause minimal impact on the content. In addition it has only been
requested for a period of 1 year.

> if there is any need for pocket money (and so far, this is what we're
> talking about), i'm perfectly willing to shell out, say, 50 USD a year
> to meet any operational costs of *.linuxaudio.org which are not covered
> by the donation of manpower or bandwidth from vt.

I concede that this particular offer is a small start but the discussion
is not about having pocket money for server maintainance at LAO. It about
allowing ourselves to generate an income by leveraging some content that
is hosted under the LAO domain as a product rather than a gratis service
to the community. All the content I am proposing as suitable has been
carefully compiled by me over the past 10 years and is released to the
public domain.

I don't see how advertising on *some of the subdomains/content* that we
host is going to ruin our reputation. It is simply a way to increase
funding and could actually motivate people to make more active
contributions if we are able to reward them financially for their efforts
instead of expecting everyone to work for free. That is a nice thing to do
but not everyone has the luxury of having enough time/money to volunteer.

Considering the state of the economy and that there are several people in
the community that we could potentially help make ends meet if we had a
regular flow of income to keep them motivated I think it is a callous
disregard for our potential as a community focused organisation if we
restrict ourselves to the high ground and expect people to do everything
for the love of it.

By the way I don't see anyone complaining when companies like Ableton
sponsor events like the LAC and plaster their name everywhere. If anything
people were very happy with that association and have even gone so far as
to publish the keynote from the director of Ableton explaining why he
*will never support* a Linux version of Ableton Live.

We have a clear track record of allowing advertising and taking money from
audio companies that wanted to support us financially so why should we be
worried about ads on some of the subdomains. Especially if these pages are
considered old and unuseful which clearly is wrong if we expand the
allowable uses for content hosted under the LAO domain.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

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