[LAU] poll : Advertising vs Linux Audio

Robin Gareus robin at gareus.org
Mon Apr 23 12:15:55 UTC 2012


another long reply. please bear with me..

On 04/22/2012 03:45 PM, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> I think you seriously underestimate the amount of money that could be
> earned by accepting advertising across the LAO channel. Let alone across
> the entire Linux Audio community.
>> If you have a viable business plan, we're all ear.
> Well apparently this is a change of heart ;-)

not really. I like the idea to support developers or musicians. It's
just that advertising and SEO on linuxaudio.org is not the right way to
do this. I was thinking of "business plans" in general not ads in

There were a couple of initiatives on the table a while back. e.g. merge
with and become part of the linux-foundation - similar to what
linux-printing/open-printing did. The linux-foundation has experience
with handling funding, supporting developers and properly taking care of

There's actually quite lot of linux-audio projects, devs and users that
accept donations or even make a living by selling services or products.

Yet, personally I don't have any clue how linuxaudio.org can directly
support those. IMHO the knowledge-exchange on LAD and LAU lists as well
as LA conferences, teaching newbies, etc is what linuxaudio.org does
best. It's not a business plan per se, though.

A linux-audio-record-label, sponsored music-contests, video-promos etc..
would be much more suitable for the latter.  Yet someone needs to take
up that task -- I do prefer the avantgarde-like concerts featured at LAC
and that's where my time and efforts go. If someone has incentive to do
sth focused on musicians or other LA interest groups, the consortium is
usually very open to proposals and does support viable initiatives.

Keep in mind that a viable plan for the community must enable the
community to grow and not restrict them (and that includes granting
contributors the freedom to be not bothered with ads on the community
site itself - although compromises can be made as long as they're
according to LAO policy).

>>> So a policy that sets clear guidelines is completely out of the
>>> question?
>> Dunno, that's a question for the management board, not me.
> And I have already put it to the board several times.

And you got answers - most recently by the director of the linuxaudio
Management Board himself just before you approached LAU on 04/21/2012
11:29 PM CEST Ico wrote:

"... based on the majority of the consortium members the current
linuxaudio.org site will remain ad-free." [1]

> These items have already been discussed and I provided options which would
> allow us to progress.

No, you did not. You simply suggested move to a different [paid by ads]
host, which is not a smart idea given the infrastructure we have (see

Also your way of approaching the consortium is - at best - questionable.
I think you owe Ico an apology for your offensive phrases and
questioning his authority in [2].

Also migrating content away from lau.linuxaudio.org - a domain intended
for linux-audio USERS (that you just happen to be curating) - to a .COM
domain without asking the community at large and completely deleting the
content from the linuxaudio.org server after the site has been migrated
speaks volumes.

I can completely understand that the consortium does want not continue
this discussion nor put this issue on the agenda (again).

[1] http://lists.linuxaudio.org/pipermail/consortium/2012-April/002089.html
[2] http://lists.linuxaudio.org/pipermail/consortium/2012-April/002092.html

>> From what I've learned: official policies are best avoided and replaced
>> with common-sense.
> A policy is simply a way for everyone to know what the expectations are.
> If we leave it up to each one of us to guess then we will never be able to
> agree on anything.

http://linuxaudio.org/policy :)

Let me interpret it like this: If a sponsor support our cause:
"promote and enable the use of Linux kernel based systems for
professional audio use" - we can link to and /advertise/ for them.

A good example is your previous endeavor: http://awards.linuxaudio.org/
Commercial companies sponsor a prize for Linux-Musicians; the companies
in question also directly promote audio and/or GNU/Linux. We add a link
to and logo of those companies and the prize-money goes directly to the
musician(s). Great.

If an unrelated 3rd party wants to pay linuxaudio.org for SEO, ads or
whatever - even if we could use the money to do great things for LAO -
it's more or less a no go. -- At least for the time being.

For that to happen, linuxaudio.org would need to become a much larger
organization in order to balance commercial interest, retain its
independence and handle bureaucratic issues. It'd also require revising
the policy which can be only done by a majority decision of the
Linuxaudio.org Management Board.

On 04/22/2012 03:27 PM, Patrick Shirkey wrote:

> Considering that most server companies are offering 500Gb to 1TB of
> monthly bandwidth for less than $20/month it's hardly breaking the
> bank for you to give them some space.

On average over the last year linuxaudio.org served 1.5 TBytes/month
(~35-40k unique visitors per month). The last weeks (with LAC videos)
we're currently around 4-5 TB and this month is not over, yet.

yet, bandwidth is the cheap part.

Virginia Tech currently provides linuxaudio.org with unlimited traffic,
3 hourly, 7 nightly and 4 weekly full backups of a 300GByte disk volume
(soon to be extended to 500+ GB - Ico is working on that). 2GHz
dual-core amd64 CPU, 2GB RAM on a XEN virtual system. Not to mention
24/7 support via phone, xmpp/jabber, email or skype with highly
qualified Unix/Linux personnel (e.g. they sent us customized shell
scripts to manage LVM and virtual hardware upgrades on our server. We
we can review those scripts and simply run them root. The vt tech-team
also helped us to debug XEN related kernel OOPS and pushed fixes
upstream.) All free of charge. The only requirement is that we mention
them as in the about page and/or HTML footer. - Thanks to Ico for
organizing this.

Equivalent infrastructure is more like 150-200 euro per month (numbers
from ovh.net - but their tech-support and backup-solutions are lousy
compared to vt.edu). I honestly have no idea what one would pay in the
commercial world these days for services like those provided by vt.edu.

Daniel James sponsors DNS and host-name registration ever since
linuxaudio.org was born. Kudos to him.

Sysadmin, list-moderation, web-design, wiki-despamming and general
maintenance are taken care of voluntarily by various dedicated individuals.

Aside from infrastructure, there's a lot of stuff going on that is
really hard to quantify financially. Yet I'm pretty sure voluntary
contributions and enthusiasm would drop if we have advertisements on the
site and that revenue from advertisement and SEO will not be sufficient
to replace that.

That being said, some of your initiatives (e.g label.linuxaudio.org and
awards.linuxaudio.org) are very interesting and were promising. I
suggest to focus on [reviving] those rather than pushing ads in general.


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