Indy 500 and Linux Not Newsworthy?

There’s a HUGE piece of news out there for Linux as an operating system…and I have only seen it published on Lxer.com, Linuxtoday.com and Digg.com. LINUX IS GOING TO THE INDIANAPOLIS 500!! This is HUGE for ALL Linux distributions…not just one. This is something that can show all those people out there what the Linux community is all about…collaboration, community, camaraderie, and drive….drive that can’t be found in commercial ventures. But where, oh where, is the community reporting this news? The interesting thing is, they aren’t…and It’s very odd as to why they aren’t reporting this and rallying around it.

Perhaps they’ve just missed it…and in that case I hope they pick up on it soon. Perhaps they don’t know much about it? In that case they need to head over to Tux500.com and read all about it. Don’t know what the Indy 500 is about? Once again, Tux500.com explains it for you.

For those of you who don’t know what this is about and who haven’t clicked on those Tuxme500.com links above…allow me to explain a bit. I encourage you to head over to that website after reading through this post.

My friend helios who authors “Blog of helios” and is admin over at lobby4linux.com has unveiled a huge project of getting Linux to sponsor an Indianapolis 500 racecar in this years Indy 500. Of course, Ken isn’t working alone…the website tux500.com has been launched to track donations and become a center of operations for the initiative. The goal is $350,000 for full sponsorship of the Indy Car.

Crazy? Maybe. Innovative? Yep. Attainable? With help, it could be. Without Linux news websites and enthusiasts getting the word out though it will fall flat on its face.

I mention this because this isn’t a local thing…it’s not just being displayed in a few places that post Linux news…this is being displayed on a larger scale. It’s also got an entire marketing team behind it. This is a first for Linux…generic Linux. This isn’t about a distribution. This isn’t about a flavor you like to run on X laptop or Y Desktop. This is about LINUX. odorless (hopefully), colorless, neutral Linux. All communities should see the benefit of this.

As I mentioned, this isn’t local. Speedtv (yes…the US cable channel) has picked up on this marketing drive and has published an article on their website. The Auto Channel has also picked up on it. Motorsport.com has jumped into the fray. UPDATE: Indy500.com has now published an article about Linux and it’s sponsorship as well.  As of the publishing of this article though…I’ve only seen this huge news hit 2 major Linux website. This is exposure that Linux hasn’t ever had. To be associated one of the largest Sporting events in the world (from Wikipedia “having the largest attendance and one of the largest radio and television audiences of any single-day sporting event worldwide).

Worldwide. Largest audiences and attendance. Is anyone listening to what this could mean for Linux? Is this microphone on?

I’m flabbergasted as to why more Linux news sites haven’t picked this up. I’m floored as to why no one is lobbying Red Hat, Ubuntu, Novell, IBM, Mandriva, Xandros, Linspire, and other Linux companies to donate what they can. Those companies could secure a logo for 25k on the side of the car. They could donate 50k and put 25k toward this initiative AND get their logo spread on the car. What will they do? Do they believe in Linux as much as the community they are a part of does? This is huge…it can’t get any bigger and it seems we’re sitting on our hands here.

The goal is $350,000…which is a large sum of money. However, from the Tux500.com’s FAQ page, $25,000 can garner a Linux sponsorship…which is also good exposure. So at the very least, we can get Linux into the limelight as a sponsor.

Now I know some of you may be saying “How do I know that my donation is getting spent on this and not to grab someone a Ferrari?” and you’d be right in asking that question. I’d like to put this to rest right now. The paypal account used to house donations has third party access from two well respected Linux journalists/editors…Don Parris of Lxer.com and Brian Proffitt of Linuxtoday.com. They will be operating as auditors for the fundraising of this endeavor and will see all funds in and out of the account. Mr. Proffitt has also “agreed to verify any public statements made about the current fund amount when asked”.

Lobby4Linux.com also announced that donations were being tracked by distribution. This means that when you donate, you input your favorite distro that you’re donating on behalf of. The demographics of these donations will be released after fundraising is over. So, for those of you who want go get some exposure for your distribution…there is a way for you to do so.

Not only that, but graphics designers have a chance to design the logo that is going onto the car…this could be huge for whoever that may be. It could launch a career of a little known designer. So if you’ve got elite graphics skills, get to designing! The deadline is April 30, 2007.

To all of the Linux news websites out there…I challenge you to report Linux news and let the community know about it. To all bloggers out there, this is a chance to help push Linux into areas it’s never been and onto TV sets of 5.5 million Americans and even more people worldwide. Help Bob Moore and Ken aka helios, the two catalysts and organizers of this huge push for Linux, attain that goal and get Linux onto that car! It can be done…but it needs your help to do so.

Reference Websites:

  1. http://blog.lobby4linux.com
  2. http://lobby4linux.com
  3. http://tux500.com
  4. http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/85530/index.html

This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

About

devnet has been a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, a Unix administrator, a Technical Writer, and a System Analyst during his 10 years working with Technology.

  • http://Tux500.com BobM

    You’ve done a great job of explaining this entire program! Thanks for supporting us!

    One correction though… our website is at http://tux500.com ;-)

  • http://linux-blog.org devnet

    Fixed! Thanks Bob!

    I have no idea why I was putting tuxme’s page there :) I guess since it is one of the websites I visit off an on it stuck in my head :)

  • BobM

    Thanks again! You also might want to check out the article that Indy500.com just did on us… pretty cool stuff!

    http://indy500.com/news/story.php?story_id=8602

  • http://elkosmas.gr El.Kosmas

    I recently covered tux500 and the Mozilla indy500 team idea in my (Greek) blog.
    I have the feeling that even smaller commumities like the Greek FLOSS could persue such endeavours in regional events.

  • UglyBill

    You should realize that while Indy500 might be a top sport in USA, it is not *that* much relevant elsewhere; pretty much as if you were talking about Hockey “world” championship or the superbowl.
    IMHO, many of the contributors to nix news sites are not from USA so they won´t find this as valuable as you do.
    This is very good news though, and I hope it succedes.
    Best regards.

  • http://linux-blog.org devnet

    So which part of “having the largest attendance and one of the largest radio and television audiences of any single-day sporting event worldwide” from the wikipedia entry did you not understand?

    That’s not just in the US my friend. It’s WORLDWIDE.

  • anonymous

    I’m sorry. We’ve all heard about it. No one cares. This project will fail miserably. All your attempts to move us into action are nothing more than transparent lame attempts to get us to care about something we don’t care about.

  • http://linux-blog.org devnet

    You don’t care about Linux getting exposure? Do you use Linux? I’m guessing you don’t because everyone I know of that uses Linux would love to see it appear on 5.5 million television sets and have the announcers do a story about it :)

  • anonymous but truthfull coward

    You’d be guessing wrong. I’ve used nothing but Linux since RedHat 5.1. How many people out of the millions that use Linux do you suppose have donated one cent to their favorite distribution? You think they are going to care enough to donate $350,000 to see tux on a race car? That money would be better spent donating it to the developers that make this wonderful operating system a reality. $350,000 dollars would go a long way to solving some real world problems that keep people from migrating away from other solutions. The marketing for this project sucks. First they want to turn it into some type of distro war – “Who can donate the most for their favorite distribution” and when that failed to move anyone, now it’s “This is about LINUX. odorless (hopefully), colorless, neutral Linux.” I appreciate your passion. I just don’t share your vision.

  • devnet

    So we roll over and die and never try anything new? Sounds pretty lame to me. If it weren’t for those people that mounted things like this against insurmountable odds, open source and Linux wouldn’t be where it is today.

    And the distro war thing is a bit much…I’d say it’s more of a, “you think your distro is the best, put the money where your mouth is” kind of thing.

    That’s cool that you appreciate my passion…or in this case, the passion of those I associate with (I’m not near as motivated as some members of the community are). I appreciate your honesty. Maybe someday when Linux is on everyone’s desktop you’ll look back and remember stuff like this and instead of thinking “oh, what a waste of time” you’ll think “wow, those guys were really motivated and ahead of their time”. I won’t hold my breath though :-D

  • Hated for Loving Linux

    I think this is great!! Even if only it’s to piss off the people that think it’s a crappy idea . . . and those Microsuck crooks too!!

    It sounds like somebody needs to donate their computer to the poor and go join the Peace Corps.

  • crashsystems

    [quote=”anonymous but truthful coward”]$350,000 dollars would go a long way to solving some real world problems that keep people from migrating away from other solutions.[/quote]

    I agree that $350,000 would do a world of good in the hands of Linux hackers. However, if this money was used to get the word out, then though we wouldn’t see much of an immediate benefit, the long-term benefits would be far greater than just spending it on developers, because said developers would have more money to work with in the long run.

    P.S.
    Does anyone know if the main distros have been contacted about supporting this (aka Red Hat, Novell, Ubuntu, etc.)?

  • alinuxfan

    I said this on Helios’s blog…if we can just get half the people who voted on Dell’s ideastorm website to donate $6…we are there…what’s $6 for a marketing campaign like this?
    Let’s prove that GNU/Linux has a strong supportive community behind it. The more exposure that we get for Linux, the more confident Dell will feel about supporting pre-installed Linux and the more developers will see it. We need a good marketing campaign, and maybe racing isn’t exactly your cup of tea, but it is bold and it DOES make a statement about the community!

  • norbert

    How exactly spending that much targeting a local US event, whose core demographic is mostly bible-belt redneck is going to to any good ? It would be like wanting to spend such money to an elephant race in India (http://www.hindu.com/2005/02/22/stories/2005022208710400.htm)
    to try to advertise Omaha Steak…

  • anonymous

    The people who are most likely to try Linux have heard of it. They might have even tried it, but for because they couldn’t do xyz, they switched back to Windows. Linux perfectly satisfies all my computing needs, but there are still plenty problems to be solved that could be helped if people were only willing to donate money towards solving these problems. Linux isn’t not succeeding because we need more advertising.

    Besides I can just see the headlines – “Linux loses the Indy 500″ or better yet “Linux crashes and burns at the Indy 500 – 2 people killed in the accident”.

  • http://linux-blog.org devnet

    It is held in US…but the single largest single day event in the WORLD.

    I believe you’re stereotyping on the bible-belt redneck thing…mainly because INDY is [b]NOT[/b] Nascar. Japan hosts many of the outside racing events in INDY…calling it a simple LOCAL event is silly.

    By stating the above, you’ve done one of the following (or all)

    1. Not read the entire blog post meaning you are the type of person who reads things halfway (books) and doesn’t finish them and then touts themselves knowledgeable by making a comment on it that is answered within the information. This is also known as ignorance.
    2. stereotypical. This means that you classify people into groups that you can ridicule and demean which makes you feel better.
    3. by stating that you know the core demographic of Indy Racing and then saying what you said means you have NO idea what you’re talking about at all on this subject. Stick to something you do know or go out, read about it and get educated. Then come back and we’ll have a normal discussion about things.

    Until then, think before you speak and type…don’t assume you know something when you don’t…and try not to be a prejudicial ass when you make comments.

  • norbert

    “It is held in US…but the single largest single day event in the WORLD.”
    That is a lie, so obvious that I didn’t event mentionned it before.
    The FIFA world cup final in 2002, for example had 1.3 billions viewers…
    Infy 500 by their own admission have a ‘potential’ maximum reach of 450 millions.

    see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Indianapolis_500
    the nielsen ratin was 6.5… so in the 10 millions range, very very far from the maximum potential reach, and not even close from being anywhere the top spot for the year, not even in a typical weekly top-ten.

    That’s not even close.
    The claim you quote from wikipedia “one of the largest radio and television audiences of any single-day sporting event worldwide.” is unsubstanciated, and contradicted by every actual source of data on teh subject.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcasting_of_sports_events
    “The sporting event with the largest worldwide audience is the FIFA World Cup. An estimated cumulative audience of 28.8 billion viewers watched the 2002 FIFA World Cup on television, and 1.3 billion viewers watched the final match. Other events that have been described as “the most watched” per various definitions include the Summer Olympic Games, Super Bowl, and the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.”
    No mention of ‘Indy 500′.

    Bottom line: It is NOT a major worldwide event by any standard, and before accusing others of ignorance, you would be well inspired to check your ‘facts’.

    BTW, take a look at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_Indycar_races

    and dare tell us again that Indy car is a ‘worldwide event

    Florida, Florida, Japan, Kansas, Indiana, Wisconsin, Texas, Iowa, Carolina, New York, Tennessee, Ohio,Michigan, Kentucky, California, Michigan, Illinois.
    Locate the ‘odd’ point in the series!
    for comparaison see the formula 1 schedule for 2007

    Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Spain, Monaco, Canada, United States, France, England, Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Intaly, Belgium, Japan, China, Brazil.

  • http://linux-blog.org devnet

    “SINGLE DAY event”

    Notice, I’m not saying a sporting event that covers weeks or days in a row…I’m speaking of a single day event. What you’ve proved is that you spent way too much time googling and not enough reading.

    BTW, I did check my facts.
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/motor/irl/indy500/2004-05-27-attendance-count_x.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sports_attendance_figures#Four_wheeled_sport

    The fact is, Linux will get exposure in the millions of people reached…if you want to stamp Linux on a FIFA event or gritch about where to put it or why you should put it here or there, get your own sponsorship rogram and run with it. If not, get the hell out of the way of the people that DO want to make a difference by doing things their own way :)

    If you didn’t notice…on the front page of one of the oldest annual sporting events out there http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/
    is a penguin. That’s right, Linux is on the cover of this website. THAT is exposure. If you don’t want to help, don’t get in the road of those that are doing it.

  • norbert

    “BTW, I did check my facts.”

    you claim, in your blog was:

    “Worldwide. Largest audiences and attendance. Is anyone listening to what this”

    Now you drop the ‘audiences’ part of your claim…to stick with the ‘attendence’ only claim.

    “Notice, I’m not saying a sporting event that covers weeks or days in a row…”
    The world cups final is a single day event, actually a 2 hour event.

    Furthermore an Indy 500 is just as much a ‘one day event’ as any Formula 1 race
    according to the indy 500 own site
    http://www.indy500.com/schedule/

    I don’t want to ‘stamp Linux’ on a FIFA event or FIA event, and I don’t mind that you try to stamp it on Indy 500. I do mind lies and mis-informations, which are completely useless to your cause. Indy-500 is a big enough event in itself, no need to make ridiculously inflated claims about it.
    And, BTW, calling bullshit when I see it is in no way ‘getting in the way’

    “on the front page of one of the oldest annual sporting events ”
    Incredible!!! where the heck do you come from ? even in the US on top of my head I can cite you the Kentucky Derby, Golf Us Open being older than the Indy-500 race, and of course on a world wide basis, 1911 is not that old.
    I guess you’ll come back and say I didn’t read the unspoken caveat like “one of the oldest [motor-car race in the US, held almost annually except for 1917-1918 and 1942-1945] sporting event.”

  • Shea Kauffman

    Seriously. People criticizing this have problems.

    In reverse order:
    Though it’s true that most people who would try linux have heard of it. It is also true that most people who would try Nike’s have heard of it. That has absolutely nothing to do with marketing.

    Plenty of people who have heard of linux have not tried it. I have gotten 3 different people hooked on it. None of them computer savvy.

    Some of you are arguing that the indy 500 is not a good marketing investment. Clearly the most companies seem to think that the ROI for sponsoring an indy car are worthwhile, so I don’t see where any of you are coming from.

    Another argument I’ve more or less heard is “who wants more market share?” “Why would we want people switching to linux?”

    Because that’s how we get the software and hardware support from companies.
    If you don’t want to support it then don’t. But these criticisms are ridicuous.

    I have never paid for an OS in my life. I have stolen windows before, and now run linux exclusively.
    I’ll be donating what I can to this.
    The one thing I’ll be interested to see is whether the companies that claim to support linux will help out with this.
    Linux, IBM, Novell, Canonical.. Where are you?

  • http://www.lobby4linux.com helios

    from Mark Shuttleworth private email to linux user. User emailed Shuttleworth to bring this to his attention. I won’t quote it verbatim for legal reasons. I don’t know if that email had one of those “for your eyes only” disclosure warnings on it. Basically Shuttleworth said that he or his corporation would not support this effort but he believed the community should. Unfortunately, that comment leaked out and the attitude on the Ubuntu forums now is “if Mark isn’t going to do it, then I’m not either.”

    Maybe the email should not have been leaked. The “leaker” thought he was doing a good thing in putting the email out. It did say “I think the community should get involved”. Unfortunately, that’s not what people are reading. They are just hearing the “I’m not going to support it” part.

    Shuttleworth may have well (albeit unknowingly) torpedo’ed this effort. I have the article ready for publication in the event it turns out to be true. If not, I have no axe to grind…the delete button is one keystroke away.

    h

  • http://linux-blog.org/index.php?/archives/199-Penguin-Petes-Blog,-your-source-for-FUD-about-YALB.html Yet Another Linux Blog

    If any of you read Penguin Pete’s last two blog entries [1] [2]…you’ll find two of
    the most FUD filled posts about YALB on the web. He’s on the warpath…for no reason at all and has begun a smear
    campaign against me here. I haven&

  • Jeremy McCauley

    I believe it is a great idea do you have a driver or team in mind? If not I am trying to get to the professional level of racing. I won my season championship in my class in a stock ford mustang. I know it is not an indy car but a no name driver could be a different approach. I also won the driver challenge, which is all the top drivers in my area competing in the same car. I took 1st place. Please e-mail me and let me know what you think! my e-mail is fast5l@yahoo.com. Thank You.