On March 27th the FSFE fellowship group in Vienna organised an information booth on the corner of Mariahilfer Straße / Museumsquartier. From 10am to 7pm, a group of around 8 activists handed out leaflets and discs with various GNU/Linux distributions.
In the morning we set up our information booth in the snow. During the day however, the sun occasionally came out and managed to melt most of the snow away.
Even though temperatures where very low and most people on the street wanted to keep their time outside to a minimum, we managed to give out impressive amounts of information material and free software discs: over 1,500 leaflets and more than 450 discs with openSUSE, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and Trisquel live systems found interested individuals.
We did not only depend on the leaflets and discs from the official DFD promo package and the FSFE headquarter in Germany, but also added several leaflets and discs, that our own team had put together. This way, even people who only received a distro disk, also got additional information with it, since we had written basic facts about the virtues of free software and the FSFE on our self made packaging. We also organised badges as a give-away in order to promote free standards even further. Of course, these materials (linked at the bottom of this page) are all free to use and adapt.
An important addition to our resources was the generous parcel containing, amongst other items, 300 DVDs from openSUSE. The green openSUSE posters where eye-catchers and their t-shirts made visitors very happy. Thanks to the Mozilla project we could offer e. g. much loved attractive Firefox stickers and
I support the Open Web bracelets.
The company Wiener Linien provides public transport in Vienna. Since the Government has a freedom of information act and since Wiener Linien is publicly funded we collected signatures to demand public access to all service information. Only a few days later Wiener Linien announced that they would make all data accessible by summer of this year.
We decided to celebrate the DFD by running a booth in the busy shopping area because we didn’t only want to reach people already informed about the issue. With most activities it is hard to reach people outside the free software community, therefore a booth in a busy shopping street is a good way to communicate with a wider audience. We had lots of opportunities to talk to people who had little or no prior knowledge of open standards and free software.
Surprisingly, many women in their twenties were very interested and wanted to know more. This contradicts the common perception that only men care about technology and its consequences.
Needless to say, some old hands dropped by as well. We even encountered a tourist who told us that he had been using Unix for a long time and that his company was one of the founders of the OSI. He mentioned that despite being retired, he still has fun tinkering with free software and he took a live disc of a distribution that he was not familiar with.
Our thanks go out to all those who helped make this very successful event possible.
We are looking forward to software freedom day in September.
Feel free to use and adapt our information material as you please:
- leaflet explaining some basics about open standards
- free file formats and the opensource-DVD
- small batches to promote open standards (English)
- free software introduction folder
- free software introduction folder (black and white)
- DVD/CD cover (for DIN A4 sheets)
- DVD/CD cover cutting/folding instruction
- DVD/CD label (for printable discs)
You can open images in full size by clicking on it. (Unfortunately the quality of the images is very limited due to a very old digi-cam.)