Why T-shirts are essential.

Lord Alistair Davidson, part time deity lord_inh at yahoo.co.uk
Sat May 12 08:52:38 UTC 2001

Lars Weber wrote:
> >>>>> "Lord" == Lord Alistair Davidson, part time deity <lord_inh at yahoo.co.uk> writes:
>   Lord> Every time someone sees our logo, be it on a website or a letterhead or
>   Lord> a tshirt, that reinforces our brand in their minds. It's like
>   Lord> advertising. T-shirts are advertising that not only pays for itself, but
>   Lord> is potentially a source of revenue for us! (albeit a limited one next to
>   Lord> donations etc)
> Personally, I don't think it is good to think in terms of "marketing" or
> "advertising" here.  If T-shirts are designed, they should be designed for
> the people that are going to wear them.

I probably come across as a bit hard-headed and cynical. I'm not. But I
*am* very goal-focussed. As I see it, our goal is to increase the
freedom of the people with regards to software. This means, in short,
more Free Software.

The only real limit that I can see on how we acheive that goal is that
our actions must be morally and ethically sound.

Now, I would want t-shirts to be made regardless of any marketing
benefits. I want an FSFE t-shirt! :0)

But we should also be aware of the ways in which t-shirts can help our
cause, so that we can leverage them; anything less would be a betrayal
of our cause. Freedom will not be won easily. Our opponents (mostly
certain proprietary software companies and their allies in the various
legislatures and parliaments) will use everything at their disposal to
fight us- we can expect FUD and restrictive laws and propaganda
campaigns (you just have to look at some of Microsoft's recent
statements and speaches to see examples of this). We cannot use FUD etc
ourselves, because that would be morally and ethically dubious, to say
the least.

So we must use everything at *our* disposal to fight back. That means
everything from t-shirts to political lobbying. We need to be aware of
the implications of everything we do. We cannot, in good conscience,
deliberately ignore a potent weapon in our fight for freedom. We are
going to produce t-shirts regardless- we should be aware of how they can
help us.

Yo uactually touch on another benefit that I missed- community. Wearing
an FSFE t-shirt helps someone to feel part of the European Free Software
community. If they understand the issues well, this turns them into
another advocate for our cause, another warrior for freedom.
> Wearing a T-shirt with a logo from something that one believes in is a
> good way to show other people that one does so.  But first you have to be
> able to identify yourself with what's on the shirt.

Of course. I agree completely.

"I can't do everything / But I'd do anything for you. / I can't do
anything / 'Cept be in love with you." -- Dire Straits, Romeo and Juliet
"She's a moonchild / Gathering the flowers in a garden. / Lovely
moonchild / Drifting on the echoes of the hours." -- King Crimson,

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