Convert friends

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Revision as of 17:36, 19 June 2024 by Zoe (talk | contribs) (What Not to Do)
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Converting friends to use free software is something that you should know how to do effectively. It is of course a very effective way of spreading free software virally, but you must be careful of your actions not only to increase your rate of success, but also to prevent any problems that could damage your, or free software's, image.

See Also: Activism Guide

Convincing Them

What Not to Do

  • Converting other people when you haven't tried something for yourself.
  • Forcing free software on someone without their genuine interest.
  • Being too preachy is bad. Use your discretion to keep your "preaching" at an appropriate level.
  • Some people don't understand how free software is better. Deal with it. Do not take offense and keep the debate friendly.
  • Don't lie or omit telling the truth about any limitations which might turn up.
  • Accept rejections. Some people aren't ready for this, so don't push it.

What to Do

  • Know the person you want to convert
  • Appeal to their interests before and in order to more effectively stress the importance of freedom
  • Cite other examples of free software they are familiar with
  • Know the drawbacks of the proprietary alternative and strengths of the free software
  • Determine the needs of your convertee and make sure they will all be fulfilled
  • Explain software freedom
  • Show them and try it with them on your own machine first
  • Make compromises
  • If successful, point them in the direction of more free software

Converting Them

Once you have their approval

What Not to Do

  • Give them an install disk and say 'Have fun!'
  • Leave them stranded after the installation with no one to go to in the event of a problem
  • Don't belittle them or act smug

What to Do

  • Set everything up for them, or walk them through doing it so they learn
  • Explain to them everything you do for them
  • Tell them everything they will need to know and make sure they are prepared
  • Refer them to Google and other resources for help before coming back to you
  • Answer any future questions and address any problems that they encounter. They are new to this and you are the one who got them into it.
  • Keep in contact to make sure things are working out well