1. To All LUG Operators: RFC Linux Co-operative
I have posted this idea a while ago, without much responses. So I do
this again slightly differently. Also please help me cross post as
widely as possible to other Linux groups and mailing lists whichever you
think is appropriate.
My target audience is now all LUG (Linux Users Group) operators and
members. This is an idea to help your LUG to generate some income, so
that we have more money and can do more for the cause of Linux advocacy
The idea is to use your own LUG membership to start a Co-operative, that
buys and sells PC, PC hardware peripherals, Linux Software, CD-ROMs,
Books and also organise Courses and Training.
This way, the people operating the LUG (yourself) could get your time
and effort rewarded.
From the point of view of PC and Peripherals, we will be able to
negotiate with vendors with a louder voice -- we could claim we have so
and so number of members throughout US, Europe, the world etc -- or we
could say the a urban area we can sell upwards of 1000 PC per month of
specific Linux users, then we have a power to negotiate with the Vendors
-- if you don't support Linux, we will move all our members to buy your
Some people opposed this idea a while ago by saying there are already
Linux vendors, and to support them is way to go.
Of course I don't object to that. But to do that in a more organised,
concerted way, you would need a Co-operative, with the buying power and
bargaining power, and concrete, but not sporadic support of the members,
and of course, we have a strong opinion about Linux too!
Some also objected that non-profit entities like LUG don't mix well with
commercial activities. To this, I would say that, the idea of
Co-operative was exactly invented more than a hundred years ago to reach
an optimum balance for commercial interest as well as interest of the
consumers -- its members.
In the long run, imagine we would be able to fund the running of various
Linux Courses, with volunteers expert users getting paid for their time
and travel and thus the improved quality of the LUG, also be able to run
advertisements of meetings and Linux advocacy in national, international
or local media, with the money we made from the Co-op.
In the short term, we will be able to supply to users what they really
want with our expert advice -- compared to going to a big supermarket
style unfriendly shop where the attendant know /dev/null about Linux --
in our one stop solution centre. They can buy PC, PC hardware, books,
attend courses etc etc. We can also unload the evil Microsoft Windows
from the PC and preload it with the best customised environment for
It answers all the needs for everyone.
Please mail me as I will be co-ordinating the responses from various LUG
operators and your comments.
ps. On a business note, how much is Microsoft worth? Supposed one LUG
Linux Co-op is worth US$2000 on the first day of inception, say, and how
many Linux Co-op we need to make a multi-million business (widely
distributed and benefits all)?
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