Re: Disappointment about the appearance of our CLT booth

From: Julien BLACHE <>
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 00:02:22 +0100

Andreas Tille <> wrote:


> Debian booth after we have solved their problems. I consider people
> who actively try to talk to us and ask us for help solving their
> problems as community. These people found what they were looking
> for.

Not everybody will come forward and make the first step, because
they're shy, don't know their stuff and are afraid of asking something
stupid or bothering you, because they know you're an expert and
they're not, etc, etc.

> on this event. The original posting was whether I should have my
> laptop open or not when I'm sitting at a booth or whether I should

You shouldn't be sitting on a booth, unless you're doing a demo (and
your audience is sitting next to you); it's uncomfortable for your

> all the time smile at people passing by. I tend to ask people
> coming close to the booth whether I can help and if the answer
> is "Oh no, I'm just looking" I see no problem if I show the looking
> person that I'm working. There are fairs where this is not proper
> behaviour and that's why I do not work as booth stuff there.

And then they go away because, obviously, you have better things to do
than talking to them. The answer to "I'm just looking" is "Do you know
our Project?" and then you can have a quick chat about Debian, free
software, and things get interesting. Or they're really not interested
and both of you leave it at that.

> Would you mind reading my mail again. I admit it was long but perhaps
> you missunderstood some basic parts.

I've read it all, twice, before replying the first time, because I
wanted to be sure that the two lines I was quoting were summing it up
as good as I felt they did.

You also wrote, about selling tshirts, that you are a computer
expert. While this is true without a doubt, on an exhibition we are
not computer experts. We are members of the Debian Project, and that's
very different. We happen to be computer experts, too, but that's not
the primary reason why we're here.

You are also reluctant to giving away CDs if you don't feel the person
is interested enough. While it's obviously OK not to give away CDs and
other stuff to people that just collect it and go from booth to booth
for that purpose, it can be a bit rude to test the motivation past
that point.

Bottom line is, I think I wouldn't be comfortable either as a visitor
on your booth or as a fellow DD on the booth.

But then I'm for the "professional booth" thing and I've been trying
hard to do just that.

(In case there's any doubt, no finger pointing intended)


 Julien BLACHE - Debian & GNU/Linux Developer - <> 
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Received on Mon Mar 23 2009 - 00:02:50 CET

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