Subject: Re: To help or not?
From: Mike Stump <mrs@cygnus.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 14:07:09 -0700

In article <m0qkZhi-000I7ZC.cygnus.fsb@crynwr.com>,
Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> wrote:
>Should FSB staff give away free help on newsgroups/mailing lists?  Is
>the advertising value greater than the income lost?

This is a very good question.  Very little data, hard numbers, or
experience exists to help answer it.  I have been doing g++ for about
3 years now, and have been doing `community work' on the net over that
time.

I have some observations.  One that surprised me was that, if you
answer %1-%5 of the questions personally, the image you create on the
net, is pretty good.  No need for 100%.  You can make agreements with
other people that are knowledgeable to handle first pass of things,
and without paying them money.

It is hard to know exactly how much time to spend on such things.  But
I think I have to agree, that it is useful to spend some time on the
net, serving users.  One interesting thing, is that I think that this
also applies to non-free software, and hardware also.


The presence on the net helps build a product name.  Even though
people seem to be somewhat vendor unaware, the product name,
translates into an easier sell.