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Is this an "advertorial"?

Is this an "advertorial"?

Posted Nov 22, 2003 7:04 UTC (Sat) by ctg (guest, #3459)
Parent article: Interview with Andreas Typaldos, Xandros CEO

It would be nice to have some info about the article author. It doesn't really read as an "interview", but as a piece of marketing. I can see a link to distrowatch under the name, but that doesn't really tell me much.

I don't mind "sponsored" articles, if this was the case, but it would be better if it was labelled as such.

It may be that the questions were edited by a PR person - so that the interviewee was able to select the questions... so I'm not throwing up my hands in horror about the dropping of editorial standards or anything. However, I think that this might be an issue to watch out for in the future.

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Is this an "advertorial"?

Posted Nov 22, 2003 9:19 UTC (Sat) by keithw (subscriber, #3127) [Link]

It does have that feel, doesn't it. In terms of this being something that I "buy" with my subscription dollars, I don't feel like I got great value with this one. What I'd like to pay for is plausibly impartial insight into the whatever is under discussion, this is closer to boosterism.

Is this an "advertorial"?

Posted Nov 23, 2003 23:21 UTC (Sun) by Thalience (subscriber, #4217) [Link]

I don't think it was a "bought" peice. But I did find it boring. The questions weren't great, and the answers were just flat. But, having asked for the interview, I suppose it would be rude for LWN to refuse to run it.

Is this an "advertorial"?

Posted Nov 22, 2003 15:24 UTC (Sat) by corbet (editor, #1) [Link]

It's just another article by Ladislav, who has been writing lead articles for the distributions page for months. This one came in early and we decided to put out on its own. I'm truly sorry if you didn't like it, but you can be assured that it is not in any way "sponsored" by any vendor.

Is this an "advertorial"?

Posted Nov 23, 2003 3:50 UTC (Sun) by tzafrir (subscriber, #11501) [Link]

Sure looks sponsored. Not the kind of thing I'd like to read in the weekly edition.

e.g: the question about contributing to the community: what about the file manager? What abotu all the "value-aded" features they claim to provide. They don't contribute it back to Debian. This may be right and may be wrong, but it means that the answer that "we do contribute", as given in the interview is just half the truth.

And this is just one example (but regrding the summary text).

Is this an "advertorial"?

Posted Nov 26, 2003 2:13 UTC (Wed) by ladislav (guest, #247) [Link]

Let me go on record here and state that I have not received any payment for the interview with Andreas Typaldos. Xandros does not in any way sponsor The only thing Xandros offered was a free review copy of Xandros Desktop 2.0 (when released), but this was offered without any conditions attached and well before I thought about interviewing the Xandros CEO.

I am sorry that some of you did not enjoy the interview. Given the new upcoming release (which I happened to beta test), I thought it would be interesting to talk to the new CEO of Xandros and ask him a few questions about the product and future plans.

Those of you who found the questions boring, please suggest better ones. It is of course too late to redo the interview, but perhaps your suggestions and examples of "interesting" questions will give me some ideas for more interesting interviews in the future.

Is this an "advertorial"?

Posted Nov 26, 2003 12:21 UTC (Wed) by ekj (guest, #1524) [Link]

First: Congrats on taking the critique seriously rather than sulking in the corner. That is a trait I see *waaay* to seldom in a journalist.

You want suggestions for better questions. Obviously I can only speak for myself, and not for all the others, but here are some of the things I'd like to hear about a new (for me) distribution;

* What makes them different from all the other gazillion distros out there ?

* In which way do the distro contribute to the overall Open Source development ? What code if any have they written, improved or released ?

* What is their position on the political scale ? Free as in Freedom only ? Free only in main-distro but proprietary add-ons available ? Proprietary parts in the main-distro that makes the thing useless for a user who prefers to urn only free stuff ?

* Which direction are they going ? What areas are they focusing on improving in the future ? What do they see as the important part ?

* Whats the scale of their effort ? How many programmers do they employ ?
(Sorry, I personally have very little interest in how many marketing-droids they have)

* How is the maintenance ? For how long are older releases supported ? Does it cost anything to receive bugfixes/updates (this was actually partly adressed in your interview), how does upgrades from one version to the next happen ?

Lastly, it matters perhaps more who you talk to than about what. This sounded like a marketing-guy. Noone here is interested or impressed that they have a utility for configuring grub and/or lilo, so has every other distro and it's nothing even remotely new or interesting. Try if you can get an interview with one of the engineers actually working on the distro. Ask him what he did this week, and what is his plans for the next half-year.

Is this an "advertorial"?

Posted Nov 26, 2003 22:07 UTC (Wed) by ogre (guest, #14142) [Link]

I don't think your questions were particularly bad, some of them were perfect leadins to their marketing but mostly they weren't too bad. I think the big problem was that the answers you got were canned marketoid material. It makes the whole interview read like a promotional piece you would find on their website.

As for alternate questions, it doesn't matter what you asked the answers would have been run through a PR speak filter and been equally bland. I think the interview makes a big statement about the sort of company that Xandros really is.

-- Dennis

Is this an "advertorial"?

Posted Dec 4, 2003 15:22 UTC (Thu) by Sauja (guest, #17526) [Link]

Xandros has a extremely solid and easy distro even version 1.0 (which is more than a 1.0 version since Corel already had a very solid OS for Xandros to start from).

Version 2.0 will be even better and until it is released, not much more can be said.

The one thing Xandros has been missing as a company is Marketing, and I'm glad to see some at last. (I am so tired of hearing about Lindows and thier antics!)

I find value in the add-ons or enhancements that Xandros provides, and they are under no obligation to release those. They give Xandros a competitive advantage over Lindows and Lycoris and that's fine by me. (Although I too would like to know more specifics on what contributions they've made).

Xandros is positioning itself as an alternative to Windows. If you already have an "All Free" distro that you are happy with, this isn't for you anyway.

You can't condemn them for putting marketing ahead of development, because they aren't. The marketing just has so much catching up to do.


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