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July 11th, 2013 by

openSUSE at events
This week, we have team member Jos Poortvliet talk about what he’s been working on in the merchandising area.

A bit of history

The openSUSE Ambassador program was started by my predecessor Zonker to support volunteers who wanted to represent openSUSE at events. I really liked the idea and worked with many people to build it up further. This has been quite successful and we’ve had a presence at hundreds of events over the last years.

Why events

Events are one way of reaching new users, but they also allow us to touch base with our existing users. We show openSUSE to visitors, help interested people install it, answer questions existing users have or help them out with problems.

We show openSUSE, help people install it, answering questions they have or helping them out with problems.


Over the last years, we’ve expanded our ‘program’ of sending merchandising to ambassadors going to events. Initially, it was only DVDs sent from Nuremberg but as requests came in from Asia and North- and South America, I traveled there and made arrangements to ship from our offices in these regions. We worked on creating more materials, adding flyers, stickers, t-shirts and more materials to the boxes we send out.


The way we used to work was more or less as follows:

      1. Ambassadors (or anybody, really) made a request via a web form
      2. We (that was usually AJ, points for him!) would check the request as well as we can
      3. We send DVDs and whatever we had lying around
      4. We requested people to send a report of the event (but few did so)


There were some problems with the above, most notably:

  • Verifying requests is hard and unreliable
  • Shipping can get extremely expensive (up to Eur 1000/piece)
  • Planning is impossible
  • We often lacked great materials
  • Frequently packages would arrive late or not at all
  • We had little idea about the result
  • It was pure SUSE business


I have been talking to people about how to do better for, well, all the time, of course. Lots of ideas have come up and gone by. But now, as a member of the openSUSE team, I’ve had time to dedicate to this, working and talking to others and making some decisions. We’ve thought about the process as well as the materials and priorities we set. There is a major overhaul coming and I will present the new plans in my talk at the openSUSE Conference!


As usual, we present you: the top 10 contributors to Factory in week 27!

Spot Name
1 Raymond Wooninck
2 Marguerite Su
3 Dirk Mueller
4 Stephan Kulow
5 Marcus Meissner
6 Ludwig Nussel
7 Dominique Leuenberger
8 Hrvoje Senjan
9 Dr. Werner Fink
10 Michael Matz

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One Response to “Merchandising”


    hello my name is Juan Mariano Gregoret, I’m from Argentina. I wanted to thank you for your products are very good and of excellent quality. The design is also excellent. I always recommend to my acquaintances their products, I am very satisfied. I wanted to ask if you have to send a free sample (shirt, hat, sticker or whatever you can) or a reminder of your brand, to also be able to advertise it in my country. It would be very grateful, and I’m a follower! from already thank you very much. Best regards. Juan Mariano