Increase the OpenOffice.org tribe: Use and help others use it

Are you an avid fan of OpenOffice.org, the free desktop office suite, amazed by its features comparable even to its proprietary equivalents? And have you ever convinced at least a friend to give it a try?

If your answer to the questions are “Yes” and “No/Not Yet”, respectively, my reaction will be: What????

As a user of OOo, you are obliged to promote it. Yes, you’re using it for free. So you have to pay it forward. Give back by helping others migrate from a proprietary office suite to OpenOffice.org. Here’s how:

  1. Always find time to visit the OOo site: http://www.openoffice.org. There you can find latest news about the office suite–version upgrades, countries already using it, reviews, etc. You need this information to tell your friends how active OOo is.
  2. When you chance upon an internet cafe that hosts or any office/household that uses proprietary office suites without any FOSS alternative like OOo, tell the keeper or owner to give OOo a try. Point him/her to the download page: http://download.openoffice.org/index.html.
  3. Always bring a flash drive or CD containing the OOo installer. This way, you’ll have a ready answer to a whining remark like “I’d like to give OpenOffice.org a try like right now, but how in a hell can I have the installer file?” If you leave near Cubao or Marikina City, comment here and show your intent to have a copy of the installer. Surely, I will help.
  4. Use, use and use OOo. Love it, spend your desktop work with it, and feel its coolness. Otherwise, your friends wouldn’t be convinced at all if you cannot answer even a question like: “Can I convert OpenOffice.org files to PDF?” (Caveat: Always watch out for bugs/glitches that you may encounter with using OOo. Document it. Look around (read: ask a neighbor wizard or search the Internet) for a possible solution or workaround. If there’s none, go to the OOo site and file your bug. Then don’t be shy to tell your friend in case they raised similar limitations.)
  5. Visit the OOo marketing page. It lays out the things you can do to help promote the free office suite. One thing I’ve found cool is the web button. If you’re a blogger or site master, why not try to include a script in your home page code which publishes a button like the one flashed on the left side of my home page. If you want to go straight to the page that lists buttons to choose from, go here.

All users of OpenOffice.org, unite. Use and promote OOo.

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