Telling the Linux Story

When asked about Linux, how do you respond?

If you were one of the 106.5 million people who watched the Super Bowl this year, you very likely caught the now (more) famous Google ad, "Parisian Love." If you haven't seen it before, then I'm sure you'll give a rousing "aww...!" Unless, of course, you have had your heart broken in Paris, at which point you'll hear the sound of your own heart being ripped out.

Of course, those of us in the know quickly realized that this heart-rip--er, heartwarming clip was part of Google's Search Stories video series, and first appeared on the Web back in November, along with a few other clips of a similar bent.

My favorite of the bunch, and one that Google has inexplicably removed from the series, is the Kevlar search. (I suspect copyright issues, and if you watch, you'll see why.) It's still up on Vimeo, and it makes me glow with supreme geek happiness every time I see it.

I got to thinking about the search field as a storytelling metaphor the other day when I had yet another occasion to explain to a technological newcomer just exactly what Linux and open source was. I gave the usual pat answer: free alternative to Windows, secure, stable--yes, I said free. Developed by skilled programmers all over the world who share the code with each other.

In short, nothing I hadn't said before dozens of times over.

So, this morning, I tried something new: with a little video capture with RecordMyDesktop and a little editing from kdenlive, I was able to put together a (very) rough concept of what one user's search for Linux just might look like.

It was a fun thing to do in just an hour's time, and I may donate it as a demo video to the Linux Foundation's new We're Linux video contest, if they want it. (It's too long for the contest, and I would recuse myself from participating, anyway.)

What would your story be to someone brand new to Linux? The elevator pitch? The thesis paper?

How do you share Linux?

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