Bonum Certa Men Certa

Did Novell Contact You As Well to Manipulate News Coverage?

I want you for money
Novell wants volunteers for code, time, Novell's self-glory
Top KDE developer not happy with the Microsoft/Novell deal



We have already seen this many times before. If and when someone becomes a critic of Novell, the company tries to shut him or her up. If someone can produce good coverage about Novell, then the company greases him or her up. It's just like Microsoft, only at a smaller scale.



We highlighted incidents where journalists or bloggers came under pressure after they had denounced Novell. It's Novell seniors who often contact them 'behind the scenes' (Dragoon for example [1, 2])

Aaron Siego, who is probably the best-known KDE developer (he's one of their public figures), does not like the Novell/Mirosoft deal and he tells the story we already know about -- th story of Novell messing with people's mind for positive coverage. They probably did this with Matt Asay, which is why he had a 'sudden' change of heart. How widespread is this phenomenon?

So I read this latest announcement, thought about the implications of it and then moved on .. until I was spammed by Novell's marketing department asking what I thought about the press release. They said that if I wanted, I could even ring up their director of marketing via instant messenger and chat about it! This is a good example of public opinion management: they evidently know that it's a sensitive area and so are trying to head off any problems by engaging people in the community directly and early on. Very early on in fact: I received my email just a few minutes after the press release was sent out and they attached a PDF of the press release to the email for my reference. Well done! (I mean that: it was a well executed plan.)


Who else did Novell contact like this? It's supposed to be hush-hush.

Aaron continues:

And since they asked, I thought, "Sure, why not share my thoughts!" However, I thought I'd do it here instead of over AIM or Yahoo! Messenger with Justin S., partly because I don't like being managed by other people's marketing departments, but mostly because too many of the people who do speak in non-positive terms about this deal tend do so with argumentation that is too easy to discount by simply playing the "let's be reasonable" card.


“Novell has already muted some of the possible 'trouble makers'.”He too is beginning to realise that it's about software patents. He should be furious. Novell's message to him is something along the lines of: "please carry on coding for us, don't bother with the details, we'll just make some money with Microsoft and only we can offer peace of mind."

Aaron closed this item, preventing comments from being added. What's to be afraid of? That people might utter the truth, which seems misappropriate for a blog that represents opinion of a lead Plasma developer? Remember that Novell pushes money into this (Akademy funding, for instance) and it's hard to slam your backer, no matter how selfish it may be.

We won't be hearing much criticism, will we? Novell has already muted some of the possible 'trouble makers'.

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