Users and developers are responsible for creating and supporting community software. One of the more popular ones, Linux, fits into that category. In addition to being free, this type of software receives distributions from vendors when they decide to volunteer their services and products.
Many places have local groups that are known as users groups. Their mission promotes the product freely. They have meetings and show others how to use the product. This also includes support in operations and support in the technical aspect.
These groups look to provide guidance and support to people that use the Linux system. Within these groups there are chat rooms or newsgroups. In addition to that, there are forums where people can go to get assistance and converse with other people.
Linux sponsors a weekly newsletter with information related to the software. There is also a publication where articles are published monthly. There are other websites that also feature articles on Linux, such as Slashdot and Groklaw. The software information is featured in print magazines and other websites.
This community software is so popular that Corporate America has taken notice. They have modeled business aspects from using Linux. Since the licenses are free, the idea to have them commercialized is actually encouraged.
For people that use the software for business purposes, on the commercialized side, they charge for customer support. There are some companies that have packaged the software and distribute it as a slightly different version.
These packages have installation features as well as administrative functions. Another way that Linux is promoted is to give it away. When it is done this way, more people will take a look at it and develop an interest.
Not many people turn down free things nowadays. It’s a general consensus that you have to give in order to receive. This concept works because if they like the software, then it’s easier to promote the hardware for sale.
Community software groups have been multiplying and there’s no slowdown in sight. As long as they can reach out and help others, they know that they will get rewarded in the process.