Open Letter to Tim Buntel

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UPDATE: Tim Buntel got back from vacation and responded to this blog entry in the comments. He listed a lot of things that they did to market ColdFusion 8 when it was released.According to Adobe’s main product page of ColdFusion, Tim Buntel is Adobe’s Senior Product Marketing Manager. Therefore, because I want to make some ColdFusion marketing suggestions, I am hoping he will read this blog entry.In a lot of public forums over the years, I have been a vocal critic of Macromedia/Adobe, because of the perceived lack of ColdFusion marketing. I do realize that Adobe does a lot of CF Marketing. But I wonder if they do enough marketing. If you think they do, read on.I read a blog entry about Opera Software‘s marketing efforts today. The basic idea of the post is to enumerate all of the marketing efforts that Opera currently engages in, because a lot of Opera’s users get bent out of shape about the “lack” of Opera marketing.So I extracted a few of the marketing efforts that Opera uses, and am going to paste them below. I think in most cases, as you read below, you can switch the word Opera for ColdFusion, and imagine the results. Also, most of these marketing ideas would be very inexpensive, when compared to more traditional things like TV commercials. Oh, and by the way…Microsoft does almost all (if not all) of these things. No one can argue that they aren’t successful at gaining product market share.

  • For the launch of Opera Mini 4 beta we produced an ‘Opera Mini vs. iPhone’ video — it was extremely popular in the blogosphere and on video sharing sites.
  • With the Desktop Team blog, we have made the development process of the desktop browser more open to our fans and followers. This is by far the most popular blog we host on the My Opera Community site. This blog is one of the important places where we converse with you, our users.
  • We send many of our developers, executives and others to speak at and attend industry-related conferences and events (worldwide). The audiences attending these events usually include developers, business contacts, and everyday internet users.
  • As I mentioned above, news stories about Opera in the press don’t usually happen by themselves. We have an entire PR department working on getting as much publicity for Opera in the press as possible, in multiple languages.
  • We’re currently working on a new affiliate program, where our users get credit (and tangible rewards) for encouraging others to download Opera.
  • We run ads on various tech websites and blogs to promote the desktop browser, Opera Mini and the Wii browser.
  • We have (and continue to pursue) major distribution deals with ISPs and web portals to distribute the desktop browser and Opera Mini. Examples include T-Online, Clix and Onet.
  • We also have booths at many events and conferences, where we demo and talk to people about our browsers.
  • We run the My Opera community site, which has close to 1 million registered members. When potential Opera users consider downloading Opera, and notice our strong community of users, I’m sure this helps a bit in their decision to download and use Opera.
  • We recognize that our users are very talented, and many of them want to help spread and promote Opera. To help those users, we have set up the Choose Opera group where Opera users can plan, execute, and show off group and individual projects that build awareness of their favorite browser*. (*Opera).
  • We want everyone, not just English-speaking users, to have the opportunity to find information about and download Opera. To support that, we’ve developed localized versions of our website. For example, see,,, and
  • Our developers, engineers and QA people often join in on conversations with Opera users in the official Opera Forums, Opera’s IRC channel and on blogs around the Web. This helps make the culture of Opera more open and accessible.
  • We do outreach on many social networking sites. We are active on sites such as Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr

If you are still reading, thank you. :)I want to finish this post by highlighting another marketing effort that Opera does which Adobe refuses to entertain (for ColdFusion). Opera offers a free, no restrictions version of their browser. The reason I call having a free version marketing, is, well…because it is. The more people you can get to use your software, the more people will be convinced to tell their friends about your software. And residual profits will result from this.The message that Adobe sends by charging so much money for all versions of ColdFusion is, “We don’t really care about you users that can’t afford this price tag.” And please don’t jump into my comments and tell me about ROI. I know what that is, and it’s irrelevant to this conversation. There are countless people/companies out there the just plain can’t afford to lay down $1300 (US dollars). Think about startups that would be happy to make $5000 profit in one year. Think about non profits that would be happy making $0 in one year. Think about young computer geeks that want to run a personal site on a free hosting service (I was one of those young geeks with no money for many years, running sites on free servers).Can anybody tell me why any company would want to ignore the millions of free marketing opportunities that I just described? I know Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and thousands of other companies do not ignore these free marketing opportunities. So what is so special about Adobe and ColdFusion?I am a big fan of ColdFusion, and I am writing all this because I truly hope that we can increase CF’s footprint in the web scripting language market. I am doing a lot today to help, by telling all my friends about CF, and by writing free publicly available CF software. I just hope that Adobe starts to take ColdFusion more seriously, and that they show us that they really want to spread ColdFusion’s market share as much as their other more high profile products.