Life

Ben Brown on open source journalism, PeoplePods, and parties

Build a community by throwing a big party. Straight-up advice from Ben Brown, cofounder of the product design firm, XOXCO, Inc. And that's just one little nugget of information about online community-building that Ben is sharing. He's got 15 years of experience doing this, so get ready to take notes.

Brown is a software designer and a veteran of many online communities. He's been building websites since the mid-1990's and mixing it up with social media since before it was called social media. You could say he's a pioneer in community-building. Now he's using his experience to build a toolkit called Peoplepods--that might just redefine the future of community sites.

Do you want to know what the future of online community looks like? Me too. We asked Ben for his thoughts. » Read more

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Good design is hard on all of us

Tim Lee is, for my money, one of the most reasonable and thoughtful tech policy essayists we have. His latest, “Open User Interfaces Suck” got my attention, because he hits me right where I live. In his usual, respectful, level-headed way, he claims that open systems (like the open source development process I love so dearly) are ill-suited to a good user experience. » Read more

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Poll: Where do we live?

Global map

The opensouce.com community is growing fast, and we're trying to figure out who we are and what we care about. The more we know about ourselves, the more relevant our content and discussions will be.

These polls aren't scientific, but they will give us a useful snapshot of of our growing community, so we can plan better for the future.

Feel free to tell us more about you in the comments.

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Introducing students to the world of open source: Day 2

Read part 1 of this story about launching a weekend course to teach college students how to get involved in open source projects.

After Saturday's classroom-style work, we used Sunday for an open projects day, where students could drop in and get help contributing to a project. Perhaps because we didn't force the students to commit, only about twenty students came. » Read more

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Google stands up for your data

If technology had its own version of People magazine, this week's cover story would involve pictures of Google and Facebook in opposing bubbles, looking angrily in each other's direction. » Read more

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Joining us on IRC

You may have noticed that when we have a webcast, we mention you can join us on IRC. You can also join us there any time. IRC is commonly used in developer communities, but it's easy for anyone to chat with. You may even have software already that will let you connect, and if not, you can use a web interface.

Connecting with Pidgin » Read more

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Introducing students to the world of open source: Day 1

From Blake Ross to Linus Torvalds, students are credited with major achievements in the open source community. But that's not the picture Yuvi Masory painted as he sat across the table from me at an OpenHatch meetup in Philadelphia.

» Read more

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Getting hooked on open source prosthetics

A few months ago, I wondered: Can open source create better prosthetics? I've been meaning to revisit the topic and see what kind of progress the project is making.

While writing that first article, I learned that the leaders of the project were struggling with collaborative tools and multiple projects dispersed around the web. What have they done over the last few months to come together and direct energy and passion in the right direction? Let's find out. » Read more

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The Zimmer Twins: Crowdsourced animation for kids

The Zimmer Twins is a Canadian project that combines crowdsourcing with children and animation. And makes money doing it.

The site has been around for five years and accomplished quite a bit, but if like me, you're not Canadian and don't have pre-teen kid, you may never have heard of it. » Read more

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Poll: Your open source guru-ness

Open field

The opensouce.com community is growing fast, and we're trying to figure out who we are and what we care about. The more we know about ourselves, the more relevant our content and discussions will be.

These polls aren't scientific, but they will give us a useful snapshot of of our growing community, so we can plan better for the future.

5 Comments