FOSS February: A month to celebrate open source

FOSS February: A month to celebrate open source

People arranged in the shape of FOSS
Image by :

Subscribe now

Get the highlights in your inbox every week.

Join the Twitter Party hosted by National Day Calendar on 2/10

Open source remains a competitive means of distribution—one that delivers exceptional software to new and devoted users. Despite this, open source, its methodologies, practices, code, and the communities behind them, can be overlooked or misunderstood if they are inadequately communicated. As a professional in tech marketing in the open source space, I often find that my conversations begin by highlighting the key takeaways of open source before I can begin to graze the surface of product-specific impact.

Open source software has come a long way over the past several years, primarily due to the contributions of active open source communities. Still, convincing an enterprise’s influencers, IT leaders, and developers of the merits of open source remains a challenge in certain spaces. While it is important that organizations take an honest, objective look at the total cost of ownership of any solution, open source or commercial, it became clear to me that impressions of open source were not always reflective of the extraordinary work and talent that can be found in the space.

To emphasize the merits of open source and create a level ground on which leaders could base these important decisions, I wanted to create a marketing platform for common open source messaging and themes.

In the spirit of open source, I sought to create a shared platform that extended beyond my project—a platform that could be used to benefit the greater open source community.

National Free and Open Source Software Month

In order to accomplish this, I proposed a reserved month to create awareness around Free and Open Source Software. The intent is to establish a platform that appeals to general audiences, while simultaneously giving the strongest of open source supporters the underlying support they need to strengthen messaging for their projects. The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared the observance of National Free and Open Source Software Month in 2017. Founded by Onyx Point, Inc., FOSS February (#FOSSFeb) is an opportunity to discuss open source methods.

Artwork is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Originated by Amanda Arnold. Attributable to Onyx Point, Inc. 2017.

Synchronous use of the platform in open source channels will create resonance surrounding project goals ranging from community expansion, new developments, introduction to new spaces, etc. We selected February to observe the holiday, as it is the month in which the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded in 1998.

FOSS February is our chance to open the door to open source, to face the larger market, and to increase overall interest in the open source community and its projects.

Get involved

Together, we can use the platform to promote open source initiatives, market open source projects, and dispel general misconceptions. Here are some ideas on how to participate:

  • Display the official logo on your website/marketing materials
  • Plan or participate in webinars, hackathons, and events
  • Focus blog articles on open source initiatives
  • Register as a FOSS February participant
  • Use #FOSSFeb on social media posts
  • Join the Open Source Initiative (OSI)
  • Contribute code or donate money to an open source project
  • Encourage your favorite open source projects to participate
  • Join the Twitter Party hosted by National Day Calendar on 2/10

About the author

Amanda Arnold - Amanda is a technical marketing manager with 15 years experience supporting the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense. She works for Onyx Point, Inc. as Marketing and Communications Director for the System Integrity Management Platform (SIMP), and promotes DevOps workflow and open source solutions in US Government spaces. Amanda is passionate about metrics-driven marketing, diversity in computing fields, IT efficiencies, clean technical documentation, and detailed style guides. She...