The COVID-19 pandemic created many new challenges for businesses in 2020 as they rapidly moved non-essential workers to remote operations. However, it also created tremendous opportunities for innovation as people searched for effective ways to work and collaborate virtually.
Opensource.com responded to the need by publishing a variety of articles in 2020 on working better with open source. Since it appears working remotely is here to stay for the foreseeable future, make sure you're doing everything you can to adapt by reading the top seven articles about open source business from 2020.
Open source live streaming with Open Broadcaster Software
If you want to start reaching your customers with live streaming, Seth Kenlon's article on open source live streaming explains how to use Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) to connect to various streaming services to share your skills or gameplay. He outlines OBS and offers a detailed walk-through of its installation and use, making your start in streaming quick and easy. Seth also explains how to connect your devices to a streaming server and shares a powerful message about the value of teaching others and broadcasting words of encouragement.
Manage knowledge with BlueSpice, an open source alternative to Confluence
Most enterprises have a wiki for sharing and managing knowledge across their teams. Instead of risking vendor lock-in with proprietary software, Martin Loschwitz recommends considering BlueSpice, an open source alternative to Confluence. He covers the structural differences between BlueSpice and Confluence, how to use the optional BlueSpice Farm to connect multiple wikis, and BlueSpice's amazing search capabilities that use Elasticsearch to enable narrower searches. Martin also gets into BlueSpice's compliance and security features, editor functions, extensions, and design features that match your wiki to your company's branding.
Choosing open source as a marketing strategy
Lucas Galvanni and Nathalie Risbakk discuss how to use open source in your marketing strategy. They use the example of Brewdog, which opened its beer recipes to the public, a strategy that paid off by making the brand extremely popular with the homebrewing community. They also cover developing marketing strategies based on customers' needs and desires and explain how moving their company to an open source model helped it engage with the community. Finally, they get into the challenges, risks, and rewards of open source with some final notes about building success over time.
7 Ways NOT to manage your remote team
Matt Shealy says remote teams are susceptible to miscommunication, but rethinking how things have always been done can help avoid disaster. His tips include continuous training on technical and emotional topics, creating standards around communications in remote chat systems, and keeping work on schedule. Matt also recommends keeping your eye on the big picture with goals and milestones, avoiding micromanagement, and promoting diversity to leverage different viewpoints and help teams shine. He also describes the benefits and barriers of teams working across different time zones and recommends keeping your eye on costs to find a middle ground to keep trust between IT and finance teams.
5 humans review 5 open source video chat tools
During the lockdowns in summer 2020, Opensource.com writers Matt Broberg, Alan Formy-Duval, Chris Hermansen, Seth Kenlon, and I joined forces to review open source video chat tools. We looked at the tools' security risks, capabilities, and performance, considering our various locations and internet quality, to discover what's out there in open source video-conferencing solutions. This review may give you new ideas on tools to improve your video chats.
Love or hate chat? 4 best practices for remote teams
To help the many teams working remotely, Jen Wike Huger offers best practices for using chat in your day-to-day life. Before getting into her tips, Jen recommends asking team members about their comfort level using chat to keep in touch during the workday. Next, she offers best practices, including creating rooms and threads, setting expectations around when people are expected to respond (or not) in chat, and communicating clearly and kindly.
The FSF reveals the tools they use for chat, video, and more
The Free Software Foundation's Greg Farough shares the software the organization uses for remote communications. He explains that self-reliance on some of the tools (by self-hosting or having a friend or colleague host them) can be difficult but beneficial. He concludes by saying, "This is just a small selection of the huge amount of free software out there, all ready to be used, shared, and improved by the community," and asks the community to share knowledge "to help people find ways of communicating that put user freedom as a priority."
2020: The year open source remote business became essential
These seven articles offer many suggestions for teams working remotely and which open source tools will help them do it better. In 2020, open source software proved its value for expanding and improving work across great distances. And these tools will remain key business enablers in 2021, as many of us continue working from home.