Greetings from the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), held in San Francisco, CA this week. There's a lot of talk about open source, but not a lot of talk about the open source way. So it's time to tell you about the stories you haven't heard from the conference yet. The stories about the people I met and how they are using open source principles.
I hosted a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session with Melanie Chernoff during lunch on Wednesday, March 17. Our session topic: Beyond technology at opensource.com and Open Source for America, hosted by Red Hat. We had a full table, a variety of folks, and an interesting conversation.
To kick off the BoF session, I did a quick poll on how many folks at the table had visited opensource.com. About half had seen the site, and I encouraged the ones who hadn't, to check it out. After explaining the high level goals of the site, our conversation got interesting.
I asked the attendees: How do you apply open source principles outside of technology?
We went around the table and listened to the different stories.
Greg Zoller, senior manager of CRM and e-commerce at Aviall Services, Inc. is really interested corporate cultures and how the open source way is infectious in the younger generations entering the workforce. He also mentioned that he believes open source is becoming a philosophy, and in the future its software origins will just be just that--where the open source way started. He thinks the open source way will be a way of life.
Alolita Sharma, director at Open Source Initiative (OSI), thinks that sharing in our communities is important to educate people and maintain a sense of family. She gave us a perspective from the Asia-Pacific region where sharing is an inherent part of their culture and sometimes vital for the survival of a community.
Jason Cole, PhD, COO of Remote-Learner, is interested in opening content for education. He works with Moodle, a course management system designed to help educators to create quality online courses. He wants to see the course content be as open as possible.
Howard Dyckoff, news writer and correspondent, Linux Gazette, really likes to use open tools to brainstorm and gather ideas. He finds value in harnessing people's passion to foster ideas, increase participation, and maintain engagement for some of the projects he's involved with.
I'll end this post by extending our BoF to you--how do you apply open source principles outside of technology? Share your story in the comments.