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Tim O’Reilly: O’Reilly Radar

Tim O’Reilly: O’Reilly Radar published on 2 Comments on Tim O’Reilly: O’Reilly Radar

OSCON has amazingly short keynote speeches. This one, by Tim O’Reilly, is just under 12 minutes long.

And yet he managed to inspire me far more than most 20-minute, half-hour or (god help us all) hour-long keynotes I’ve heard. Starting with a quotation from Harlan Ellison about diverging images of Christ in Rio, he challenged participants to use open-source not just to sell to the enterprise, but to build a better world. The challenges we face together, he argued, need the collaborative skills of the open-source community and the software they’re creating. (As you can imagine, that message resonated with me.)

That parallels the evolution of O’Reilly Media, which has changed from being a book publisher and event convenor to an organization with a strong focus on applying technology in ways that “help good futures to happen”.

His presentation ranged from food carts in Portland to the relief effort in Haiti. If you like the cartoon, you’ll love the movie:

OSCON: Financial incentives for open-source development

OSCON: Financial incentives for open-source development published on 2 Comments on OSCON: Financial incentives for open-source development

The OSCON session on financial incentives in the open-source community was fascinating, partly because it goes to the heart of a lot of what we ask at Social Signal: what motivates people to participate?

The conversation made it clear that money can be a double-edged sword (note to self: do not actually use double-edged swords as money): encouraging some forms of participation, while potentially actually alienating other potential contributors.

The panelists were Leslie Hawthorn (Geek at Large), Donald Smith (The Eclipse Foundation), Todd Crowe (Todd Crowe Web Design & Development) and Stormy Peters (GNOME Foundation) – with moderation by Rob Lanphier (Wikimedia Foundation).

Your eyes are like limpid pools… a LOT of limpid pools.

Your eyes are like limpid pools… a LOT of limpid pools. published on No Comments on Your eyes are like limpid pools… a LOT of limpid pools.

This came to me while reading Dave Eave’s post about the challenges of turning the promise of crowd-sourced quality control in open-source development – the idea that “many eyes make all bugs shallow“. (It turns out the challenges are substantial, whether you’re building software or managing a city.)

By the way, I’m starting to draw the occasional cartoon live on Ustream. Follow me on Twitter (@robcottingham) to find out when I’m doing the next one; meanwhile, here’s what today’s looked like (the sound, unfortunately, got pretty distorted).

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