The Evolution of Open

I couldn't help but feel that in some respects, focusing solely upon open source would be a disservice to the audience.

Last weekend I attended Blog World Expo in Las Vegas to give a talk on "Open Source." The talk belonged to the "New Media" track and before I started work on the presentation I was told to assume that attendees would have little or no background on what open source is, would need terms defined and possess little or no technical background. So, given these constraints I sat down trying to figure out the best way to introduce people to the basics of open source.

During the process of writing the presentation though, I couldn't help but feel that in some respects, focusing solely upon open source would be a disservice to the audience, because increasingly, more and more of the software we interact with on a daily basis is found online and is not actually open source. Nor will it ever likely to be. So what's the point?

In the end, what I found myself writing what a presentation to set the stage for what would make a great next chapter in Eric Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar, which also happens to not be about open source either, strictly speaking. In the way that ESR's signature essay is about hacker culture and how it contributed to the genesis of open source, so too did my presentation turn out to be about how that same hacker mindset is still at work today in building The Open Web - something that actually transcends open source, and is in many respects a more pressing issue in this day and age.

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: open source)

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