A Culture of Open Sharing

From software, to publishing, to BarCamps… it’s a culture of sharing…

I’ve been using open source software for over 10 years now, and I’ve been publishing for over 20 years. I tend to be one that likes to share what I create with the world, and also appreciates when others share what they have created. To me, this is much of the basis of open source software – the creation and sharing of not just code, but ideas and ideals. When I say I’ve been using open source software for many years, I don’t do so begrudgingly, I do it because I believe in it.

Open for Business
(Photo by Janet Towbin)

When Creative Commons came along, I immediately saw a benefit to it. again, I’m not just a consumer of things, I am a creator of things, and I’ve published music, and created videos, and images and words, that I’ve carefully chosen a license for. I want others to be able to properly use my work, as I want to be able to use theirs.

BarCamp is a great example of open culture, and I’m proud of being one of the people who brought BarCamps to Wisconsin. Our local group, Web414 is modeled very much on the way a BarCamp works, ad-hoc and open. (In fact, we even declare our meetings a “Creative Commons Zone” and request that media created at the meetings use a Creative Commons license when published.)

YES WE'RE OPEN - from lwr
(Photo by Leo Reynolds)

Almost all of the feedback on things like BarCamp and DrupalCamp and Web414 has been positive. Now, I did say almost, because there exists this small group of people who seem to exist to take and not give, to do nothing but shoot things down instead of lift things up. They’re similar to trolls, but really, they are like leeches in that they tend to suck things out, and give nothing in return. They don’t share, they aren’t open, and they are negative to those who do, yet… they are more than happy to take what they can (for free) while never seeing the contradiction in their actions. Even those who make a living on the net, which was largely built on the ideas of openly sharing, don’t get it.

I Assure You We're Open - from radven
(Photo by Chris Dunphy)

And that’s where I’m done. I don’t want to deal with these people. They won’t change their minds, and I waste my time trying to get through to them. What’s the point? I’m more interested in positive and creative people who are doing interesting things, making the future happen, and willing to share that with the world. People who get excited about the work they are doing, whether they get paid for it or not. The people who care only about creating things in exchange for the almighty dollar, I have no time for you. Leave me be…

I’ll continue my pursuit of people and ideas and cultures that are open. That’s where the future is, or at least the future I want to be a part of.

6 replies on “A Culture of Open Sharing”

It is always a thrill to find my photos posted somewhere. I do wish that Creative Commons mandated notification (and not just attribution) so that it would be easier to find out when photos or articles get used in various places.

Great article, btw.

Chris, I always appreciate when people let me know they used my work, and I will try to make it a habit to better inform people in the future. Thanks again for use of the photo.

I like the referrer grease monkey plugin for notification reasons on Flickr. I use it with, blog it, then click back through to the photo and the originating URL is included in your comment. Drop in a little “thanks for licensing, used your photo” line and you’re done!

Maybe we need an attribution best practices 10 minute session at Web414? I’m sure someone like Gabe must have something amusing.

Rostyslav, I said “using open source software for over 10” and “publishing for over 20 years” I meant publishing in general… not publishing software. (I used to publish print magazines.)

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