Community

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Recommended reading: Control and Community by The 451 Group

The 451 Group's annual report on the state of the open source business world is out. Already the title: Control and Community suggests they are once again on top of what has been going on this year. Analyzing about 300 open source related businesses they not only "get it right", but were actually able to uncover some facts even I was unaware of and this impressed me a lot. If an analyst can dig up statistics to back up something that I already "intuitively" know in my heart, that is a useful service. But if they can make me go "ah, I didn't know that" on a topic I consider myself quite an expert in, the I'm impressed!

This is an analyst report, available for a price that would be completely unreasonable for a private person. I was pondering whether I should go begging for a free copy to satisfy my curiosity on the topic. But that wasn't necessary, as the next day I was offered a copy by Matthew Aslett himself:

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Links: Andy Updegrove on the trend of Foundations, LWN.net on OpenSQLCamp,

Links for today:

Community Rights and Community Wrongs
The Launch of the Document Foundation and the Oxymoron of Corporate Controlled "Community" Projects

Andy Updegrove makes observations of the trend in hosting Open Source projects in non-profit foundations rather than one company, much boosted by Oracle's acquisition and abandonment of Sun's software assets.

Knowing that an organization is “safe” to join, and will be managed for the benefit of the many and not of the privileged few, is one of the key attributes and assurances of “openness.”

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Speaking at ProActum OpenMeetup in Helsinki, next Tuesday (about Open Core)

I will be speaking on Tuesday at the ProActum OpenMeetup in Pub Angleterre, Helsinki. (Drinks sponsored by Novell.) The title is "Open Core - What is an open source business model and what isn't? And who cares?".

A bit unusual for this kind of meetup, but I actually summarized my talk into 3 slides, which I will share as printouts with the audience.

Spectrum of open source, wannabe and closed source business models

I decided to label Open Core as a "Wannabe" business model, meaning that these products want to label themselves as open source while they are not.

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The power of a Facebook mob (or two)

Two independent Facebook related news stories caught my eye on Monday:

1) In Sweden about 10 thousand demonstrators showed up in a spontaneous rally against racism. This was less than 24 hours after a new immigrant hostile party Sverigedemokraterna had won the Sunday election and got 20 seats in the Parliament. The demonstration was called together by a young girl, Felicia Margineanu (17), who posted it as a Facebook event and invited her friends.

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What others say about open core

The past week more and more people weighed in on the open core debate. Personally, I don't have much more to add now and it seems I have been able to articulate why it is bad and against open source. Watching some of the comments of this week it also seems that the more people talk/write about it, the more their true thinking and motivation becomes apparent to everyone. So rather than add more words, I will just highlight what others are saying.

Watching the discussion last week reminded me of a friend in university, who was a vegetarian. This was becoming popular at the time. I once then saw her ordering a chicken pizza, so I mentioned that she is not a vegetarian after all. This upset her and she protested that who am I to judge her and surely just because she eats chicken doesn't mean she is not a vegetarian.

Now unto the open core debate...

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If you're selling to your community... you've got it backwards.

My ongoing dialogue with Matthew Aslett inspired me to read more of his recent writings. An excellent piece Do not sell anything to your community is based on a blog post by Stephen Walli.

Inspired by Stephen, I also looked into a set of slides I recently created and will try that style for this post...

Aslett and Stephen make a great point:

the conversion of community users into paying customers has long been a concern for open source-related vendors. It has also long been a source of friction, with vendors that offer proprietary extensions being accused of “bait and switch” or otherwise undermining the value of the open source software in an attempt compel community users into becoming paying customers. In recent years the next generation of start-ups has learned that the best way to encourage a frictionless relationship between a vendor and its community is not to attempt to “convert” users at all.

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Poor Matt, poor Ken

Well, for Matt Asay, I should start by congratulating you for the new job and nice title! (Also, we learn some intelligence from Matt's blog: apparently Canonical is already close to the size of MySQL AB at the time of the Sun acquisition.)

Usually we are told to "ignore the trolls" and all that. The blogosphere unfortunately seems to be full of commentators who like to have share their opinion - even while they are entirely clueless. Sometimes, like the comments on Slashdot, it is ok and considered part of the entertainment. Sometimes it is harmless, because nobody reads that blog. And sometimes, it is just unacceptable:

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O'Reilly picks up the MySQL user conference

It has been a tough Autumn for all of us so it is a pleasure to finally blog on some good news! O'Reilly has finally announced the next MySQL User Conference.

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