[opensource] The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops

BRIAN SWANEY swaney.29 at osu.edu
Fri Mar 30 00:35:21 EDT 2007


While I'm not extraordinary with computers (yet), but I was involved in counter-marketing in tobacco prevention for the past few years. I worked for one of those years as an elite leader (known as TAP, or Teen Advisory Panel) and worked with Stand's advertising agency and received media training, to later train others in the same type of grassroots activism. I will be glad to do what I can.

As for attendance, I'd suggest, (but don't know enough to recommend) some examples of things that are unconditionally awesome to those who have no idea about open source and/or prefer proprietary software (and show just how great it can be).

VLC is a great example of this. GIMP can't hurt either. I'm sure with as expensive as it is, anyone interested in media editing/creation would be interested in a free (but equally or more powerful) version that they are free to pass on to their friends. After all, isn't this sort of freedom what open source is about? I hear there is a nice graphics editor called Blender. If anyone knows how to use it, it would be a nice demo, since what young adult today doesn't want to make the next Halo? Perhaps not the best though... I'm not sure how to work it and I don't suspect too many others will either.

Jim said he was surprised that I stayed with Open Source for as long as I did a few meetings ago. Let's consider why someone would want to leave... Maybe that will be difficult to understand, maybe not (depends on your understanding of newbies, I guess). Driver support is a big issue. Then comes compatibility. I almost didn't install Linux (or possibly even join) because of that one barrier alone, the fear that professors wouldn't be able to read my work (remember that flame war? I was struggling to work it with what Windows was configures for back then). I introduced some friend to VLC, who had no understanding of or inclination towards open source, and now he says "open source rocks". I explained the threat VLC, this program that he has come to love and periodically makes reference to, faces, which we like to call "patent abuse," and he said he'd like to have me install Linux on his laptop over the summer. I wonder...

Let's use this knowledge to our advantage. Make some of these workshops about compatibility and mobility of Linux. Demonstrate how to connect to wireless in Linux, since OIT refuses. Show how easy it is to create a Microsoft Word document without Microsoft Word. Show how easy it is to start up everyone's favorite IM client without the spyware and that annoying advertisement at the top (well, yes... there is that AdHack thing too, but I haven't seen their site in a while so maybe AOL got mad at them or something and it doesn't work on Triton anyway to my knowledge) that shows (gasp!) real names instead of just "sexybabe2783". Then show them some of the features native to Linux (like GRUB menus, if they're careful not to break it). If bold and daring enough, if we've nothing better to do, and if Paul doesn't mind, let's talk about corporate control and the philosophy behind open source; comparing Windows' philosophy of "dominating the software world" with GNU's philosophy of f
reedom to do what you please with your software. Yes, I know we aren't anti-Microsoft - just a lame, crappy idea to throw out into the pool with the rest of my lame, crappy ideas.

Based on what you're telling me, it looks like we're going to have the same group of people stretching and wringing out their brilliant minds to keep the intellectually stimulating presentations coming for the entire foreseeable future, and that is inevitable. Recruiting a bunch more new people will not really fix that, just preserve the cause. In my tobacco group, we had to recruit new members and train them, while the veterans did the most critical stuff (like management and media coverage) and meanwhile trained the newcomers, just like you all are with me.

Sadly, if we are getting to this point, this is what we must do to survive. They are the future now. Without them, our group will just diminish as people graduate out. With the passing time, as you expressed, our presentations will unavoidably become more and more scarce, until the it's over... I, for one don't wish to see Open Source wind up like our brother, ntSig. I've seen it happen in tobacco prevention, where I watched groups around me disappear, and don't doubt the possibility of that happening here.

Please feel free to respond with your criticisms and disapproval or whatever other (potentially supportive) comments you may have. All that aside, I hope this helps.


-Brian Swaney
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; 
	boundary="----=_Part_58702_8119196.1175222049247"


------=_Part_58702_8119196.1175222049247
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline

Hello all,

Spring Quarter is here, and Open Source Club is still alive. But, I am
unsure how long. Nothing threatens us immediately; but there is a threat
that I have felt -- stagnation.

Our format has generally been to have someone give a presentation on a topic
that they either know about or are interested in learning about. These
presentations are a great learning experience, both as a presenter and as an
attendee. But there is a factor working against us: We have a small
meeting-going membership, with few new faces. This tends to mean the same
awesome people are always presenting equally awesome things.

I am not sure that this format is sustainable. We do not advertise our
presence to the outside university. We offer few outward-reaching
services/events. The only way we can grow is through word-of-mouth, which
sadly is not enough to reach all those who could be interested in Open
Source.

Computer software is something that most people interact with on a daily
basis. Students today grew up alongside the personal computer. Very few
computer users know about open source and the awesome operating systems and
applications that are readily available to them. We are an organization that
is too inward-facing. Student organizations are supposed to work for
students and other interested parties, and I believe we are not giving back
to the OSU community as much as we could and should.

I think that we should work to advertise, explain, and showcase the open
source offerings to the students of Ohio State. For the most part, we have
been preaching to the choir -- those who know what open source is and what
possibilities it offers.

We've made an outreach before, with the Open Source Workshops of last Spring
Quarter. We had a moderate attendance at those meetings. This quarter, we
should work to offer another series of workshops. Last quarter we thought
that workshops revolving around OpenOffice.org/media creation would be a
good idea.

So, I'm asking, what ideas do you have for club format, outreach, and Spring
Workshops do you have?

It could be as simple as us standing on the Oval handing out Ubuntu CD's.
I'd love to hear everyone's ideas.

-- alex

------=_Part_58702_8119196.1175222049247
Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline

Hello all,<br><br>Spring Quarter is here, and Open Source Club is still alive. But, I am unsure how long. Nothing threatens us immediately; but there is a threat that I have felt -- stagnation.<br><br>Our format has generally been to have someone give a presentation on a topic that they either know about or are interested in learning about. These presentations are a great learning experience, both as a presenter and as an attendee. But there is a factor working against us: We have a small meeting-going membership, with few new faces. This tends to mean the same awesome people are always presenting equally awesome things.
<br><br>I am not sure that this format is sustainable. We do not advertise our presence to the outside university. We offer few outward-reaching services/events. The only way we can grow is through word-of-mouth, which sadly is not enough to reach all those who could be interested in Open Source.
<br><br>Computer software is something that most people interact with on a daily basis. Students today grew up alongside the personal computer. Very few computer users know about open source and the awesome operating systems and applications that are readily available to them. We are an organization that is too inward-facing. Student organizations are supposed to work for students and other interested parties, and I believe we are not giving back to the OSU community as much as we could and should.
<br><br>I think that we should work to advertise, explain, and showcase the open source offerings to the students of Ohio State. For the most part, we have been preaching to the choir -- those who know what open source is and what possibilities it offers.
<br><br>We&#39;ve made an outreach before, with the Open Source Workshops of last Spring Quarter. We had a moderate attendance at those meetings. This quarter, we should work to offer another series of workshops. Last quarter we thought that workshops revolving around 
OpenOffice.org/media creation would be a good idea.<br><br>So, I&#39;m asking, what ideas do you have for club format, outreach, and Spring Workshops do you have?<br><br>It could be as simple as us standing on the Oval handing out Ubuntu CD&#39;s. I&#39;d love to hear everyone&#39;s ideas.
<br><br>-- alex<br><br>

------=_Part_58702_8119196.1175222049247--

-------------- next part --------------
_______________________________________________
Opensource mailing list
Opensource at cse.ohio-state.edu
http://mail.cse.ohio-state.edu/mailman/listinfo/opensource


More information about the Opensource mailing list