Today, in subscribing to the Podcast for PyCon 2008, I noticed this entry:
“It almost seems like a joke: a family-owned newspaper in Lawrence, KS (population 80,000) releases an open-source web framework. It’s not a joke, of course: today Django is an increasingly popular web development platform. As an open-source community Django has been incredibly successful; in Tim O’Reilly’s OSCON keynote, he called Django “the new face of open source.” But it’s often unclear how we got here. How did a couple of programmers at a newspaper convince management to contribute to the open-source ecosystem? How does the company justify the time its developers spend on open source? And how have we as individuals and as a business had to adapt to become better open source developers?”
I was then like, “Huh! A family-owned newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas? That sounds familiar?!! Could it be? Yep, it is… Rob Curley the 2005 IMA Conference Keynote Speaker who “blew the roof off the Parc 55 with a dynamic presentation, illustrating his strategy of “hyper-localism.” Curley is one of the most decorated newspaper web directors in the United States. Some called it the best keynote speech–ever…” You can read more about his keynote speech here.
I remember coming away from the conference saying “I want to do what he does!” What an exciting, energizing person, who’s making a difference in his community and in the media industry. And now to find out that he’s doing it using open source technologies, and releasing a cool new web application framework based on python to boot! I find myself saying again… “I want to do what he does!”
I know there was some talk at last year’s conference about using Pubforge.org to support open source projects both within public broadcasting as well as independent media producers from beyond broadcast.net. I know too that, in addition to Pubforge.org , there’s always the Public Broadcasting Open Source Best Practices google group. There’s also the successful open source project from WNYC and KCRW, the East West Audio server. And there’s been collaborations that have not necessarily been open-source, like the momentum around the IMA’s with the Public Media Metrics project. But I wonder if the public broadcasting community could better support open source projects?
Tell me, what do you think it will take to foster a vibrant open-source community within public broadcasting? Tell me, what do you think it would take to have some real momentum around open-source software projects?
For those of you who came away from Rob Curley’s 2005 IMA Conference Keynote Speech and felt, like I did, that “I want to do what he’s doing!” And for those of you who would like to do this, like Rob, using a collaborative, open source approach, tell me, is 2008 the year for us to get organized? Is this year’s Public Media conference the place for us to start?