Glyn Moody on PR by Organizations in Open Source

I had the chance to do a video interview with Glyn Moody, a renown technology journalist and consultant, at the South Tyrol Free Software Conference (SFScon), past Friday.

Glyn provides great answers to the following questions:

  • Is “Open Source” still a newsworthy topic?
  • What are the trends in Open Source watched by journalists?
  • How to do PR in a sane way?
  • How important are social media in the marketing mix?

He also points out that a topic he’s closely watching these days is how governments try to fight back the internet – something he discussed in his keynote at SFScon and in a related article afterwards, which also includes his slides.

LinuxTag 2010: Call for Papers Ends Today

LinuxTag is the most important place for Linux and open source software in Europe. Last year, LinuxTag had over ten thousand attendees, and over 300 speakers. This year, the 16th LinuxTag will be June 9-12, 2010 at the Berlin Fairgrounds in Germany.

LinuxTag seeks exciting and suitable proposals for presentations in the conference tracks. The Call for Papers ends today.

I am proud to be a member of the LinuxTag Program Committee. Although a lot of proposals have already been submitted, there are some topics missing that I’d personally like to see covered. So, if you’re up for a last minute submission, get your inspiration from the following list:

  • Is/was the recent economic crisis an opportunity for Open Source?
  • More real-life case studies on how OSS is being used in mission-critical scenarios.
  • A European or global perspective on Open Source in Public Administration.
  • How to make use of Amazon EC2 or Google AppEngine with Open Source apps?
  • Technical tutorials for beginners, especially for building Web apps (e.g. PHP/Ruby/Java/etc. for beginners).
  • High performance Web environments with Open Source tools
  • Security in the Cloud
  • What’s the status of some of the regional Linux distributions?

I can’t promise that your talk will be accepted if it covered one of the above topics. The review process is of course a joint effort of the whole Program Committee. Anyway, it’s definitely worth a try. Of course, any other topic I did not think of is also highly welcome.

Go here to submit your LinuxTag proposal.

Get a Dose of Semantics: Open Source Contributors Wanted for EU Project

The EU-funded IKS Project invites FOSS companies and projects to take part in building a software stack for knowledge management that is Open Source.

IKS is funded with 6.5 million Euros by the European Union and 2 million Euros are being invested by the consortium partners which makes up for an overall budget of 8.5 millions. The project will run for 4 years.

Financial support is available for 50 yet to be selected companies/organizations who agree to evaluate the IKS software stack as early adopters as well as 100 individuals who are members of a related FOSS project and who would like to actively engage in IKS project development. The budget for contributors to IKS is meant to alleviate the entry hurdles, e.g. for travel and accommodation for attending the IKS workshop end of May.

The premier focus of IKS is on FOSS content management systems and how they can make use of the to-be-developed IKS technology to let content objects behave the way they are supposed to across varying applications. Additionally, IKS also aims at cooperating with FOSS projects helping to implement semantics-aware software.

Wernher Behrendt, one of the initiators of IKS, exemplifies the project’s vision as follows:

Think of a task that has been defined in a project management software. Ideally, the project management software allows you to edit the task as you would expect it, for example, you can extend the ending date in case the work will take longer. Now, what happens if you want to transfer your work plan to the Web content management system that powers your Web site to display it to the public?

You will most likely create a screenshot of the work plan in the project management software, upload the screenshot in your WCMS and include it on a Web page. In between, you have lost all information about what a task is and how another application should treat it in case you want to edit it within the imported work plan.

This is where IKS comes to the rescue, because its software stack will not only provide a layer that takes care of metadata information (e.g. Ontologies, RDF, …), but will also be able to deal with information on how to process a content object across different applications.

If you’d like to join, IKS provides further information on its Web site and how to get in contact with them. Contribute to IKS as a…

Calendar of Open Source, IT, Industry-specific Events

World-wide Free and Open Source Software EventsInitMarketing has made its calendar of world-wide conferences and trade fairs related to Free and Open Source Software, IT and specific industries available to the public.

It currently includes 122 events in 17 countries taking place in 2009. 43 of them in Germany, 69 in USA. We use this calendar when planing events for our customers, thus we’ll regularly update it. Please let us know of any events which are not on our radar yet by commenting to my blog or commenting at the bottom of the events page.

Web 2.0 in 20 Years

The Web 2.0 paradigm has reached mass media. We read about it in newspapers and hear about it on CNN. Now that the hype is really big, its death is also close. Let’s take an unagitated look at the Web 2.0 phenomena: What will be left in 20 years?

Some heroes

Tim O’Reilly coined the term Web 2.0 and hence further helped to establish himself and his company as a trend setter and a leading WWW think tank. They even do good marketing around it. Tim, you deserve it: we’ll still remember you in 20 years – just like the Google, Flickr, YouTube, etc. founders.

Big Mac 2.0

With “2.0” we got one more label for marketing in the spirit of “reloaded”, “next generation”, etc. Only history can tell, how much longer it will be used and for which products. How about “Big Mac 2.0″?

Refrigerators of knowledge

Times are moving fast and in 20 years, the Web 2.0 will be a normal part of our life, just like refrigerators. Indeed, I am saying that the Web 2.0 is here to stay. It will be an integral part of the knowledge society and the always-online generation. That’s because the companies behind the Web 2.0 understand the needs of the mass of knowledge workers.

For example, those who blog (and effectively share knowledge), would like to know about the commentators and visitors of their site (using pingback, trackback, Google Analytics, etc.) to reflect upon the interests of their audience and optimize their information offerings. Web 2.0 provides the tools for the knowledge economy.

Knowledge workers want to use the Internet to treat their goods (aka information pieces) world-wide, hence reaching all potential customers. Tim O’Reilly said it very well:

The Web 2.0 lesson: leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.

The Web 2.0 will be as normal as refrigerators in 20 years – refrigerators which keep your knowledge fresh.

Modeling our daily life

Once there was a shining term coined “New Economy” which today causes pains for those who lost a lot of money back then. In fact, the crash of the new economy was a usual and typical phase of the adoption of new disruptive technologies.

What’s that got to do with the Web 2.0? Well, I am saying that the Web 2.0 is the succeeding (and much longer) phase of economic consolidation after the hype years of the Internet boom. The Web 2.0 is characterized by mature businesses built upon a more mature new technology and mature users better understanding the benefits of that technology. In terms of socio dynamics: several Web technologies have reached a level of maturity and sum up to a critical mass to actually constitute a new quality of applications. Just think of today’s better cross-browser interoperability allowing for AJAX.

Did you know that there were 274 American car manufacturers in 1909 before the car market collapsed just like the new economy did? In 1955 there were only 7 manufacturers left and the car had revolutionized our daily lives and made the 7 manufacturers very profitable.

The basic technological concepts of cars are nothing spectacular anymore, but they had and still have a big impact on societies as a whole. The same will happen with the Web 2.0: a change from hype to seamless integration and modeling of our daily life. That change is what a (German) article calls the transition from the new economy to the next economy.

It’s about maturity

Having said that, Web 2.0 is more about a concept explaining a mature symbiosis between a rather new technology and a changing society than about software alone. Critiques saying that the Web 2.0 is nothing new, are mostly right when it comes to the base technologies behind it. XML, JavaScript, CSS, etc. are indeed nothing new. Instead, those building the Web 2.0 have simply learned how to effectively make use of these technologies to solve the daily needs of knowledge workers.

True or not?

To testify my projections, we still got 20 years to go. One thing is already sure though: There will be some revisions of Web 2.0 within the next 20 years because we are still in the early days of the next economy. As a start, get Web 2.0.1.


Testifying the hype: Web 2.0 Most Cited Wikipedia Entry of the Year.

Lightning Fast HTTPD

Jan has released “lighttpd a secure, fast, compliant and very flexible web-server
which has been optimized for high-performance environments”. The advanced features include:

  • load-balanced FastCGI (one webserver distibutes request to multiple PHP-servers via FastCGI)
  • custom errorpages (for Response-Code 400-599)
  • virtual hosts
  • directory listings
  • streaming CGI and FastCGI
  • URL-Rewritung
  • HTTP-Redirects
  • output-compression with transparent caching

Find more information in English in the README or in German at the project website.