Seth Godin (of which you know I’m a fan of from time to time) blogged yesterday about how the term “open source” is being over-used. In fact it was the buzz word of 2008, and seems to be continuing to right into 2009. Its used with regard to anything and everything, and can be confusing to say the least… and both frustrating and enlightening if you actually work in open source. 😉 Seth & Michal Migurski produced a list of the most common ‘open’ terms to try and set folks on the straight and narrow – its worth taking a look.
In some respects its delightful to see the term open source be used in so many ways… we have entered a new age where we see more companies, and organizations being more transparent, and working in the open to gain customer feedback. We have a cacophony of user shared experiences, photos, videos, all open for us to dually consume and add to. There are more opportunities to get involved with your favorite *whatever it might be*, information (or your identity) can be passed from one place to another often seamlessly.
So – its not stretch to say, we are living in the most open environment we have ever seen (unfortunately, I am only able to refer to the developed world here). We have come along way!
But… its important not to forget, whilst we make these huge advances forward in being open, there is much more work to be done, and still much more work to maintain these levels of openness. Terms are one thing, but making sure open, stays open is quite another. And its easy to take this for granted, especially when it comes to the Web.
Open means different things to different people, and Seth’s list surely demonstrates this in today’s world (also see a bunch of dictionary terms below**). But one thing is certain, what ever open means to you – you will want to preserve it!
**The dictionary entry for the term ‘open’ (taken from the
1 allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked up
2 [ attrib. ] exposed to the air or to view; not covered
3 [ predic. ] (of a store, place of entertainment, etc.) officially admitting customers or visitors; available for business
4 (of a person) frank and communicative; not given to deception or concealment