The dark side of free software communities Morgan Gangwere
When you think of free software, what things come to mind? Freedom, obviously, but what others? A shared community? An open culture? Within free software culture, there is a perception and expectation of openness and collaboration within the community: all are welcome to the table, and your contributions speak for you. When you get outside the community by enough, however, the answer changes. Contemptuous, confusing, elitist, and abrasive are words that some outsiders use to describe free software communities. Some go out of their way to avoid the communities we’ve worked so hard to build. Why?
In this talk, I’ll look at some of root causes of these opinions and attitudes, as well as how to solve some them and make our communities more approachable by outsiders by using real-world examples of the good, bad, and the ugly. Building off a decade of community involvement on the fringe of free software, plus an academic focus in organizational and community communications, I’ll help us make free software a welcoming place for newcomers, so we can all become strong advocates for free software!