Open Source Summit

20-21 June 2012
University of Maryland Business School
Official Site | Register

I know! This is not the first time people who are interested in open source in government have come together to talk about stuff, so what (you ask) is so innovative about this particular event?

Actually, several things:

  1. It’s co-hosted by NASA’s OpenGov Team, the Office of eDiplomacy at the Dept of State and the Veteran’s Administration’s Innovation Initiative.
  2. It has been put together with all volunteer labor on the part of a rather large planning team.
  3. This is not about “is open source good enough?” (which tends to dominate most discussions about open source in government). We’ve already accepted that it is. This is about how to use, develop, and release open source software from inside government — and even more importantly, how to create and manage a community once you have a project out there!!
  4. The format itself: aside from a couple of big name keynotes, the event will alternate between 6 minute “TED quality” speakers and deeper discussions. Most of the speakers will there the entire time (what?!? is that even allowed?), engaging with the participants to share their expertise on a more personal and engaging level.

    Each 6 minute speech is really an overview and commercial for what participants can learn from that speaker, with at least one hour long session following it for participants to engage more fully with the speaker.

    In addition, there will be plenty of time for participants to network and propose their own questions or presentations unconference-style because let’s be honest, anyone working in government open source has something valuable to share.

If you’re 10% as excited as I am about this, you ought to sign up right now because it’s going to be awesome!


27 June 2012

Virtual In-person Collaboration with Hackpad

So I recently learned about what I thought was simply another EtherPad clone. We used it in Moldova for the hackathon, at the World Bank for the Development Data Challenge, and most fully this week at the Open Source Summit. Here is what I learned from that experience. »

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