FutureWeb open source panel discusses its evolution, growth, governance

30 04 2010

"The Future: Harnessing the Power of Open Source." From left to right: Chris DiBona, Brian Bouterse, Paul Jones. Photo by Elon University Relations photographer Kim Walker. Creative Commons rights.

With Linux creator Red Hat just down the street from the Raleigh Convention Center, open source has been a huge part of the Web’s development, and the Future of Open Source Panel reiterated that fact.

Chaired by Red Hat Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs Tom Rabon, the panel included three men with from diverse business and technology backgrounds:

Brian Bouterse – Research Associate, Secure Open Systems Initiative with NC State University and Networking and Systems Specialist, The Friday Institute

Chris DiBona – Open Source and Public Programs Manager, Google

Paul Jones – Director, ibilio.org

To show how far they’ve come, the panelists spoke about their first experiences with the Internet. Bouterse, the youngest of the panelists, first used the Internet as a 10-year-old and became fascinated by the “button with the little world” that took him outside of the AOL realm. DiBona first experienced the Internet through a Compuserve game and remembers arguing with a sevice provider for a faster connection.

Jones has a unique story in which he had Tim Berners-Lee demonstrate his protocol from his rejected paper when he visited Jones at the University of North Carolina.

“Had a couple of beers and then we installed it and it almost worked,” he said. “Then we had a couple of more beers and it did work.”

The panelists also spoke about the start of their involvement in open source. DiBona said he became involved with Linux in college and that “it’s really nice being able to control your own destiny.” Similarly, Bouterse said the availability of the Red Hat Linux tools gave him the access and ability to become interested.

On the other hand, Jones said he was given Unix by AT&T years ago, and then it was taken away. AT&T then issued a statement restricting any programmer who had seen Unix from working on other operating systems because they had been “mentally contaminated.” This restriction, of course, did not last very long.

The panelists then evaluated the state of open source in its growth and development. DiBona said he’d put it “at the knee,” and Bouterse said it was somewhere in between a toddler and a teenager. Jones said the base ideas were good, but not enough projects “fork” and take a creative turn.

Jones said strong intellectual property laws will continue to help the growth of open source because it will encourage people to create their own code rather than stealing from someone else. He compared open source to American literature in the country’s early days; publishers preferred to print British literature because it was not copyrighted or the copyright was not enforceable.

The panelists had differing views about the government’s role in open source. Bouterse said open source is the correct mechanism for transparency, while Jones emphasized the roles of procurement, bondable stock and availability, and drawing on subsidized intellectual endeavors.

When asked how the public could help sustain and grow open source, Bouterse advised people to get involved in any way they can. If they cannot create content, they can become users. If they do not become users, Bouterse advises them to “take a moment and recognize when you are benefiting from open source.”

Jones takes it one step futher, asking the public to honor content creators by attributing their work to encourage them to keep contributing.

“I wouldn’t want to live in a world without open source,” Bouterse said.

-by Rachel Cieri

ADDITIONAL DETAILS FROM THIS EVENT…
Video and more written FutureWeb coverage:
http://bit.ly/imaginingtheinternet
FutureWeb YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Futureweb2010#p/u
Flickr photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38539612@N02/sets/72157623891937652/





Panelists discuss the future of social networks on the Web

29 04 2010

During the second day of FutureWeb2010, Fred Stutzman, founder of ClaimID, moderated the panel on the future of the Web and social networks. Panelists included CHRIS DIBONA of Google, DAVE RECORDON of Facebook, HENRY COPELAND of Blogads, ZEYNEP TUFEKCI of UMBC and WAYNE SUTTON, networks consultant.

Panelists gave personal responses to the following issues:

“The future of social networks as we know is growth … it’s increasingly part of our everyday life,” Stutzman said. “How can we share … and how do social networks remain useful spaces?”

“Social status management  is at the heart of social groups,” Tufekci said.

She gave the example of how apes pick bugs off of one another.

“It shows who they’re friends with; it’s an-all day display of who you’re friends with.”

Tufekci warned that the Internet allows for privacy invasion.

“We need to keep track of our social environments very exclusively,” she said. “There are serious implications from moving society to a medium like this. Usually space confines who sees you. On the Internet the space collapses.”

What about the infrastructure of social media?

Recordon explained that something as simple as photos on Facebook has changed the way people look at their own lives.

“You can look at what you do with your friends visually,” he said. “We didn’t have that in generations before.”

How do we make sense of the mess? How do we find things that are relevant?

Copeland agreed that social media is, in fact, creating a mess.

“We’re now doubling the amount of consumable social information,” he said. “The amount of crap that’s piling is higher and higher and higher.”

But Copeland said these networks do allow people to become more individualized.

“It’s the idea of individual authorship,” he said. “The individual creates something.”

What about the concept of friends on social networks?

Tufekci described how, through her research, she has found that fewer people have close friends as a result of the social networking on the Internet.

“We have lost the fundamental mechanism through which we acquire close friends,” she said. “The Internet places the burden of finding friends on you.”

Tufekci said this is because individuals are no longer in the same physical area as others. Instead, they are connecting and corresponding online.

“I’m not saying the Internet is causing people not to have friends … but there are people who are left out of sociality because of the Internet,” she said. “It’s creating new advantages and disadvantages of who is creating friends or not.”

Sutton said to combat this, filters need to be set up among who we choose as friends on social networks.

“In reality, we actually live in a bubble,” he said.

Recordon disagreed with Tufekci and said because of social networks, the Internet has gone along with globalization and allowed more individuals to spread out among the globe and maintain contact.

“Previously you were around people in an area and developed a lot of close friendships,” Recordon said. “The Internet allows me to keep in touch with more of these people (friends).”

Who social networks reach

“Internet is changing the accordance out there and who can use them,” Tufekci said. “It’s more homogeneous to race and class.”

Copeland agreed that social networks appeal to different subsets of people.

“People can now find a peer group,” he said. “I think you have a giant profusion of niches.”

How will technology bring us together?

Sutton said one of the main ways social networks can bring people together is for important causes. He described how people utilized social networks to raise both awareness and money for the earthquake in Haiti. The only challenge, he said, is how that information will be filtered.

Sutton said he also believed one day, every individual will have their own social network platform.

“These have become our social commons,” Tufekci said. “I think there are opportunities to create or participate…”

Participation in social networks

“People need to take responsibility for their actions online,” DiBona said.

He also said parents influence how their children utilize social networks.

To Tufekci, there is an inherent need to share information with others.

“It’s a deep meaning to share with people,” she said. “It’s an itch and these tools are letting people scratch it, sometimes very deep.”

What’s the next best thing after Facebook and Twitter?

“We don’t need anything next, but there will be some awesome next things,” DiBona said. “Facebook and Google will always be around.”

“I don’t think one particular platform will be the next big thing,” Sutton said. “I think an aggregation of filtered platforms will be the next big thing.”

Sutton said these platforms will be individualized to allow people to create and say what they want.

-By Laura Smith

ADDITIONAL DETAILS FROM THIS EVENT…
Video and more written FutureWeb coverage:
http://bit.ly/imaginingtheinternet
FutureWeb YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Futureweb2010#p/u
Flickr photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38539612@N02/sets/72157623891937652/





The Future: Harnessing the Power of Open Source

26 04 2010

FutureWeb 2010 Conference, Raleigh, N.C., April 30, 1:30-3 p.m.

Chair: Tom Rabon, executive vice president for corporate affairs for Red Hat. He has over 25 years of experience working in government and the private sector, including working with international governments to create opportunities in emerging markets such as China and South America. Rabon previously served as the vice president of Global Government Affairs at Lucent and the state vice president of Law and Government affairs at AT&T.

Panel description: Many of the greatest innovations of the 21st century have been made possible by the movement toward broad-based participation and collaboration. Wikipedia, the Human Genome Project and Facebook are just a few examples of harnessing participation and transparency of process to deliver a successful outcome. As a vehicle for economic and social change, the power of open source is immeasurable in changing how people learn, how developers create and how companies do business. This panel will explore the future of open source and how society can unlock the value of information by sharing it. The panel will aim to specifically isolate the key challenges and opportunities in the looming future for open source and the Web and it will work to identify some specific action steps that can be taken today to work for a better tomorrow.

Panelists:

  • Michael Tiemann

    Michael Tiemann, vice president of open source affairs for Red Hat. His pioneering open source work led to the creation of leading open source technologies and the first open source business mode. He is the co-founder of Cygnus Solutions, the first company to provide commercial support for open source software. Tiemann is the author of the GNU C++ compiler, the first native-code C++ compiler and debugger.

  • Chris DiBona

    Chris DiBona, open source and public programs manager for Google. DiBona and his team oversee projects like the Summer of Code, which works to oversee license compliance and supports the open source developer community. He also works with Google Moderator, the polling locations API. DiBona has an international reputation for promoting open source software and related methodologies. His personal blog can be found at http://dibona.com/.

  • Brian Bouterse

    Brian Bouterse, research associate at the Secure Open Systems Initiative with NC State University and networking and systems specialist at The Friday Institute. He has previously worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant at NC State University. Bouterse specializes in cloud services, networking and distributed computing. View his LinkedIn public profile at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brian-bouterse/6/917/a11.

For more information about FutureWeb 2010 panel discussions, featured panelists and more, click here to navigate to the FutureWeb site. To register for the conference, visit the FutureWeb registration page.





The Future of Social Networks and the Web

20 04 2010

FutureWeb2010 Conference, Raleigh, N.C., April 29, 10:30 a.m. – noon

Chair: Fred Stutzman, social networks researcher and consultant. Stutzman is the founder of ClaimID.com, a social web identity management system. He is currently a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science and is working on a dissertation that examines how people use social network sites for support during a life transition. Stutzman also held technical and management roles for Ibiblio.org, The Motley Fool and Nortel Networks. His work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired and Newsweek Magazines, and on NPR.

Panel description: According to a recent study, 47 percent of adults use social network sites. Few technologies have grown as fast and had such an immediate impact on culture, communication and commerce. In this panel, we’ll look at the future and consider the next 53 percent, or what happens when social networking becomes ubiquitous. What are the challenges faced by individuals and organizations as social networking expands? What business opportunities are opened up by this global-scale personal interconnection? And how can we leverage this technological shift to increase civic participation, improve health and better society? The panel will aim to specifically isolate the key challenges and opportunities in the looming future for social networks and it will work to identify some specific action steps that can be taken today to work for a better tomorrow.

Panelists:

  • Chris DiBona

    Chris DiBona, open source and public programs manager for Google. DiBona and his team oversee projects like the Summer of Code, which works to oversee license compliance and supports the open source developer community. He also works with Google Moderator, the polling locations API. DiBona has an international reputation for promoting open source software and related methodologies. His personal blog can be found at http://dibona.com/.

  • Henry Copeland

    Henry Copeland, the founder/CEO of BlogAds, which connects 2,500 influential blog advertisers with blog readers and the social media elite. He is also the founder of Twiangulate, a social discovery service for Twitter. Copeland serves on the advisory board for SXSW and the advisory board for George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.

  • Zeynep Tufekci

    Zeynep Tufekci, an assistant professor and social networks researcher who works at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Her research focuses on the social impacts of technology, theorizing the web, gender, research methods, inequality and new media. Tufecki’s blog, which focuses on issues surrounding technology and society, can be found at http://www.technosociology.org.

  • Wayne Sutton

    Wayne Sutton, social networks consultant and strategist at Fragment. He also works as a development and marketing strategist at TriOut, a social network designed to help users meet new people in the North Carolina area and discover new things to do in the Triangle community. Sutton is a partner at OurHashtag. His Web site can be found at http://Wayne-Sutton.com/.

  • Dave Recordon

    Dave Recordon, Senior Open Programs Manager at Facebook. Recordon leads open source and open standards initiatives. He has previously worked with Six Apart, a blogging company, and has played a key role in the development and popularization of key social media technologies such as OpenID. Recordon is the youngest recipient of the Open Source Award (2007), recognized by Google and O’Reilly. Visit his blog at http://daveman692.livejournal.com/.

For more information about FutureWeb 2010 panel discussions, featured panelists and more, click here to navigate to the FutureWeb site. To register for the conference, visit the FutureWeb registration page.