Back in Feb Nathan asked the question is “Open Source” Now Completely Meaningless? He went on to describe his rule of thumb “the audience should be able to download, compile, and use the software that is talked about”. This makes sense to me and that is why I was completely bamboozled when I saw Siggy and Nat’s piece on closeup last week.

Now I know both Siggy and Nat personally and I have huge respect for these guys but to treat Open Source and User Generated Content as one in the same is IMO going a little bit far. I have read the wikipedia article on Open Source and am intreged to see anything that includes feedback and collaboration lumped into an unbrella concept of “open source culture”.

I presented on these concepts at an emerging web conference back in March. I even used the same Wikipedia example that close-up used.

If you have spent any time in the back of a lecture theatre learning Psyc 101 you surely will have come across Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. You may even like me have taken these thought patterns a bit further. Where I’m going with this is? Well according to this theory prior to Self-actualization we have Esteem and Love/ Belonging.

A key element of Esteem is “People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-value, be it in a profession or hobby.” For Love/ Belonging it is “Humans generally need to feel belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group or small social connections.”

Now granted the concept of contributing to an Open Source project supports these tasks (and it was the driver that got me into Open Source projects years ago) the broader terms of user contribution, social interaction are not IMO one in the same as open source and as Nat puts it a “counter cultural revolution”.

Now you may have different opinions to me here so please comment below if you do.

In fact I may even take Mark Sainsbury up on his challenge.

‘Mad World’ anybody ; )

Tags: OpenSource

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