Open Source users need to ‘pick up the poop’ #oscon

From the ‘Creative Keynote Title‘ files:

Stormy Peters (pic left) is the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation and she’s got a message for open source devs and users : Pick Up the Poop.

No I’m not making that up. That was the title of her OSCON keynote on Wednesday in which she encouraged attendees to fix what’s wrong with web services.

Peters explained that she has a 3 year old at home (and little kids are fascinated by the word ‘poop’), so that’s partially where the title came from.

Fundamentally though in her view it is up to the open source community to see where there is ‘poop’ – that is things that don’t work right or aren’t as they should be – in an effort to make them right.

In particular she stressed that in the modern era of online services like Facebook, Twitter and webmail – users need to ensure that they still have their freedom. We all need to make sure that our data and content is portable and that it can be extracted from the online services. She warned open source users to look out for their own freedom to ensure that their content isn’t taken away by some kind of online service lock-in.

“Think about your freedom,” Peters said. “And help pick up the poop.”

Perhaps not the most elegant words ever spoken about software freedom, but it makes sense to me. The price of freedom is vigilance after all.

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