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by Jay Fienberg

PlaNetwork conference, Social Network Software 1 panel, part 4

posted: Jun 7, 2003 7:03:25 PM

Blogging the PlaNetwork conference in San Francisco.

Mako Hill is up now. He is into creating free software, and is with Software in the Public Interest (represents Debian).

He is talking about free software as a movement of volunteers, and being an example for social networking. People motivated to work on things that promote their own and others freedom.

Freedom to run the program, study how it works, to redistribute, etc. Debian is an example of this. Open Source is a development methodology, while Free Software is a social movement.

Free software: it is great that the software is free (no cost) as a result, but the real value is the freedom of expression.

One project he is working on is free software for democratic decision making. Talking about companies that aren't willing to add features or change features on their software, and they won't let you do it yourself. Free software lets people with different ideas on how to use the software to do it.

His points: accountability to community, freedom to participate, quality.

Now Q & A with panel.

Someone is talking about a site she created called vote link as an example.

Someone is talking with Mako about the organizations he is involved in (which are in in Italy) which are working towards facilitating global democratic decisions processes.

Someone is talking about connecting up progressive social groups with progressive software groups. Thinking about a UML type notation for progressive groups: a social notation. Need a means of communication. Mako is working on a Debian-based system specifically designed for non-profits, grassroots, and NGOs. Looking for technical people and others to support this development.

Peter is saying that this is a good example of something that the Social Software Alliance should facilitate. Doug is talking about patterns and pattern languages working for physical space, but their considering if other types of diagrams are necessary for showing these social communication patterns. Seems like they haven't got the right diagrams yet, and want to work on it more.

Victor is saying that a problem like this need to be addressed by an alliance, and it is not something that can be solved technologically, but a dialog is needed between the creators and users of these systems. Needs to be an evolvable model.

Presentation ends. People applauding.

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