One of the greatest and most destructive beliefs in the open source community is that "Because I'm not a programmer, I can't participate in an open source project." Let me be the first to tell you that if you believe that, you're wrong. Dead wrong. Why? Well let me explain.

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mads's picture
Created by mads 7 years 19 weeks ago – Made popular 7 years 19 weeks ago
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bogdanbiv's picture


7 years 19 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago


Free culture not just non software contributions

There is more to it than just simply making non-software contributions to projects:

* contributors can also help address the issues that people from the same skill category bump into when trying to contribute - sometimes even a keystroke less does matter and increases the posibility to gather further submitters.;
* contributors can also spread the word about their involvement in the project, to gain even more contributors.
* contributors can also spread general knowledge about free artwork, documentation licensing among peers.

If there are barriers to contributing artwork, we need to know what they are and to discuss how to bring them down.
Right now programmers need to approach artists - and it is slow because the message we deliver does not have substance. Programmers are sort of outsiders for the artists, so artists do not trust us. When we will have real peer to peer promotion of contributing artwork, then we will foster.

I belive this is important since it allows people make ten-fold contributions (through the involvement of new contributors) than they would have if they only made individual commits.
We should not try to gain artwork contributions, but to build a community of artists involved in a certain project.

Example 1) Do not only make a project of holding office document templates - make a community for developing office templates.
Example 2) Do not simply make a collection of accounting entries in free software ERPs - build a community developing opensource accounting test cases; the barrier here is that there is no way to share and reuse configurations form other implementations.
Example 3) If you are translating using a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translation_memory software please try to share your database of words an phrases with the world - so that the next amateur translator that picks up from where you left does not need to start from scratch.

In my opinion free culture is an end it itself - no less and no more than free software. Free software has only to profit if free culture gains pace - and if one stalls the other one can't really move forward at full speed.