|Tuesday, July 08, 2003|
OSCAMP - Open Source Camp
The big event for me this week is OSCAMP, being held today between 1 and 6 pm USA west coast time. OSCAMP is a free, non-technical program for Oregon IT leaders, developers and the curious.
I started work on OSCAMP back in April along with a group of other people interested in exploring how Open Source can benefit Oregon. Unlike the rest of the OSCON program, our target audience are business people instead of techies: CxOs, IT decision makers in business and government and the press.
I think Open Source is in the same education phase as the web circa 1994, so there is still a lot of educating to do before the general public and business leaders understand the pros and cons of Open Source. OSCAMP is intended to help that process along. Back in 1994, if I tried to explain what I was doing with the web, I ended up spending the rest of the conversation explaining what the Internet is and why it is important. Today the general public knows what the web is and uses it every day; we have not reached that same level of understanding and comfort with Open Source, but inevitably we will.
Many people are getting interested in Open Source because of the low cost (try it for free), but they are sticking with it because of the extroardinary amount of control Open Source gives an organization that you simply can't get with proprietary software. This is causing dramatic changes in the software industry, but more importantly it is changing attitudes about software and how it is used in an organization.
Originally, we were shooting for around 50-75 attendees at OSCAMP. As of yesterday, we have 230 confirmed attendees and though we were able to switch to a larger venue in the same building, we had to cut off registration. I guess we struck a nerve.
There is supposed to be wireless at the event, so I might be able to blog a bit while I'm handling the time keeping for the speakers.
11:00:35 AM comment 
If you're attending OSCON 2003 in Portland, Oregon this week you'll definitely want to make use of the "The Semi-Un-Official OSCON 2003 Wiki Site":
If you aren't attending OSCON, but want to follow the action, your best bet is to follow some of the weblogs and journals. Monday and Tuesday are tutorial days, so the main presentations don't start until tomorrow.
10:09:42 AM comment