Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Big Society

The phrase of the era, for good or for bad. But it is of course an old idea, something some people have been practising all their lives, a concept that is as old as thought. Giving is indeed better than receiving. And the best “gives” in the Big Society concept are those that just keep on giving. The volunteers that pick up the litter on the local fields are great as is the outcome of their time contribution, litter-free green areas; but when they stop doing it, whether through age, illness or a move away, the fields stop being litter-free. All too quickly :(

Open source project contributions on the other hand just keep on giving: we add a fix, everyone benefits from the fix; you add an enhancement, everyone gets the enhancement; they add some documentation, everyone gets to use the documentation. Ain’t that great? An excellently large Big Society example that everyone can help with and everyone benefit from, even after people stop contributing. So, all you councils, voluntary organisations, government departments and agencies, come on, join in…

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