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Preventing the Erosion of the Culture Which Enables a Community


The Open Source culture enabled individuals to create the Open Source community. It allowed people to have a voice and make decisions for themselves, instead of merely following the orders of others.

However, in the turnover which occurs naturally, new people are constantly entering ommunity who have an Open Source job working on Open Source software who have no idea about Open Source culture. They learn the tools, the techniques, and the communication rules but they do not always understand the culture of empowerment which birthed the movement.

It is getting more and more frequent that people with Open Source jobs simply maintain a corporate culture in which their voice is that of their employer, not the voice of an empowered community member. They do as they are told, and say what they are told to say because that’s the culture of the organization backing them. They don’t even know that they should have an individual voice in the matter.

How do we maintain an enabling culture in the face of constant inroads from external cultures which can rob us of our vitality? How do we teach a culture to people we’ve never seen, whose voice we don’t know, and who may not even know that they are missing anything? How do we maintain the roots of the plant when so many newbies have been told to focus on the flowers?

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