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People person, technology enthusiast and all-things-open evangelist. I have managed and marketed communities for over a decade, getting started in the KDE community, followed by working as openSUSE Community Manager at SUSE and now managing community matters at ownCloud. I'm busy growing the ownCloud community, speaking at and organizing conferences and writing about my passions ranging from psychology and people in communities to innovative technology. I take care of my dog together with my wife in beautiful Berlin and you can find me also on Twitter and Diaspora!

11 October, 2012

Video interviews with some very interesting folk


In the last week I've been doing some video interviews with a bunch of interesting people who will speak at the upcoming LinuxDays/oSC/Gentoo/SUSE conf in Prague. Except for Agustin they all speak at the special 'Future Media' track which I proposed after having visited Re:Publica in Berlin. At Republica I saw a challenge for Free Software: connect better to people outside of our 'usual' crowd. This track was initially more ambitious but due to my recent health issues it hasn't turned out all that I wanted - still, it features a number of really interesting speakers and subjects.

In the following video's you can hear these speakers explain what they will talk about. Note that there are a few more speakers, most notably Shane Coughlan who will talk about open source flying Drones to help people in disaster area's and Ramon Roca who build up a 'free and open' broadband network in Spain!!!

Bas van Abel: If you can't open it, you don't own it!

Bas van Abel told me to start demanding open products. I found this interview really, REALLY interesting. I knew Open Source and Software Freedom have spawned movements well outside of the realm of software (Creative Commons anyone?) but this idea of decentralized production, getting closer to the products we use daily - really cool.

Bas explains fablabs and his vision in the interview below. Click here for blip.

Armijn Hemel

Many of you probably know 'Linux Defender' Armijn "I've been suing big companies since 2005" Hemel. He's been active at (hence the lawsuits) and is now official "European coordinator of the Linux Defenders" at OIN. I published this I believe last week already, watch it:

Click here for a link.

Agustin Benito

Agustin Benito, our keynote speaker, who will talk about the importance of Small and Medium businesses for Linux World Dominance. See here for Agustin on youtube or click here for a link to

Thijs de Vries: Gamification and Engaging Design

Thijs de Vries' presents session on Gamification, using concepts from gaming in software design.

Thijs de Vries' talk on Gamification provides inspiration for software developers who want to explore design concepts and create a richer user experience. Discover how software developers are using ideas from the world of gaming to create more intuitive user inferfaces, engaging websites and fun. As Free Software developer, getting your users engaged in your application is a good thing - the more people care, the more likely they are to be willing to contribute.

Watch Thijs de Vries below or click here for if you prefer that.

Why Groupware matters

Georg Greve's 'What you don't understand will still control you' takes a look at the importance of Free Software. This interview was also enlightening despite me having known Georg quite well since a few years. His explicit goal after leaving the FSFE he founded was to 'solve' the problem of moving businesses to Free Software. According to him, the 'office challenge' consists of three pillars: the browser; the office suite; and groupware. While the browser and the office suite are well taken care off, free software groupware solutions are still very limited. And that blocks the other pillars. If you get a free office license with your groupware solution, why use LibreOffice? And if the collaboration tools integrated with our office and groupware require you to use a Microsoft browser, why also install Firefox?

The current Groupware solutions have issues, be it technical, governance-wise or in terms of licensing. Kolab seemed the best solution, but it needed commercial backing for stuff like enterprise level support, marketing and assisting in deployments. So he started KolabSys! It's a tad longer, this interview, and the video quality might not be perfect, but just listen. Georg really has something to say!

Click here for blip.


There's a more extensive article at with a quick Q&A with Ramon Roca (thanks zoumpis!) about the Broadband he set up and later this week (that'll be weekend, I think) we'll publish a Q&A with Shane about his flying drones!

And even more!

Of course these are just a few speakers from one track, there's really a lot of interesting stuff at the conference in Prague and it starts next week Saturday! So, go, book, register (really, don't forget to register: your stomach will thank you for the food and beer!) and come join us.

As usual, this isn't a only-openSUSE-thing, we've got people from Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo (heck, we co-locate with Gentoo) and many other distro's there. It is Linux for Everyone and it's shaping up to be a great event! We have well over 500 registrations already and I'm betting lots of folks haven't registered yet.

As the interviews show, we have an incredible schedule lined up with speakers about a wide variety of topics, both going in-depth into core Linux technologies as well as folks talking about the why and how of Software (and hardware!) Freedom.

And of course, entrance is free. What else?

The conference will start at October 20 and end on the 23th. Be there!