Open Source Software as a Political Act

by Tim Erickson | at MinneBar 12 | 3:00 – 3:50 in Zeke Landres | View Schedule

There is something inherently political about participation in an open source community. Those of us who contribute to open source through code, testing, writing documentation, or planning community events are making a conscious decision to contribute towards the creation of a public good that is used by individuals, non-profits, educational institutions, and multi-national corporations alike.

I’m an active member of the Drupal community and find that most active members of the Drupal community got their start in Drupal by building a website for a school, arts organization, political campaign, or a non-profit organization. We were drawn to Drupal, not only because the code was free, but because of the welcoming community that answered our questions online or took time to work with us one on one at a Meet-Up.

  • Let’s talk about the political implications of using and developing open source software?
  • How do open source communities like Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla fit into the larger landscape of open source software, the free software movement, and growing concerns over privacy and government data?
  • How do we continue to ensure that open source software is not only affordable but accessible to the small non-profits and organizations of change
  • How can non-coders participate in open source communities?

In this session we’ll provide some background and context, but we want to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic.


Tim Erickson

I'm a long time resident of the Twin Cities who is very active in the local, national, and international Drupal community. I've presented at several regional Drupal camps and national conventions and recently I've become very involved in the Backdrop CMS community.

I spent many years working in the area of online civic engagement with and have a strong interest in online communities. I'm a frequent participant at local hack-a-thons and Open Twin Cities.

I am the owner of Triplo. Triplo is a local Drupal Development shop that also provides mentoring and support services to local freelance internet designers and developers.