Le Web 3: Is Open Source Becoming Commercial?

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Gil PenchinaApparently, I’m one of the usual suspects. Here I sit, a blogger working at a mainstream media company, and the open source advocate is telling me that we all hate the idea of letting go of traditional copyright. I hate these false dichotomies that people create to try and build their cases. Ah, well.

Gil Penchina of Wikia is talking about the (evident) commercialisation of Open Source. So the gist of this seems to be that if you give some stuff away free, you’ll make money in other ways. He mentioned a company which posts its beer recipe for free and makes its money from merchandising. Free Beer!

He’s suggesting the idea of free hosting and bandwidth, and the blogger gets 100% of ad revenue. Business model? Doesn’t know yet.

OpenServing has bought a MadiaWiki-based company and will be building a site around this. You can turn your readers into writers, create more valuable information, along with ad inventory.

Tristan Nitot
Summary: “Open source has been very commercialised, open content is on its way.”

Is Mozilla commercial? “Yes,” says Tristan Nitot, because people are building commercial projects off it. “No,” he says, because there will be no IPO and it’s a not-for-profit company. Firefox will always be free. The point here, he suggests, is that by sharing resources on one project, the improved knowledge gained can be used elsewhere, in a more commercial environment.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.