FLOSS I have an idea

floss.jpgUsually this blog is to everyone but today it is a response to a kind response to a blog post I got yesterday from Randal Schwartz (the co-host of FLOSS Weekly. You can find the response and the post here. My response was too long for a comment so here it is:

I don’t usually down people for what they do because I do realize that there may be unknown factors. FLOSS is no different. If I’m wrong in my opinion I love to be shown but here’s my constructive take on this.

I definitely understand some of the problems that go into this because Leo has brought up a lot about having to edit TWIT shows and I do go to the Podcast and Portable media convention every year to talk to podcasters, and some I talk to regularly. I also spent 5 years as IT director for one of the country’s biggest audio post production companies doing audio post production for every big name media company there is. So I do understand the time it takes to edit audio as I’ve stood in for a couple editors before and edited commercials long ago.

I help coordinate things at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) every year and I met Chris DiBona a couple years back and have emailed him a couple times since. I understand that he also has a heavy load and having a baby recently has added to that. I know having 4 kids myself, a wife that’s just starting a new career, and running my own business takes a lot of time. However, the “downhill” comment was also about the content not just the infrequency of the show.

You’re a good host that is really excited about what you do and I really love that about you and I get it but the show has become strictly a FLOSS programming show. That’s not what’s going to get the numbers (in my humble opinion). It can be some of it but cool projects open source projects like gaming, video, networking, etc. would be nice too.

However, I’m one to put up or shut up. I don’t have the name or the weight as Leo or yourself in the industry but I’ll get in contact with you and try to bring some things together.

Mention on the show my name and getting in contact with me at the SCALE convention this year and I’ll bring even more exciting people or even a poll of what people want to see on your show at the convention.

I’ll definitely get in contact with you. SCALE is held February 8th-10th in Los Angeles. Get in contact with or even interview one of these fine people about bringing FLOSS lovers together. That would definitely be a show I could suggest before the conference.

P.S.: I’m not just bashing you. On monday I also sent an email to Tekzilla because I helped Kevin Rose find the co-host for that show and sent them an email that now that they’ve moved her on I’d take time out of my really busy schedule and I’d love to co-host it as well.

Thanks Randal for the response.

8 Responses to “FLOSS I have an idea”

  1. “but the show has become strictly a FLOSS programming show”. You lost credibility there. First, what FLOSS is *not* programming, in some sense. (Well, maybe being an end user of stuff like Open Office or Blender, I guess. And both of those are on the docket coming up.) Second, you obviously haven’t listened to the show we did with Fernanda Weiden, which was about how open source is important to Brazil and other developing countries, and how to get more women involved in open source. Almost no programming mentioned in that entire show. (And I hope to mix up a few more soon that are more “soft” shows like that rather than hardcore geeky tech.)

    Sure, I’m doing the projects that I’m most familiar with, first. But we have a few in the hopper that are actually stretches for me, so it’ll mix it up a bit. I personally don’t do anything in the areas of “gaming, video, and networking”, so again, if you have an idea for a guest, let me know.

    Finally, you seem to think that the trouble in getting a show out is editing, since you reference your experience at editing. That’s the least of our worries. The huge bottleneck is getting everyone on Skype at the same time. That’s a show-stopping problem, and it doesn’t get easier with more technology. 🙂 Leo and I both have busy schedules, and any guest we’re likely to interview is also probably busy. Good luck on that. Frankly, I’m amazed we’ve been managing to pull off a *monthly* show.

    As a side note, no, I won’t be at SCALE. I’m in the middle of a 3-weeks-out-of-town-of-5 trip, and I need to spend some precious home time during that weekend (home being Portland Oregon or thereabouts).

    I appreciate you being willing to help. I’ve now given you a good view into the specific challenges we face producing FLOSS “Weekly”, and some suggestions on how to help. If it’s not exactly the show you want, and you think you can do better, please start your own podcast. That’s the cool part. 🙂

    In the meanwhile, I’ll continue to look for guests that I think I can interview sanely, and coordinate me and them and Leo to chat on Skype, and probably get one or two shows out a month. That’s it.

  2. phillip says:

    Obviously, my comments were not taken as constructive as I planned them. For that I will take some responsibility and apologize.

    However, “You lost credibility there. First, what FLOSS is *not* programming, in some sense.” is a totally invalid conclusion. I started in wiring and electronics as a kid so according to your train of thought if I were to talk about computers I should focus on how they put so many transistors on a chip and the bus frequencies. Definitely an enlightening topic for me and engineers but elitist and exclusionary of the majority of people like my wife that just want to use them and enjoy them.

    The open source community is mostly people that want to use these products and enjoy them. At the conference every year there are many people that are begging to know how they can give back to such a community without being shunned because they can’t program.

    FLOSS Weekly was created due to the whole in the network’s line up of Windows, Mac, security shows, etc. but no Linux. Free Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) covers Linux and the rest of the Open Source movement. My original post was to say that we’re scaring away the majority of people that actually use FLOSS by excluding them if they don’t understand the code. Not to say that you shouldn’t ever talk about the code but even Steve Gibson of Security Now codes daily but knows that you want to hear more about the cool results that everyone can get into.

    You offered the challenge and I did get in contact with you , people in the FLOSS community, and SCALE offered their complete resources to guests that we’ve had over the years from all over as well. There’s my credibility.

    If I cook the food… I eat it.

  3. “Free Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) covers Linux and the rest of the Open Source movement.”. Now, go back and look at the half dozen shows I’ve helped produce, and tell me how I’m *not* doing that. Roughly monthly, I’ve brought you someone talking about an interesting open source project, or about the impact of open source (in Fernanda’s interview).

    I’m really confused now. I’m doing what you want. Or at least, what I think you want (although you wish it was more often, and I told you why that’s not possible yet). If you have a specific project or person for me to interview, SAY SO. So far, you’ve just handwaved. That doesn’t do either you or me any good.

    Maybe the big problem is that frankly, I don’t think Linux or MySQL or SVN or Ruby on Rails or any of the other front-runners needs any more publicity. I’m deliberately looking at the “underdog but better” projects for FLOSS Weekly (git, catalyst, postgresql, seaside, OpenBSD), because if I’m going to spend my time having people listen to things, it should be to change the way people are thinking. I was sad when Beta lost to VHS, and if I can keep a similar thing happening for better-but-less-popular projects, I’ll do it.

    Maybe that’s not your bent. OK. Unsubscribe. I won’t miss you much. I would also encourage you to create the show you want, and see who else listens. I can tell you that my inbox is almost entirely positive about (a) “FLOSS Weekly lives, thank you!” and (b) “Damn, every project you mention is something that I wasn’t aware of and is worth looking in to”. Your blog post is so contrary to this flood of email I’ve gotten, and I still don’t get your agenda entirely, so I’m now relatively confused unless you get more concrete. I hope you find this feedback useful.

  4. phillip says:

    Let me clear things up here.

    In grade school hand waving was how I tried to alert the teacher that I think I know the answer or may be able to help. That was my purpose and frankly I contacted your private email with this purpose.

    I totally agree that the front runners shouldn’t always be the focus because of the same thing you’re saying about VHS and Beta.

    The mentality of some people like my program like I do. If you don’t like it don’t try to help make it better just make your own we “won’t miss you much” mentality is conducive to dispersion instead of reaching common ground for a common goal.

    I actually did write a post about Fernanda’s and Leo’s exchange but felt it may take away from the bigger picture. So I didn’t post it. That was a good episode.

    I came home to find this response thinking I’d reached some common ground for growth and awaited an email but obviously I’ve unknowingly struck a nerve mentioning the frequency or the content that I felt could be better.

  5. Wow. So you *knew* about (and even liked) the Fernanda episode, but withheld that from this discussion because it would undermine your blanket “FLOSS Weekly is going downhill”, because, as you now confirm, it isn’t!

    Well, that’s disrespective debate.

    I’ll repeat my request, and then shut up.


    And if you can help hook me up with an interesting and available person to cover that project, that’d be even better.

    Pointing me at SCALE didn’t help. I won’t be there. I don’t know what’s being covered there, since it’s a conference I’ve never attended.

  6. phillip says:

    I had prepared a long comment that I was going to post that I just decided to withdraw from.

    Instead, I’m going to follow Randall’s advice. He will be out of town and probably not posting a show this week but I will listen to the shows he has planned and see the direction he is trying to take us.

    Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) is about community working together and that’s the way I’d like it to stay. My blog will always contain my true opinions about whatever I feel and if it happens to offend that is not my intent unless stated. I will always say what I mean and mean what I say.

    Randall is trying to make a better show so I will continue to listen because I really love OSS content. However, in the end if you don’t really like a podcast or even my blog you can just stop tuning in.

  7. I think, it was a great thing to have free stuff.

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