Home > personal, smugmug > Giving back to open-source

Giving back to open-source

August 3, 2005

smugmug couldn’t exist without open-source software. Lots of blood, sweat, & tears mixed liberally with open-sourced software (and a bookshelf full of O’Reilly books) = smugmug.

Now that we’re successful, though, it’s been weighing on my mind: How do we give back? We have support contracts for some of the components we use, which is nice, and we’re sponsoring OSCON 2005, which is also nice, but it’s really not enough. Some of the key components don’t have a service & support arm. And while sponsoring a conference about open-source is a nice gesture, it doesn’t put money right into developers pockets, which is really where it belongs.

We’re not successful enough (yet!) to simply hire open-source developers and pay them to continue doing what they were doing. I can’t wait until we’re at that stage, but we’re just not there yet.

So what do we do in the meantime? Simply donate cash to the projects in question? Offer to host their websites and development efforts? Maybe give them some stock in smugmug?

I’d love to hear any suggestions. And if you’re at the con and want to discuss it, look for the guy in the red smugmug hat. 🙂

Categories: personal, smugmug
  1. August 3, 2005 at 10:01 am

    How about free smugmug accounts for the projects? That seems reasonable.

  2. Mike Lougee
    August 3, 2005 at 1:24 pm

    Nice to see this spirit of reciprocity…

    One thought is whether there are any components/modules you folks have developed which would make sense for you to put into open source, which might be useful in other contexts?

    Another possibility is that you could allow/encourage some of your programming staff to donate some of their time and efforts to open source projects, “on company time,” thus you’d be engaging in payback (or payforward?) to the open source community.

    For example, there are some open source “e-portfolio” projects relevant to students and education, which might have similarities with your “portfolio” for photographers.

  3. November 15, 2009 at 10:26 am

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  1. August 4, 2005 at 5:14 am
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