Free and Open Source: The Difference

Some interesting thoughts on the concept of “free” and “open source”.


Together, it got us thinking that maybe – giving away your goods is not enough in our current marketing environment. Things given out for free are one way transactions between the giver and receiver. Open source is a dialogue. Multi-conversational between people and groups of people working together towards improvement.

Free stops at the point of reception. Open source is continuous.

Free gives (and takes) and walks away. It’s the megaphone on a crowded street. Everyone wants free things, whether they need them or not. Some will be valued, but others will be disregarded after the freebies have been taken, used, and discarded. Open source invites personal investments—a natural part of social interactions and fertile ground for social networks.

Seth Godin explains the importance of being remarkable in order to appeal to those that care the most. Open source communities naturally attract those that care. The community is, in a sense, pre-filtered. The comfortable coffee table conversation.

Image via Erwin Olaf


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