With our mobile phones rapidly becoming an extension of our self (physically and metaphorically) rather than just a device to interact, why would we want to limit ourselves to prepackaged, predefined, limited software. Why shouldn’t we make our new extension of self just as individual and able to adapt to change as we are?
Whilst many of us may be used to accepting things as they come and simply ticking the boxes to terms and conditions set in stone it might be time to open our eyes. The world of open source software and applications is ever expanding and bursting at the seams with infinite potential. What does this mean to you? As I have recently uncovered thanks to Ted technology should not always be judged by the choices it gives us, but sometimes the lack there of. Let’s take a brief look at open vs closed sources in the Venn Diagram I have created below.
For me, this brought to mind Instagram and Tumblr and the way you can use your profile to share images. Obviously I understand Tumblr is not a completely open source platform however, the actual blogs on this platform are. Below I have shared my main Tumblr blog and my Instagram profile.
My Instagram account, which is limited to one profile is set in stone. I upload photos and Instagram fits them into their template which I am simply using, there is no creative freedom or sense of ownership. I can edit my name and bio so long as it fits their standards and character limits. My photos must even fit into their frames. My Tumblr blog however is one of four that I manage within the one account. I use my own domain and have edited a code (with the help of many forums) over the course of about a year so my page looks exactly as I want it to. Not to mention all the extensions created by other Tumblr users that I have added to help me do all this. I control everything from the colours to whether on not the page scrolls and how spaced apart my images are. I feel a great sense of pride when it comes to my blog as it is an extension of myself. With Instagram, I feel a sense of ownership and pride with the photos I share but not necessarily my profile page, after all it is exactly the same as the other 600 million users.
Open source software demonstrates perfected the notion that the medium is the message. This time, you create the message. You create the medium. It’s all your choices. Open source software is the way of the future and it won’t be slowing it’s expansion anytime soon. Why should it.