Brussels / 31 January & 1 February 2015


User-land and developer-land chat

Now more than ever, users clamor for software that respects their privacy and protects their security. Free software's natural advantage is that it's almost always the best option to safeguard users in a world where proprietary software so often betrays them. Users want options and we know developers want to provide them, so what are we missing?

When an alternative to a proprietary system becomes available, people don't seem to stick with it. Users arrive and things break, features that seem basic are missing, and the channels through which they might ask for help are hard to find or non-existent. They're wondering, "Who did you build this for? Why is it so annoying to use?" Meanwhile, developers put their time and energy into building technology to free their users and are left wondering, "Why aren't people just using this? It's not really that hard to figure out."

Two free software activists, one developer and one community liaison, take turns asking each other questions about their experiences and goals. All the questions about intent and process that you've been wondering about will finally be answered. At MediaGoblin, we've worked hard to keep the lines of communication between developers and users open from the beginning. This public conversation between MediaGoblin's technical founder and community liaison will replicate some of those conversations for the audience. Our back-and-forth interview will share what we have learned about how free software projects can get users to show up and, more importantly, stay.


Photo of Christopher Webber Christopher Webber