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Open Source Software for the Upcoming Transition

On the 14th I’ve meet Derek Shaw from SOSLUG at their headquarters in the Mediashed at Grainger Road.

The abbreviation stands for Southend on Sea Linux User Group which is “a group of enthusiastic and committed Linux enthusiasts, we are prepared to share our knowledge to everyone by running workshops and other non-formal training methods“.

Linux just like M$ Window$ is a computer operating system but it is free to use and allows the users and community to modify it according to its needs. It allows people to learn, innovate and contribute and hey – I have to say it again – it doesn’t cost a penny.

You might wonder what are the Transition Westcliff people doing there?:)

Transition Initiatives are aiming at engaging the whole of the local community and enabling them to participate in the work of building up their localities resilience. We want to be open, transparent and inclusive but…

…there are some unanswered questions. How to conduct meetings so they are not only talking shops? How to organize our group so everyone gets heard and the work done? How to make our work and information about it accessible to everyone?  How to reach out to people and give them opportunities and tools to realise their potential? Are we using methods which unintentionally exclude some groups or individuals?

As one of the moves towards more inclusivity we would like to make our internet presence more open to the public so everyone can add their comments, suggestions and create content on our website for their own projects without the need of expert programming. This kind of approach is already happening with Transition Networks – which support the different Transition Initiatives – who are using wiki technology and Drupal for their websites. This enables amateurs – like me  – to share information and good practice with the wider public.

Here is a little video on what is a wiki and its usefulness.

And exactly here is where SOSLUG comes in with their expertise and enthusiasm for supporting other projects in using open source software. They are experienced in this kind of work as they supported and are working on digital arts projects. They are very good at design too so try them out:)

They are willing to help by keeping their meetings open to everyone who needs their support. So if you want to learn more about open source software give them a visit every Thursday at the Mediashed Unit 38, Grainger Road Industrial Estate, Southend on Sea, SS2 5DD.

In the meantime Transition Westcliff will be working with SOSLUG on our website and other related activites where we are going to use internet and software. Thanks for the meeting to Derek and the Soslugs for the emails you gave me. If anyone else of you want to be kept up to date with the work of Transition Westcliff drop me an email at kamilpac[at]googlemail[dot]com and I’ll add you to our newsletter email list.

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  1. […] Open Source Software for the Upcoming Transition […]

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