Open source at BT

by Wendy M Grossman | posted on 08 September 2011

My interview with Jeremy Ruston, founder of Osmosoft is up at The Inquirer. (He was running the Young Rewired State center I followed for The H last month, is how I met him and realized he'd be interesting to interview.)

Wendy M Grossman

I came across Ruston's work on TiddlyWiki the first time several years ago when I was investigating the notion of a personal wiki to store notes and research for a work-that-has-been-in-progress-for-many-years. I didn't exactly take to it, although in many ways it matched the requirements: it runs offline, it's easily copied and backed up, it's readable in any web browser, etc. But information managers are, as I used to write in the old days when there were many of them and I reviewed them all for various computer magazines, very personal indeed, and if the concept behind the one you're trying to use doesn't match the concept in your head, it's unlikely to work for you. So, like a number of old-timers, I'm still using Ecco and a Palm Centro and waiting for someone to figure out how to port it onto a modern smart phone.

In any event, it's intriguing to come back and realize how people are using TiddlyWiki and its accompanying hosted service, TiddlySpace, which is free to all as a way of researching how communities use it. I found Ruston's ideas about the difficulties a company like BT has in understanding communities when the size mismatch is so extreme genuinely interesting.


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