The assignment seemed simple enough. Find out about “open sources” and write about them for our July issue.
I knew they had something to do with technology, but that’s about it. I was concerned because when it comes to me and technology, let’s just say I have issues.
And, when it comes to nonprofit technology issues, many of you might be in the same boat, so I suppose I seemed the perfect choice to write this story. I use the Internet to shop, e-mail, do research, read the latest news and feed my insatiable appetite for celebrity gossip. That’s it. No MySpace page, no blog, and all I know about Flickr is that it’s spelled weird.
So, I thought I would have my hands full.
Seconds into my first interview, I knew I was right. The techie immediately introduced the concept by throwing out words like “code” and “applications,” and then kicked it into overdrive with the acronyms — OS (open source), CRM (customer relationship management) and API (application programming interface). Ouch, this hurts.
My eyes began to flutter. My head started to spin, and I could feel myself drifting into a technology coma. She repeatedly apologized for talking in “geek,” but she also had a tough time controlling herself.
That call had to end. Thirty minutes had passed, and all I had was a headache and a need for french fries (a cure-all, in my opinion). I had to move on. I had a deadline.
I shook myself out of unconsciousness with a cup of coffee and moved on to my interview with Laura Quinn, founder and director of Idealware, which provides reviews of and articles about software of interest to nonprofits.
Bow down and worship, for she is my open source savior. She knows how to get to the nuts and bolts of the issue — and get there quickly.