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Open Source Becoming More Than Software

By Blane Warrene

Public Radio International, known to many in the US as a partner to National Public Radio, has taken the term ‘open source’ to a new level in its global radio programming.

The organization, possibly best known for its show The World, which brings an international flavor of news and features to the US,launched a new talk show format online in July.

Talk shows have long already been successful largely based on audience participation – PRI tapped the open source philosophy by leveraging the community of listeners to truly drive content and improve show quality. This has been done through a live Internet radio show, podcast and user community-based blog combo.

As we have discussed before – the BBC has started down a similar road as well (though not using the same methods, yet).

I find it fascinating that the momentum of open source is now trickling outside of technology spheres and impacting our everyday language and life. More importantly, this may be returning to the original philosophy of open source from years ago- an open and free exchange of knowledge and ideas (without needing to pay for a support contract).

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