For the past couple of years I’ve made it a point during this season to try to provide some financial support to the web tools and services I use that are open. And by open, I mean that are free to use, and who do not make money off of my data or advertising.
In 2012, I supported Wikipedia, Mozilla, Creative Commons and the work of Audrey Watters. Last year it was The Internet Archive, Bad Science Watch, MediaSmarts and OpenMedia. All these projects and organizations make a difference to my online life and I am appreciative of the work they do.
This year, I have returned to Wikipedia and Creative Commons. CC is becoming especially important in my professional life as it is a major component of the Open Textbook Project I am working on.
In addition to those two organizations, I am also supporting three other open products and services that I use.
I have been spending a lot of time this year converting documents, and have come to rely on Pandoc, created by John McFarlane. This open source software package is the Swiss Army knife of document conversion, and has made my work life easier. So, a monetary nod goes to Pandoc.
Finally, there are two streaming music services that I use almost everyday. If you see me hunkered over a keyboard with my headphones on, then chances are I am plugged into either Radio Paradise or Soma FM. Both are longtime streaming music service that are listener supported, ad free, and provide a great diverse soundtrack to my life.
I write and publish these posts because I want to encourage you to do the same, and support the open services and tools that you use. The open source software that makes your life a bit easier, the single person journalist or blogger trying to stay independent and free from the influence of chasing advertising dollars, the web service you use that isn’t mining your data as a business model. I know that, at this time of the year, there are many competing interests for your hard earned dollars. But if you have the means, I encourage you to put a few dollars to supporting the open sites, services and tools that you use.