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What is your free software story?

by Stephen Mahood Contributions Published on Jan 19, 2016 02:40 PM
Story connects us to what we do. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, some involving developing free software, some not, but all connecting to the philosophy.

When we share those experiences with others, we strengthen the connections between the free software movement and other movements each of us are in. We learn about the path one took to become involved in free software. At the Free Software Foundation's 30th anniversary, we asked folks in the community to share their stories.

Creative Commons License What is your free software story? by the Free Software Foundation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Story. It is an important part of life. Too often we get bogged down with resolving everyday tasks and issues in our work, which causes us to gloss over what motivated or inspired us to get where we are or choose where we are going.

Many of us already know the story that led to the start of the free software movement, but what are exciting stories today? When meeting new activists who are already in a movement, such as the free software movement, the question of how they got there is always something I put forward. One's story gives a view into how and what sparked a flame in them to become active in a movement and free software in particular. The free software movement has changed many lives and changes the world every day. The more stories we know about each other and the connections between us, the stronger the fabric of the movement.

Think about your own story. In which ways has free software changed your life, and how do you feel free software changes the world? We invite you to record your story in a video or audio clip, or write a post, and share it on social media with the hashtag #freesoftwarestory. The FSF will reshare many of them if you use the social media platforms where we have accounts: GNU social,, and Twitter (see our policy on Twitter). Above all, share your story with those around you who may not be involved in or aware of free software.

We commissioned this video — and of course it was made with free software tools. Please share the video widely for others to see the path people have taken to be involved in free software. Share your free software story!

We are at the end of our fundraiser. We have $80,000 to raise in less than two weeks in order to continue our current work. With your support we can work to make more videos like this, so please consider donating or joining to create more guiding lights of the free software movement.

Video/audio tools you can use to record

Here are some free software tools to record your story:

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