Spinmeisters everywhere, but not a drop of think?

Is open source being taken over by empty talking heads?

Sam Varghese writes a provocative slam on the open-source spinmeister over on ITWire. His basic premise is that open-source spinmeisters like Blake Stowell (of SCO infamy) are on the rise. They are, apparently, everywhere.

The problem with this view is that he doesn't substantiate it at all. He may be right, but when I started to survey the projects and companies I know I kept drawing a blank on the mysterious yet apparently omnipresent spinmeisters.

Who are these people that attach themselves to open-source projects, do nothing, and yet become the public face of open-source projects? I guess they've failed because I can't think of any. He suggests that these people get by through deception:

There is an easy workaround - volunteer for a technical task and then do nothing about it; indulge in the most extreme irrelevancies when asked about it by technical colleagues and pretend that you never got that email inquiring about this or that.

Do you know anyone like this? Sam apparently does. But who are they?

Is Sam creating a paper-mache Mephistopheles? (Josef Conrad - I come from a literature background, Sam, not marketing. Does that count? :-)

Is open source being overwhelmed by the empty talking heads?

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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