Money for Nothing, and Your Software for Free

A session at SXSW Interactive 2011

Saturday 12th March, 2011

5:00pm to 6:00pm (CST)

Free beer! Free kittens! Free software! We all love to get something for free, especially when budgets are tight. We dream of the free product that will, like magic, solve our problems without costing a cent. (If you aren't, your boss probably is.) But free things almost always come with hidden costs, and free software is no different. It won't give you a hangover, or get fleas, but it could eat up your staff time, control your data, or change the rules on you without notice. This was spectacularly clear when Ning eliminated free accounts, leaving users with the choice of paying up, or losing years of hard work. Or when Facebook suddenly turned fans into "likers," forcing page administrators to change their outreach strategy. But not all free software is created equal, and it's not just about open source vs. closed source. Some tools give you great power - but you have to know how to use it. Others limit your options, or ignore what you really need. But some may be just what you're looking for. We'll explore the ins and outs of free and low-cost software, and ask: what does free software really cost?

LEVEL: Intermediate

About the speakers

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Heather Gardner-Madras

Online strategy, design & execution for progressive nonprofits & socially responsible businesses + cats, gardening & cooking adventures bio from Twitter

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Chris Lundberg

Salsa Labs is the creator of the Salsa platform that helps more than 2,000 progressive nonprofits and campaigns organize online and engage over 70M people... bio from Twitter

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Mark Jaquith

I make WordPress. Web publishing is my passion. bio from Twitter

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Ryan Marsh

Ryan Marsh is a freelance iOS Developer / Agile Coach & Trainer / Entrepreneur. I get software teams across the finish line. bio from Twitter

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Jeff Herron

nonprofit technology, sports, gardening, nonprofits, DC, community organizer, random, principal at Beaconfire Consulting. bio from Twitter

23 attendees

  • Beau
  • Dean Cruse
  • erwin blom
  • Peter van Aller
  • Michiel Frackers
  • Gregory Cornelius
  • Hanni Ross
  • heather gardner-madr
  • Jesse Burkunk
  • Jeff Herron
  • Jorge Bernal
  • Mark Jaquith
  • Georgetta Nicol
  • Mo
  • Nick Ducoff
  • Christian Giordano
  • Reinier Ladan
  • roycifer
  • Ryan Marsh
  • SalsaLabs.com
  • Lisa van Gelder
  • wilbertbaan
  • Yoav Farhi

21 trackers

  • Joen
  • Arena Reed
  • Brian Truax
  • Chiara Bernasconi
  • danielc
  • Derek Curtis
  • PF Samuelson
  • Ella Worth
  • Justin Shreve
  • Orson Ka'ili
  • Larry Archer
  • liangcw
  • ɹǝɯoɹʞ (dılɟ) dılıɥd
  • Phoebe Connelly
  • Paul Maiorana
  • Rachel Mercer
  • Rafael Torres
  • Shelley Cook
  • Tan Lam
  • Todd Budnikas
  • Eamonn Murphy

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Time 5:00pm6:00pm CST

Date Sat 12th March 2011


Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center

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