Chad Perrin: SOB

8 January 2007

makin’ a name

Filed under: Geek,Metalog,Profession — apotheon @ 03:30

“I was Internet Famous, once.”

I remember seeing a t-shirt that bore those words somewhere — probably in a photo online. It comes to mind because, it seems, I may need one of those in the near future.

See, I got this IM from a friend this morning:

Just out of curiosity… you’re aware that one of your tech republic articles is now linked from Second Life as one of the reason they went Open Source, yah? :)

Spoony (the friend’s nickname in t3h intarw3bs) also had this to say in an IRC channel I (in)frequent:

10:07 <@spoony> blink

10:08 <@spoony> chaper: Look, you’ve gone and made yourself famous on something that’s actually world-wide :)

10:08 <@spoony> For a more thorough discussion of this subject, see: “The secrets of open source security.” by Chad Perrin at TechRepublic .

10:08 <@spoony> (from SL’s Opensource FAQ)

10:10 <@spoony>

10:10 <@spoony> Well, of course, other than wikipedia >.>

(The Wikipedia comment refers to my status as the Wikimedia Foundation’s first-ever paid employee, and its first ex-employee because I moved from Florida to Colorado.)

Check out the Second Life Open Source FAQ. If you do a text search on the page for my name (Chad Perrin), you’ll find a link to my TechRepublic article The Secrets of Open Source Security.

I can’t help but notice a few things about that SL open source FAQ, with regard to that article:

  1. The link to my article is the only link outside of Second Life pages themselves other than the Free Software and Open Source definitions.

  2. My name is part of the link text.

  3. My article is used as something akin to an authoritative reference on the subject of open source software security.

  4. My jaw dropped when I read it.

Unlike in the world of writing weblogs, it’s hard to tell whether anyone’s reading my articles. This may lead to either an inflated sense of one’s own importance, or to underestimating one’s own popular appeal. I’ve always kinda extended my sense of the popularity of this weblog to cover my articles as well, and as a result I may have underestimated the readership of them. SOB, as far as I’ve seen, seems to be very well-regarded among a small group of readers, and vaguely interesting from time to time by a larger group (which includes most of the people I knew “in real life” — outside of the Internet before interacting with them online — that actually read SOB at all).

In any case, it’s good to know that my article is getting such widespread readership and high-profile linking. I wrote it in the hopes that it would get people to think about the subject, maybe open a few minds previously closed by proprietary closed source software marketing propaganda. In fact, I basically wrote it so I’d have an easy reference point to refute the all-too-common argument that open source software just isn’t popular enough to attract malicious attention, and that’s the only reason it seems to be more secure than (for instance) MS Windows. It’s a lot easier to link to something I’ve already written than it is to paraphrase myself over and over and over again.

All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License