Finally managed to find the time to explore this new space. Congratulations to the fabulous TacticalTech peeps for setting this up! Very clever, really, to provide other people the necessary resource to hold their own Source Camps. And I do like the 'sharing' philosophy behind this.
Hmm. Maybe I should introduce myself before I continue yapping away...
I'm Cheekay from Manila and from the Association for Progressive Communications Women's Networking Support Programme. I was at the Asia Source Camp in Bangalore.
While I had been an Open Source user and advocate prior to the camp, I do think that the camp experience was the final nudge I needed to fully convince me to take the Open Source option first before considering a proprietary solution (to make proprietary software the alternative and not the default option). What convinced me was the breadth and depth of human resources that was made available during the camp: from listening to seasoned Open Source developers and users talk about all the cool and useful stuff a person can do with Open Source to seeing how 'newbies' experience Open Source with ease. The former provided me with tools that enhanced my own Open Source use and understanding; the latter alleviated my concerns about the usefulness and relevance of Open Source to regular, non-geek people.
My interest in Open Source was and always has been (probably always will be) how Open Source could be brought to more women, how women can benefit from it. Being at the camp gave me an opportunity to learn and reflect on this matter, and by the time it was over, I had a much better understanding on how to convince women to use and commit to Open Source.
Beyond that, the source camp was a one of a kind, you-had-to-be-there experience that I will always remember fondly. I am still in awe of how the organisers and facilitators managed the 100+ participants and created a relaxed and learning environment. I do hope that this resource will guide future camp organisers to replicate that experience.