SCHED* SXSW 2011 has ended
Saturday, March 12 • 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Money for Nothing, and Your Software for Free

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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?

avatar for Heather Gardner-Madras

Heather Gardner-Madras

PrincipalGardner-Madras|Strategic Creativeheather gardner-madras runs gardner-madras | strategic creative, providing online strategy, technology expertise, and persuasive design services to progressive nonprofits of all sizes. Insatiably curious, and with over a decade of experience... Read More →
avatar for Jeff Herron

Jeff Herron

VP/FounderBeaconfire ConsultingAs leader of Beaconfire’s delivery team, Jeff forges collaborative partnerships with our clients and manages Beaconfire’s project teams to ensure top quality and responsive Web design and customer service. As part of his client work, Jeff helps organizations... Read More →
avatar for Mark Jaquith

Mark Jaquith

PresCovered Web Services LLCMark is one of the makers of WordPress, the open source web publishing phenomenon. When he's not carrying out Lead Developer duties on WordPress itself, he's working as a top freelance web publishing consultant. Through his business, Covered Web Services... Read More →

Chris Lundberg

CEOSalsa Labs
avatar for Ryan Marsh

Ryan Marsh

PresLayla Grace FoundationRyan Marsh offers the combined perspectives of a non-profit leader with success in social media and a background in software development. His answer to the question of when to use open-source software is... it depends. In April 2010 after losing his 2 year... Read More →

Saturday March 12, 2011 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Austin Convention Center, Room 10AB 500 E Cesar Chavez St

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