Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, October 27. 2006 in Personal

Although not a hard and fast rule, it's been my experience that those involved in Open Source are also involved in lots of other things as well, usually things of a socially oriented slant. And even if they stay focused on just a handful of concerns, they tend to find themselves getting more and more involved in them. The reason, I think, is clear: these issues or concerns are important to them, and so they volunteer as much as possible to help them to succeed. And the more they do, the more they tend to be asked to do additional things. Not to toot my own horn (despite the fact that this is a blog), but 2 things recently happened to me that kind of follows this pattern. I bring them up not only to support my theory, but also because they are important to me, and hopefully the more people that are aware of them, the more success they will have. The first is that I was nominated and then voted in as the new Chair of the ASF Public Relations Committee. The PRC is basically the group of people within the ASF who are responsible for handling the marketing and other PR-type issues of the ASF to the external world. What with the announcement of the ASF Sponsorship Program (here and here), as well as the recognition within the ASF that we are leaders and examples to the open source community, the ASF has decided to focus more energies on PR. This is hard for many of us, since we are, after all, developers, engineers and hackers, and not marketing people. But it's something we need to do, and we're refocusing to make that happen. The other is that I was asked to serve on the Board for The Maryland State Boychoir. As with the ASF, I was already pretty heavily involved with the MSB, but when asked to help out on the board, I couldn't refuse. In today's society, I think it's crucial that boys and young men are involved in the arts, and the MSB provides an opportunity for boys of all ages and backgrounds to build self-esteem, self discipline and character while growing in their vocal talents. It's kind of cool seeing such a diverse group of young men hang out, play sports, discuss the finer points of Family Guy and then, the next minute, sing out with such depth and talent that you can't help but be amazed. I encourage you to at least check out the site, but it would also be great to attend a concert or 2 or, especially, help out the organization financially. It's a non-profit and is almost totally volunteer run. Yeah, both of these mean a little bit less free time, but isn't the reason that time exists is so you can do something with it?

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