Recently I blogged about some concerns that I have had about increasing disrespect in the Open Source, Free Software, and Free Culture communities. My blog entry shared some of the work I started on an OpenRespect Declaration, but I wasn’t sure if I should publish it.

I did some thinking on this, and reviewed some of the fantastic comments on my blog, and I decided to go ahead and launch There I have listed the declaration with a few extra points about:

  • the importance of honesty (thanks Jef Spaleta for the suggestion)
  • the importance of remembering that people pour their heart and soul into their work

The site is pretty simple, and pretty minimal, so don’t expect a rip-roaring experience there, but it gets over the most important point – the OpenRespect Declaration.

In my spare time I plan on adding some additional materials there — tips and suggestions about keeping conversation respectful, and how to deal with disrespectful folks — so if anyone would like to propose some content, just drop me an email.

Before I wrap, I just want to offer a few notes to bear in mind regarding

  • this is not specific to the communities I am part of, but designed to apply to any community.
  • this is not a United Nations declaration, it is not necessarily representative of what the entire Open Source and Free Software community, it is representative of what I feel is a fair set of guidelines around respect. Don’t like it? No worries, ignore it!
  • I don’t plan on turning into a mission; I am too busy and pre-occupied with other things, but I felt I needed to do something – this is a start, and I hope can grow the site to be more useful as time goes on.
  • this won’t solve all the problems, but it is a start, and if helps just one conversation be more respectful, it was was worth the minimal amount of effort that I put into kicking this off. :-)

If you think is a good idea and would like to help, I would just encourage you to encourage people to read it, encourage your projects to be inspired by it, and otherwise spread the word. I would also like to encourage all of you who think the OpenRespect Declaration makes sense to blog it, dent it, tweet it etc to spread awareness.

Thanks, everyone for providing constructive feedback on the idea. :-)

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