Roy Tanck helps make this recession different

Roy Tanck helps make this recession different

Summary: Roy's widgets make a platform like WordPress more powerful. They might do the same for other platforms, if someone hired him for that -- blog engines are a competitive market. While the widgets themselves are open source, they advertise Roy's work to the larger market.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Open Source, Browser
3

Times like this make me a cock-eyed optimist. (Picture from Blogsessive.)

Every recession is different, and carries within it a solution to the problem it poses. In the case of this recession you are, as the old commercial would say, soaking in it.

By that I mean that open source offers us a way out of what troubles us.

Take the case of Roy Tanck. He's a programmer, and until 2004 he was an employed one.

Had Roy lost his job in the 20th century he would be out of luck. He might be working as a waiter, or worse, doing nothing but collecting unemployment.

That's not hyperbole. Back in the early 1980s I had a classmate, with two fine degrees, enter the job market alongside a recession which, locally, was much like this one. He became an exterminator. And his name, unfortunately, was not Tom DeLay. Most of his potential was lost.

Not so with Roy. He put himself to work, working with Flash and Wordpress primarily. He used the Internet to network himself with customers and others.

And he blogs. About this and that. About other Web sites. About advertising. About keyboards. About his life. About his work.

Roy has become known for two Wordpress widgets he created. One turns tags, categories or both into an interactive cloud, which he calls WP-Cumulus. (There it is working above.)

The other does the same thing with pictures. He calls it the Flickr Widget, but it works with Picasa as well. (Here it is displaying a reporter's trip to the White House.)

Roy's widgets make a platform like WordPress more powerful. They might do the same for other platforms, if someone hired him for that -- blog engines are a competitive market. While the widgets themselves are open source, they advertise Roy's work to the larger market.

The blog advertises him to a much wider audience than previously possible. My guess is he now has friends all over the world. Including one in Atlanta.

The point is you can do the same thing, even if you are not a programmer. You can blog, you can network, you can connect, you can grow both this medium and open source. You can make the pile bigger, higher, even at the bottom of the worst recession in decades.

What's not to be optimistic about?

Topics: Open Source, Browser

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • So, is he making money

    Work without money coming in is useless.

    And the idea that the solution to this recession are different than any
    other is bunk. Technology has made implementing the solution easier,
    but the solution is the same. Find work or create a product or start a
    business. MS was started during the stagflation years of the Carter
    administration. Monopoly was invented and made the inventor a
    millionaire during the great depression.

    As long as the current headlong dive toward communism currently
    occurring in our country doesn't turn us into Venezuela light,
    individual entrepreneurship will still get you through.
    frgough
    • Without tools you can't create

      The problem with the proprietary model is that
      when you lose your job you lose access to the
      tools.

      With open source, you retain that access. You
      can continue working, and seeking both life and
      profit in those tools.

      Please don't let your ideology ('current
      headlong drive toward communism' -- please)
      blind you to this reality.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • Roy Tanck responds

    Roy has written a detailed response to this post on
    his blog. You can find it at http://www.roytanck.com/2009/04/10/on-zdnet-the-
    recession-and-optimism/
    DanaBlankenhorn