Zuggy, a member of the LinuxQuestions.org forums, wrote a short post about what the average user, whom may not know programming languages or anything to contribute.
I’ve read several essays on the Open-Source movement and found out something interesting. The Open-Source community actually falls under an anthropalogical classification. The Linux community is a gift society. This means that the resources needed to survive (internet access, CD burners, processing power, etc.) are so abundant that they do not need to be traded. So how we gain prestige is not by riches, because we’re all rich, but by what we give freely.
The problem is that a lot of average linux users (like me) don’t know how to contribute. The biggest way to contribute is programming and you’ll get the most prestige from contributing your programming talent to open-source projects or by starting your own.
But alas, there is hope for the Average Joe. Here are some ideas on what you can give to the Linux Community. It won’t earn you the prestige that programming will but a kingdom can’t survive without its citizens. If you have any other ideas go ahead and post them.
-Use Linux (you can’t contribute if you don’t use it)
-Help people figure out problems when they install Linux from you’re expirience
-Share Linux with your friends. Chances are there’s a windows geek in your neighborhood that wants a new challenge.
-Run Bittorrent (see note at the end)
-Cough up a few bucks to send to your favorite open source project. Heaven knows that a little monetary value can go a long way in world of freely giving.
-Test software, and report the bugs. Who know’s, maybe you’ll be the one that will find that software destroying bug so they can fix it.
-Try learning to program because programmers are the most highly revered.
Note on Bittorrent
What is bittorrent you might ask. Well it’s a piece of software that sits on your computer and it is used to download software. What makes it unique is how it works. It’s a peer2peer technology that makes it so instead of downloading a program from a central source you connect to multiple computers and download it from them. Here’s how you can contribute. After you’re done downloading your Software, leave your bittorrent client open so others can connect to your computer and download from you.
For more information check out http://bittorrent.com/
The bittorrent client I use is Bittornado
Testing software and helping friends if they are frustrated with Windows, to switch to Linux, are probably the best ways you can help the open source movement (including BSD, Linux, etc.).