Lowell, Massachusetts greets open source

by Andy Oram

Two interesting conferences are coming up in Lowell: Penguin_day (Friday, June 22) and Grassroots Use of Technology (Saturday, June 23). They're aimed at non-profit organizations and are very inexpensive. Both are hosted by the Organizer's Collaborative, a small, dedicated non-profit that helps other non-profits by teaching them to use open source technology. So naturally, there's a good deal of overlap between the conferences.

Presentations range from the imminently practical (e.g., Digital Advocacy on a Small Budget) to big-name (prize-winning author Allison Fine) and geeky (Open Standards: Why the grassroots should care).

Lowell is a fascinating place, well suited to these events. The setting of the early days of the Industrial Revolution in North America, it has its up-and-coming neighborhoods as well as areas mired in poverty. Its ethnic diversity is invigorating and also challenging. And it's home to a U.Mass. campus with strong computer-related offerings. If anything I've mentioned touches you, check out the conferences.