January 27, 2009, 10:17 PM — The recent news that Identi.ca, called by some an open source twist on Twitter, had received funding got me wondering about how active big names in the open source world are on Twitter itself.
Watch a slideshow on tips for safe social networking. Sure enough, there were plenty to be found, from those who brought us everything from the Asterisk PBX to the Apache Web server.
Some, like Mozilla Foundation Chair Mitchell Baker, are keeping their updates protected, but others are tweeting for all the world to see.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list (another recent Twitter lists include "12 CIOs who Twitter"), but will give you a good start in tracking open source supporters on Twitter. Fish through their followed and followers and you can track down many more open source enthusiasts on the microblogging site.
Brian Behlendorf, primary developer of the Apache Web server, director of CollabNet
Behlendorf recently attended the inauguration, and when not twittering about that he weighs in on everything from Microsoft's Songsmith, which reminds him of South Park's High School Musical episode, to a visit with Intuit's open source team.
Chris DiBona , self described "open source dude" and an open source programs exec at Google
This longtime open source evangelist and onetime Slashdot editor recently sent an obligatory tweet from Twitter headquarters and also twittered about underpants because he was told that would up his follower numbers.
Carl Malamud, author, public domain advocate
Malamud is best known nowadays for his Public.Resource.Org outfit, which seeks to make government info more accessible. On Twitter, he keeps his eyes on Mozilla, the fate of newspapers and Internet history.
Miguel de Icaza , started the GNOME and Mono projects and is now a vice president at Novell
You'll get your fair share of political tweets if you follow de Icaza, who's been watching the Gaza conflict closely and Twittering about the use of Moonlight, an open source version of Microsoft's Silverlight, to stream the Obama inauguration. For more de Icaza, you can follow his blog.
Ian Murdock , Debian founder, Sun exec, Ayn Rand fanboy
Murdock made a big name for himself on the open source front by founding Debian, one of the first Linux distributions. He also has served as CTO of the Linux Foundation and chair of the Linux Standard Base. At Sun, he's vice president of Cloud Computing Strategy and played a key role in the OpenSolaris distribution. In addition to Twittering, Murdock blogs. On Twitter, he weighs in on everything from the popular iFart iPhone application to the retro-ness of ordering a landline.
Stormy Peters , executive director of GNOME Foundation
Peters is a highly interactive twitterer, seeking advice on best speakers in her field and oh, tech customer service people beware.
Simon Phipps , Sun's Free/Open Source guy
Aside from having the great Twitter name of webmink, Phipps is a solid twitterer, posting on everything from Microsoft's layoff news ("what hope for the rest of us?") to his extensive travels to his adventures with a new netbook.
Martin Roesch , author of open source SNORT IDS/IPS, now CTO for Sourcefire
The author of the Python programming language now works for Google. On Twitter, he is on the lookout for commercial interests that are following him, and he blocks them. He also keeps tabs on Android apps.
Bob Sutor , vice president, IBM Open Source and Standards
Shares thoughts on which open source apps he loves (FileZilla and Komodo, among them) and offers this gem: "Interesting to hear people apologize for their software not being open source."
SourceForge , open source development Web site
Tweets about grinding his teeth, the good old days of walking around the yacht club and the selling of Asterisk offerings in Egypt. Asterisk company Digium itself has a Twitter account where you can get the latest on its events and news.
Got ideas for other Twitter lists we should compile? Tweet me here.