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#ilovefs Day report 2019


On Thursday 14th of February, we acknowledge and celebrate the annual "I love Free Software Day". It is the day to express your love for Free Software and gratitude for your favourite pieces of Free Software. The Free Software Foundation Europe would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated and helped making this day a special one for everyone involved.

Loving Free Software #ilovefs

What happened in numbers and pictures

We counted hundreds of Tweets and posts both on Twitter and the Fediverse, and we are happy to announce that participation again has increased. Some were inspired to come up with their own visuals, while others decided to use our balloons and posters to decorate and remind those in the offline world about the importance of Free Software. And about the importance to send a big thank you at least once a year to all those Free Software solutions that we all use on a daily basis.

Spreading love for Free Software offline #ilovefs

People from Wikimedia spreading love for Free Software in Berlin

People from all over the world were showing their love with blog posts, news items, photos and artworks showing and encouraging others to join using the hashtag #ilovefs. As a result, Twitter, the Fediverse and even Facebook were flooded with love messages by people tagging their favourite Free Software projects. Thanks to our former intern and current volunteer Jan Weymeirsch who wrote a scraper to collect and analyse the data, we have concrete numbers and visuals to support them:

time graph

Participation in #ILoveFS on Social Media through time

Overall 667 distinct #ilovefs posts on Twitter and Fedeverse were counted, made by 530 individual accounts, mentioning at least 231 projects and developers. Posts on Twitter were coming from at least 230 different locations from all over the world in 16 different languages. In addition, there were many more "I love Free Software" posts that did not use the hashtag #ilovefs and cannot be part of this analysis, though.

platform graph

#ilovefs participation on Twitter, Fediverse and Reddit

The Free Software community at its best

The important takeaway from all these numbers is the community feeling that it generates; that such a diverse group of people can share common values and attitudes towards software. It shows how much we all love sharing, using, studying and improving software for a better digital and analogue world!

There were also projects and individuals from all over the world dedicating special blog entries or news items, and we would like to share some of them with you. Unfortunately, we are not able to highlight all of them but pick just a few. There was a student from Nepal who used the occasion to spread the word and explain IloveFS-day and the Free Software concept to those who are still unfamiliar with it.

The Open Project platform in #ilovefs design

The OpenProject platform

The OpenProject went even further by expressing their affirmation for Free Software by integrating a #ilovefs banner into their platform.

Befriended communities like Wikimedia Deutschland, Opensource.com, Open Fest Bulgaria, LibreOffice and Percona, as well as the news site Pro-Linux reminded their readers and appealed to their communities to join the celebration and spread the love and gratitude.

Our friends from Barcelona Free Software organised a very cheerful meet up at a local bar and imbued everyone with the love for Free Software vibe.

A Cheers from the Free Software Community in Barcelona

We are also happy about companies getting active with spreading the word about Free Software and #ilovefs, and Zalando hosted a special event dedicated to the "I love Free Software" Day, hosted at their premises in Berlin. There were some interesting discussions with speakers sharing their reasons for using, loving and developing Free and Open Source solutions.

#ilovefs panel by Zalando

#ilovefs panel by Zalando

Save the date!

A picture by Sonja who grows open source seeds, decorated with FSFE stickers, a GNU and a Tux

Sonja planting the #ilovefs seeds

In case you missed your opportunity to thank your favourite project, mark February 14 as "I Love Free Software Day" in your calendar for next year. But remember, you can always and without any special occasion create an opportunity to express your gratitude and appreciation throughout the entire year. You do not need a special day, as there is simply no wrong time for that!

We would like to thank everyone involved in and contributing to this day, as well as the countless developers, translators, community managers, artists and anyone else involved in Free Software.

We hope that this year's "I love Free Software Day" has further planted the seeds of Free Software passion in all of you, just like Sonja planted hers.