At the recent OCWC conference in Boston, I had the pleasure of introducing the keynote, Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media. During the introduction (in addition to inflating my educational resume) I mentioned that I wouldn’t have ended up at MIT OpenCourseWare if not for an O’Reilly book.
I shared how in the year 2000, I decided either this whole Internet thing was going to pass me by or I was going to have to do something about it, so I picked up an O’Reilly HTML book, and like millions of others at the time, taught myself to code web pages. This led to my creating a distance learning course, which led to much frustration over my school’s intellectual property policy, which led to an appreciation of MIT’s approach, and ultimately to a job at OCW.
After the conference, I had a thank you gift to mail to Tim, and just before sending it I discovered the old dog-eared and coffee stained HTML book on the back of a shelf in my office. I included it with return postage, and Tim was kind enough to sign it and return it:
We’ve resurrected the original press conference announcing OCW. Hear firsthand how it all began…