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by Marc O'Brien
I was meeting last week with an incredible set of high technology leaders who are all leveraging Drupal and Commons for their developer communities. These are very high profile companies, it’s amazing the progress Drupal has made in becoming a leader for developer and high technology customer communities.
Tom Erickson wrote a blog earlier in the year on Commons accelerating the deployment of external communities. He noted the Drupal community site Symantec Connect. It’s a large community with tremendous contributions of content (blogs, downloads, events, articles, known issues, discussions, videos, ideas). The contributions are accelerating rapidly with over 775,000 pieces of content contributed by over 240,000 members. When Tom wrote his blog, content was being created every second… it still is! In addition, 95% of the content is created by partners and customers, not Symantec employees……..What a tremendous corporate asset!
“Connect is an online community where Symantec customers, partners and employees answer product questions, share technical knowledge and submit product ideas. Dive in today and join the conversation.”
Acquia is seeing tremendous growth in community sites across a broad range of industries. It is exciting to see the migration within the high tech sector to Drupal. In particular, the Commons distribution is accelerating this sea change by facilitating collaboration for hundreds of thousands of IT developers and creating an ecosystem of mutual support and communication. Here are some examples of both Drupal sites and those using the Commons distribution of Drupal…
DEVELOPER COMMUNITIES ON DRUPAL & COMMONS
It’s great to see the vast differences in structure and branding of each site. The Commons distribution was built by Acquia specifically to accelerate the deployment of Community sites, while still having the power and flexibility of the Drupal platform. It is working as planned!
Why did they chose Drupal & Commons?
Drupal is the platform, Commons is the accelerator. The Drupal platform provides power and flexibility. The Commons distribution is optimized for communities with a combination of wikis, blogs, activity streams, forums and integration with the social web, making it the go-to solution for high technology developer and customer communities. Commons unique advantages are:
- Acceleration - build an external facing website with social business software features in a matter of hours.
- Enormously scalable - some of the largest, most visible and highly trafficked sites in the world run on Drupal.
- Freely extensible - an incredible 11,000 modules from Drupal.org that let’s you optimize your site features with little or no programming.
- Your branding not ours - your designers have full creative capacity to build highly branded sites
- Plus, there are no license fees…. an added bonus
No License fees
The last bullet is nice and should be explored. Is that a reason to use Commons ? The answer is no, instead it’s the productivity increases, extensibility and clear ROI. That is clearly the reasons for leading companies in selecting Commons and Drupal. However, the gift keeps giving when you continue to expand your community. A proprietary vendor’s license fees increasingly tax your community as you grow. It might cost too much to have a successful, growing community as growth means more license fees. Commons does not have a license fee so you are “free” to grow without a financial surcharge on your success! We all want you to have a growing vibrant community, we just don’t want to charge you for it.
Results are in…. Commons is a success in high tech
The results are tangible… There is a clear hard ROI in terms of increased product adoption and reduced support costs, plus soft ROI from boosting customer satisfaction and engagement. As noted, Symantec’s 750,000 community contributions are a tremendous corporate asset. Twitter supports 1 million registered applications from 750,000 developers. The high tech communities win, companies win and Drupal is clearly a Winner! Those are some really impressive community results!