In a couple of weeks, I'll participate in a panel discussion on The Future of Open Source in Business. In preparation for that discussion, I figured I'd write down my current thoughts and solicit some feedback. I'll talk about two important trends relevant for the future of Open Source, but there are certainly more.
Acquia announced recently they were releasing a new tool called Drupal Gardens that makes it easier to create websites using the popular open source Drupal platform. In a recent blog post Acquia VP of Marketing, Lynne Capozzi wrote about how, rightly or wrongly, some people are intimidated by the idea of building a website using a tool like Drupal.
It's great for the power users who can build an understanding of how site building in Drupal works, but Drupal Gardens puts this in the hands of less technical end users. It provides an easy path to creating the site, then choosing a theme (either provided or one you create on your own), color schemes, fonts and so forth.
Like last year, I'll be attending the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) next month, on March 17-18 in San Francisco. Also like last year, I will participate in a panel discussion led by Michael Skok (Partner at North Bridge, Acquia Board Member and personal friend).
I have a pretty big update for you: we just launched Drupal Gardens into private beta. Since the first public Drupal Gardens demo at DrupalCon Paris, a lot of progress has been made. Today, we sent private beta invites to the first people that signed up to be beta testers, and if things go well, we'll send out a couple thousand more invitations over the next few weeks.
Red Hat just launched OpenSource.com on Drupal. The site will focus on exploring what happens when the open source way is applied to the world, beyond technology. The site has 5 main channels: business, education, government, law, and life. In each channel, they'll explore how open source is having an impact on each of those areas. The content is meant to be very conversational and participatory, making Drupal a natural choice.
Social networking true believers use words like engagement, responsibility, and transparency that smack of the Internet's hippie days in the late 1990s, yet social networking has proved to be much more than a passing fancy. The exploding numbers associated with the most popular sites like Facebook and Twitter inspire awe in even the most jaded statisticians. Time spent on social networks increased 277% in the United States last year, according to media research firm Nielsen, and Twitter itself grew more than 500%.
Now the social media category is primed to emerge as the most significant business enabler since the Internet itself. Organizations must ask themselves seven important questions about their plans for leveraging social networking over the next 12 months. Their answers may spell the difference between success and failure in the coming decade.
I was so proud of what our team accomplished in 2009 that I wrote a couple of different versions of our accomplishments. I posted one last week. However, after thinking about it some more, I was so excited by specific achievements, that I decided to post this version as well, which lists many of them.
As we’re just a few days away from 2010, I’ve been reflecting on the momentum Acquia has built over the last year. Based on our reception by the market, and the steady rise in enterprise acceptance of social computing, it’s clear 2010 will be a significant year both for our company and Drupal.