…hat tip to Deane at Gadgetopia!

After some test-driving a couple summers ago, I chose the open-source Drupal platform for my various online experiments (RealMadison.org, the Lake Herman Sanitary District, and my online dissertation). I wouldn’t be able to offer a strong techie defense of that choice: I just liked the look and feel of Drupal better than Joomla or some of the other tools I played with.

So I can’t help feeling my choice affirmed, just a little, by the news that the White House is replacing the Bush-era proprietary content management system with Drupal:

The great Drupal switch came about after the Obama new media team, with a few months of executive branch service (and tweaking of WhiteHouse.gov) under their belts, decided they needed a more malleable development environment for the White House web presence. They wanted to be able to more quickly, easily, and gracefully build out their vision of interactive government. General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), the Virginia-based government contractor who had executed the Bush-era White House CMS contract, was tasked by the Obama Administration with finding a more flexible alternative. The ideal new platform would be one where dynamic features like question-and-answer forums, live video streaming, and collaborative tools could work more fluidly together with the site’s infrastructure. The solution, says the White House, turned out to be Drupal. That’s something of a victory for the Drupal (not to mention open-source) community [Nancy Scola, “WhiteHouse.gov Goes Drupal,” Personal Democracy Forum, 2009.10.24].

Anyone care to draw parallels between open-source software choices and the future of democracy?

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