Friday, February 24, 2006

Empowering the agents of Social Change

From the Drupal developer's list:

Drupal does not empower the majority of the public, it's too hard to
use. It empowers programmers and systems integrators.

In the nonprofit sector, folks I talk to are sitting on the fence about open source solutions like CivicSpace and CiviCRM because it's too hard... there's no vendor to solve my problem. At the same time, hundred of individual organizations are attracted to the platform and beginning to adopt it at an accelerating rate.

The programmers and system administrators that were empowered by Drupal and CiviCRM went out and built CivicSpace-- it works, but it still doesn't empower the majority of the public.

The next stage of the evolution will be creating the hosters and strengthening the integrators [Three Pillars of Social Source]. We have the house framed and now we need the hosters and the integrators need to help us put up a roof and some walls.

If you offer database and web services to nonprofits, you should look at CivicSpace and it's underlying technologies, CiviCRM and Drupal. It will help you help your customers more thoroughly and more cheaply than any of the alternatives.

There is a pretty clear roadmap for where we need to go, it's unclear if the rest of the nonprofit sector is yet listening, understanding, or standing ready to help. Invest in the CivicSpace ecosystem... use the software, support the vendors, fund the integrators and hosters. And lets see how much social change Internet technologies can power.

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