Government 2.0: The Use of Drupal and Open Source Technologies
Happy Fav Five Friday!
The web and other news sources have been buzzing about the White House site using open source technology, Drupal. Many influential people have shared their thoughts on this subject, but I like this post by Tim O’Reilly the best. He makes a good point about how the Government has been using open source, but it’s adoption by http://whitehouse.gov should improve the government adoption rate. The New York Times also published an article titled “Drupal Moves into the White House”, which you can find here. I recommend you review these two articles, because they are packed with related resources.
Calling a Friend with a Coconut
The right tool for the job is important! Can you make a phone from a coconut? You probably could, if you were a professor stranded on a desert island with the Skipper and crew. Would you hang a picture with a shovel? Would you cook a meal in the dishwasher? These ideas may seem silly, but most jobs are easier with the right strategy and correct tools. The mission is better served when more options are available. Drupal is not going to be the “magic bullet” that kills all overspending in Government IT, but it is good to see more tools available in the Government 2.0 toolbox.
What is this “Drupal, Open Source PHP CMS” Thing?
Drupal is a free software package that allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website. Tens of thousands of people and organizations are using Drupal to power scores of different web sites for Enterprise 2.0 solutions, Government 2.0 platforms, Social Networking portals, and much more.
The built-in functionality, combined with dozens of freely available add-on modules, will enable features such as: Collaborative authoring environments, Collaborative authoring environments, Blogs, Discussion Forms, Podcasts, and much more.
Drupal is open-source software distributed under the GPL (“GNU General Public License”) and is maintained and developed by a community of thousands of users and developers. Please visit http://drupal.org for additional information.
Drupal (#OpenSource CMS): Tutorials & Webinars for Beginners
5+2 Webcasts About Drupal
These “how to” Drupal webcasts are part of my favorite Drupal collection. You will find five presentations to help you quickly understand what Drupal is and what it can do. I have also included the important “Drupal Security” presentation, a quick overview before you buy the book. I added the “Drupal Garden” video, because it allows you to see how simple & cool content management can be. You should also listen to the “JackBe” video “Developer Community Ignites Customer Engagement, Reduces Costs and Delivers Measurable ROI with Drupal”, he uses some very interesting words to describe Drupal. You can review other Drupal presentations here.
The Future Gov 2.0 Toolbox Will Hopefully Also Contain Tools Like Zend Framework
Extending the art & spirit of PHP, Zend Framework is based on simplicity, object-oriented best practices, corporate friendly licensing, and a rigorously tested agile codebase. Zend Framework is focused on building more secure, reliable, and modern Web 2.0 applications & web services, and consuming widely available APIs from leading vendors like Google, Amazon, Yahoo!, Flickr, as well as API providers and cataloguers like StrikeIron and ProgrammableWeb. Learn more at http://framework.zend.com
Social Media, Widgets, & Gadgets with OpenSocial?
How about Government web sites with customizable widgets, like the iGoogle dashboard? Apache Shindig is an OpenSocial container and helps you to start hosting OpenSocial apps quickly by providing the code to render gadgets, proxy requests, and handle REST and RPC requests. Apache Shindig’s goal is to allow new sites to start hosting social apps in under an hour’s worth of work. Learn more here http://incubator.apache.org/shindig/
What about Open Source Training and Education?
Drupal does not offer any type of “Developer Certification” at this time. It just does not seem to be part of their business model. You can become “Third Party Drupal Certified”. Will Government 2.0 Developers really need certification? There are a few places you can get an “open source” type of certificaiton. Zend offers Training and Certification Programs. You may want to take a look at O’Reilly Technology School. O’Reilly has been spreading the knowledge of innovators for close to 30 years. With an academic approach to publishing, trend spotting, research, and conferences, O’Reilly has gathered and distributed the information needed for innovation, helping to drive the development of the Internet as seen today.
Moving Forward with Government 2.0
Discover, Participate, & Engage with Data.gov
The purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Learn more at http://data.gov
Sunlight Foundation: Opening America’s Government
Sunlight Labs held a contest (Apps for America) and offered prizes to people for developing applications with Government data. You can see the winners here http://sunlightlabs.com/blog/2009/apps-america-winners/
Apps for Democracy: An iStrategy Experience
Take a look at these Government data related apps from brilliant people around the world. See them here http://www.appsfordemocracy.org/application-directory/
Government 2.0: Whats Next?
The 2010 Gov 2.0 Expo is where you can find out more about the future of Government 2.0. Learn more here http://www.gov2expo.com/gov2expo2010