The glue that keeps a community together, albeit online or offline, is communication. It is especially vital to include, encourage and exercise tools of communication when creating or growing online communities because it is so easy to disengage with one click of a finger. There are two steps that are crucial to take in order for an online community to actively thrive: choosing the right community-building tools and applying them correctly. If you choose the wrong tools to build a community, then everyone will suffer the consequences. Every community has unique qualities that will shape its character, which determines what features will need to be implemented. Once a community has determined its needs, utilizing an open source software package, or content management system, it will take the vision into online reality and search engine optimization success.
Choosing an open source content management system, like Drupal, allows you the functionality and ability to build and use every tool under the sun. As technology and search engine optimization continue to evolve at a near-frightening rate, you will be able to adapt Drupal to meet the changes that the Internet brings. Drupal is very reactive to changes and with a little bit of knowledge and guidance, anyone can make the necessary tweaks. Open source CMSs not only keep pace with changes in trends, but they drive innovation by allowing any individual or community the access to resources that can create new technologies for the system. Drupal not only puts innovation in the consumers’ hands, but encourages them to innovate themselves. I believe that is called a win/win.
Open source projects are community-driven, and communities are driven through the coordination and efforts of many individuals working together with the right tools. Embracing the aspects of open source will allow online communities to share collective wisdom from other existing communities or individuals within the larger community. There are hundreds of regional Drupal communities all over the world that are getting together to dork out together. Chances are there plenty of people in your immediate area that may be available to help you solve whatever issue or crisis you are dealing with. People who unite over a passion want nothing more than to help each other out.
Open source communities, like Drupal, are built upon the philosophy of collaboration. Organizational collaboration is a very powerful way to create innovative features and applications for the community. There is nothing more inspirational than seeing an idea become a reality, with the help of a community. But communities need to be nurtured to thrive. Just because it is an “open source” community, doesn’t mean that everything that is thrown on the table is going to work efficiently. The proper understanding of the community needs, implementing open source technologies, like Drupal, and staying actively involved will help an online, open source community stay on the crest of any technological wave.
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