This morning’s buzz over the White House’s use of open source to manage its Web properties via Drupal is in many ways comedic. As Matt Asay points out in his blog, the value that open source brings to the table is still very much misunderstood, and the fodder you see floating around on the Web about today’s news is evidence of that. You still hear a lot about the security advantages/disadvantages associated with open source, but for me, that’s old news.
I think White House media director Macon Phillips summed it up best when describing the flexibility the White House has gained by turning to open source. “We want to improve the tools used by thousand of people who come to WhiteHouse.gov to engage with White House officials, and each other, in meaningful ways.”
As I recently stated a few weeks ago, for open source, it’s about the value associated with performance and flexibility at a great price – and not necessarily about the freedom from lock-in or the benefits of community support.