The Extra Mile

Welcome

© Joe Casad, Editor in Chief

© Joe Casad, Editor in Chief

Article from Issue 188/2016

Conventional wisdom would claim the community isn't really a community or that a business helping to build this community could only be acting as some kind of PR-inspired charity. The whole idea that investing in community is a healthy and enlightened way to pursue vital business interests is lost on many in the business world even now, which is why it is important to celebrate when real businesses do real good things for the open source community.

The Extra Mile

The illusive interface between business and the open source community is difficult to define or even describe to the uninitiated. No one who was writing the management textbooks back when I was in college would believe the mysterious melding of community and commerce that is an everyday part of the FOSS ecosystem today. Conventional wisdom would claim the community isn't really a community or that a business helping to build this community could only be acting as some kind of PR-inspired charity. The whole idea that investing in community is a healthy and enlightened way to pursue vital business interests is lost on many in the business world even now, which is why it is important to celebrate when real businesses do real good things for the open source community.

Tag1 is a consulting company that does a lot of web development. Much of their work is with the Drupal open source content management system. Drupal has an active and vibrant user community around the world that gets together online and in person – at the popular DrupalCon conference series. But the developers, designers, and webmasters at Tag1 realized the Drupal community was missing something important: a magazine. Although they had no previous experience in publishing, Tag1 launched Drupal Watchdog, a print magazine for the whole Drupal community. Drupal Watchdog covered the whole spectrum of the Drupal experience, from design, to development, to daily tasks, to the management and marketing that surrounds the web content industry – and the emphasis was on the whole community. Drupal Watchdog had authors, and even advertisers, who worked for other consulting companies, but the Tag1 team wanted to reach everyone. Drupal Watchdog quickly became a favorite at the DrupalCon Conference, and readers subscribed and signed up for back issues through the Drupal Watchdog website.

After 10 semi-annual issues, Tag1 realized Drupal Watchdog was ready for a change. A company that was only interested in narrow, short-term goals could have stopped publishing right then. They were, after all, a company of consultants, not editors and publishers. They also could have sold off all the pieces, as the management textbooks would probably have advised them to do: maximize the return by liquidating the mailing list, the newsletter names, and the website. But Tag1 wanted Drupal Watchdog to keep growing and flourishing. So they went to extra effort and expense to find a professional publishing company that understood the open source community and help Drupal Watchdog reach a new audience of readers around the world.

And that company is … our company: Linux New Media, publishers of Linux Magazine, Linux Pro Magazine, Ubuntu User, and other publications that serve the FOSS community. We're proud to welcome Drupal Watchdog to the Linux New Media family and excited to consider all the synergies we'll stir up with the Drupal community as we make Drupal Watchdog into a regular quarterly and send it out through our global distribution network.

If we succeed with our efforts to take Drupal Watchdog to the next level, it will help the whole Drupal community, which will, in turn, help Tag1 and all other Drupal consultants. You and I know it, and Tag1 knows it: Community works! We'll just have to be patient and wait for those old-school authors of the management textbooks to catch up.

Welcome Drupal Watchdog, and here's to Tag1 for going the extra mile.

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