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When I was young, I grew up in a small village. In this village I knew everybody, everybody knew me, people knew what other people did and people kept an eye out for eachother. Small talk about a small Bert growing up in a small village.
When I studied I moved to a small town, when I started working I moved to another small town. And while there is more bohemian clture in bigger places, the disadvantage is that you don't know the name of your neighbour. Small talk about big city problems.
The point is that people like communities. People like peers that are the same but different. People like people that they can related to, cultural wise, religion wise, interest wise.
Drupal, an Open Source CMS that I like, grew. It grew a lot. It was a small village ("dorp") when it started and when I started to life there. People knew each other, looked out for eachother, cared for each other. Now Drupal is a town. A big town. People don't know each other any more and might get lost in the town. Is that bad?
Now, in the bigger city of Drupal, people start building smaller communities with people with the same interest. For example at groups.drupal.org, in local user groups and other interest groups. This is how people can still be able to know the name of their neighbour and yet be part of The Bigger Municipality of Drupal.
You can see the grow in many ways. For example the key players grew in how they cant in their Belbin roles and the Association is a sign and a reaction of the growth. Right now there are 800 people in the Boston DrupalConference. Only 3 years ago, there were 80 in Amsterdam. Another good example is that there is more differentiation in Drupalshops, some go regional (if you could call China a region) or local (DOP.nu), others go for long-tail niches. The fact that there is now a commercial data migration shop is a good sign and I hope there will be more niche Drupalshops; for updates, for themers, for designers, for specific languages translations, for testing, for making a good devel > test > staging > production environment and for numerous other things that you could do in the Drupal city.
Yes we are growing up, past adolescence I think and have grown to a nice community where there is a place for everyone. And I like my small neighbourhood in the bigger Drupal city.
Since the headquarter of DOP is located at a very nice place, we often hold x-camps at our place. Dont be surprised that a deer wonders by the swimmingpool out of the forrest behind our villa! Some time ago we had the SymfonyCamp over at our place. And we do have enough room for lots of tents and a BBQ.
We are planning on organizing a Joomla!/Drupal camp over a next couple of month. And the use the healthy competition between the two projects and to use the power of Open Source, we had the following idea:
As someone with an urban planning background and an early addiction to computers (hence games), I played SimCity a lot. And when I say, a lot I mean a lot! I spend hours playing this excellent game, days, month. And the sequels just didnt do it for me.
So now the greatest game has become Open Source!