[consulting] Open-Source VS. Business (advice on setting up a Drupal community)

Vince Do vince_d_o at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 28 10:05:02 UTC 2006


It was difficult to find a proper title for this message and I'm not sure I
succeeded. Please read on to find out what I mean (or go to the SUMMARY at
the end :)).

At the moment, the French-speaking Drupal community is split between 2 major
- http://drupalfrancais.zapto.org/ which only deals with the French
translation of Drupal.
- http://drupal-france.lxs-cms.com/ which is an attempt to create a
French-speaking community around Drupal (much like drupal.org). I use the
word "attempt" only because the site is quite new and it's the work of
mainly one person at the moment (as opposed to a whole community).

As for me, I'm quite new to Drupal and I'd really like to participate by
setting up a French-speaking community at http://drupalfrance.org. This
raises several questions:

- How do you combine (free) participation in the Drupal community and the
need to make a living? Participating in the community (and all the more so,
setting up one) seems like a full-time job that leaves little time for
business, doesn't it?

- My plan is: 1) set up drupalfrance.org, help build a community, bring my
modest contribution to the world of open-source; 2) learn and increase my
profile in the process; 3) turn the newly acquired skills/reputation into
business. But is it a wise choice? If the ultimate goal is to do business,
why not go straight to the point and build drupalfrance.COM - a company
selling Drupal services - instead of a community? I could still contribute
to Drupal whenever I have time or feel like it.

- Isn't it bad practice to start a "competing" community when one already
exists? I could join one of the existing French Drupal websites instead of
creating mine, but none of them embodies the "vision" I have for a Drupal
community. (Note that I have contacted these 2 websites to explain my
intentions and wave a white flag :).)


I hope you won't think I'm obsessed with money. I've just started a business
(that builds websites), it's my only income and I need to make it
profitable. (And I want to build it on top of Drupal.)

In a nutshell: should I pick the .org way or the .com way? Why do you start
a community? Can involvement in open-source translate into business?

I'm still undecided about what to do and I'd love to hear any opinions you
may have.

Thank you,


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