Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in. In other words, open source software is produced for the community, by the community, and is generally available to everyone.
Similar to open source products are off-the-shelf services such as MailChimp or Piryx. For a reasonable fee, powerful applications can serve your campaign. Expensive, proprietary packages and predatory vendors are a thing of the past. With open source social media and web tools, you control your message 24/7, not a webmaster or a 9 to 5 vendor.
In the 24 hour political environment, your campaign communication needs to turn on a dime. The best approach is to make use of free or cost effective, user-friendly, open source tools that allow control from any computer with a web browser.
All open source software is not created equal. That’s why we recommend only the most established and secure publishing platforms and third party vendors. For websites, our current favorite is the WordPress platform. For email, Atlanta based MailChimp.com offers a user-friendly and powerful application. For online donation processing, Pirxy is robust and flexible. And of course no campaign would be complete without facebook and twitter.
More recently, you may have heard the term open source used in a different context. It has come to mean any workflow that makes use of provided tools. For example, Obama campaign staffers consider the President’s campaign to be “open source”. In other words, they provide the tools which make it possible for campaign supporters and volunteers get to work.
For more information about the open source applications we recommend, see our Services page.