Mr. Rosengarth Goes to Washington

I’m currently in Washington, DC attending Drupalcon, a conference devoted to Drupal—the open source software that we’ve chosen to run the Bicycle Times website. There’s some pretty techy stuff going on, and after two days of trying to absorb as much information as possible, my head is spinning like a bicycle wheel. That’s an appropriate state of mind for a nice rambling post. So here goes…

I’m happy that we’ve chosen to use “open source” software for this website. This is my first exposure to the Drupal community, and it’s immediately apparent that the folks who chip in to develop and nourish this software really do make up a thriving community. Almost a family.

It’s a similar feeling of community that pervades the bicycling industry.  Folks work in it for the love of what they are doing, and many of them spend their time promoting bicycling for the good of all. Because it’s the right thing to do. Much like the “open source” folks who promote the free and open sharing of their code.

In fact the crossover with bicycles among these tech folks is notable. Many of the people that I’ve met are into bicyling.  If you took the 1,400 folks at this conference and dropped them onto the Interbike show floor, they’d blend right in.

In fact, one of the lectures that I attened was given by Matt Cheney who is a partner in Mission Bicycles, as well as Chapter Three, his Drupal-centric web business. [That’s a Mission bicycle shown in the photo above.]

But back to the “community” theme. One of the great virtures of the world wide web is its “community-building” or “social” aspect. Dirt Rag, and now Bicycle Times, has always been an open forum. There has always been a sense of community revolving around the magazine. I envision the brand-spanking-new Bicycle Times website will provide fresh and innovative ways to nurture that community. 

My head is swimming with ideas on how we can make the Bicycle Times website a community-driven entity that serves the needs of our readers, and is built upon their contributions and content. I’m not sure of all the details, or how we’re going to pull that off, but stiick around. It should be a fun ride!


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