With the acquisition of Open Atrium and Managing News, Phase2 now has the top four Drupal distributions in use in government and the media. It already hosted the OpenPublic and OpenPublish distributions, both of which are used by government and publishing clients. AfghanistanElectionData.org was using Managing News. So was HaitiAidMap.org.
The move could pave the way for increased interoperability between federal, state and local .gov websites that use Open Atrium and Open Public. Given the economic realities that face the media industry, improvements to collaboration and functionality on the Managing News and Open Publish distributions are also likely to be of interest to online publishers.
Given the budget pressures that face all levels of government in 2011, the ability to share code between government should not be underestimated as a cost saver. Increased interoperability was one driver behind the the websites for dozens of freshman Representatives on House.gov moved to Drupal. (It’s not clear yet how developments costs were affected in the House.)
That move followed the transition of the most high profile government websites in the world to Drupal: WhiteHouse.gov. The blog post on open source at WhiteHouse.gov supported the development of projects within the Open Atrium collaboration suite.
If .gov is the new .com, Drupal is now positioned to play an even bigger role in providing the infrastructure for those data driven websites.