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How Libre Software as a Service can save us all

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https://events.drupal.org/baltimore2017/bofs/how-libre-software-service-can-save-us-all

Drupal is—as always—better and more successful than ever, but Drupal is threatened from two sides. On the one, we risk discouraging new contributors who face an ever more difficult ascent, choking off our own lifeblood. On the other, proprietary platforms increasingly squeeze out custom web development through sheer economies of scale.

Retreating into Drupal's new fortress, the enterprise, aside from leaving many of us behind, doesn't change these dynamics. Adding the economic model of software as a service can make Drupal the best choice for small organizations. Instead of waiting for proprietary SaaS companies to slowly add features and come eat our lunch, we can swoop in and eat theirs. At the same time this provides many more people with the traditional entryway to web development and Drupal: hacking around with HTML and clicking together functionality.

So long as we continue to adhere to the principles of Free Software, it's only going to make the Drupal software and community better. And if we organize SaaS-providing businesses as platform cooperatives, we'll be putting the people of the world in control of the software that controls our lives, which, in an age of flying killer robots, may be almost as important as the health and happiness of the Drupal community.

Let's talk about how we can help Drupal SaaS, like Open Social (already in operation) and in particular Drutopia, save us all!  (If you're looking at this before Tuesday, check out the Drutopia BoF.)