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Open Source Vs. Proprietary?

I’ve recently been looking into a lot of open source web-based technology and I’ve become
more and more impressed with the solutions. Most of the Web 2.0
technology is built using open source software or platforms of one type or another.  Open source solutions can be particularly appealing to small businesses and nonprofits, primarily because they are free.

There are basically  three types of open source products: 1) Actual software like Linux or OpenOffice, 2)  scripting languages like PHP, or web services or applications like WordPress.  Despite my previously discussed gripe about the lack of documentation, I can give you several reasons to consider using open source:

  1. It’s free.
  2. The premise of open source is that by taking advantage of a
    global community of developers, and because the code is available to
    anyone, you can more quickly create stable software and more quickly
    identify problems/bugs/glitches and more quickly fix them. And, because
    you have a global pool of talent that is contributing plug-ins and
    extensions back to a given project, the features and functions are
    expanded a great deal at the same great price.
  3. The open source Web platforms I’ve looked at and/or worked with a
    extremely sophisticated and in most cases, match commercial products
    feature for feature.
  4. Open source just looks like the future to me. Who would’ve
    thought, but it is pure communism! If people are willing to give such
    sophisticated solutions away for free, businesses are going to adopt
    them and there’s no way commercial products will be able to compete.
    I’m not suggesting you switch over without a thorough consideration of your needs and capabilities, but there’s a reason Google uses the
    Linux operating system.
  5. In many cases, open source offers you an out-of-the-box solution
    so it makes no sense to try and build one from scratch when you’ve got
    one already available for free.
  6. I’ve been increasingly seeing more and better open source Web
    platform solutions written in PHP than stuff written in
    Microsoft’s development languages like ASP.

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

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