Open Source and Local Economies - Meet Ranko Marinic
by Jeffrey A. McGuire
Here is one more conversation I had at Drupal Camp Alpe-Adria in April, 2013. Ranko Marinic is from Croatia and has some great perspectives. He works as an IT consultant with a wide range of technologies and with Drupal "by night". He is studying economics and has become interested in the economic effects on local communities of implementing open source software. Ranko also talks about the moment he really started believing in open source as a social movement.
Local Economies and Open Source
The City of Munich adopted Libre Office and Linux (see below for links to more information). Part of this story inspired Ranko's thesis topic: While migrating to Libre Office, some bugs were discovered. The City of Munich "hired a local development team to fix it for them and in the end (I presume) pushed the bug fixes to the Libre Office community. I am interested in looking into how the fact that they hired local people to do development basically preserves the money in the Munich community, the German community, and in the European community. I would like to see if that is true in the first place, and actually see how big of an economic impact is made by keeping that money in the smaller, local community through the use of open source."
When Open Source got real
"There was a case study that Acquia published about the New York State Senate. They explained how they went into the redesign and one of the major points was that it wasn't only the New York State Senate, but also that every senator had a sub-site within that installation. Every senator had some guideline on the content, but could also develop some custom modules and themes for themselves to make it their own. The 'punchline' for me was when I read that the whole project was organised so that there was a list presented to each senator of accredited vendors that could provide them with custom development, consulting, and theming; all within the Drupal world." To Ranko, "It was a proof that all of these competing companies also look out for each other. So it's not the classic Neo-Liberal, capitalistic competition; it's 'we need to grow and other people need to grow because that keeps us strong.'"