Open Source Initiative Launches WordPress News Blog – WP Tavern


The Open Source Initiative (OSI), a public benefit corporation and responsible for the Open Source Definition, has launched a news blog on WordPress. In 2021, OSI’s Board of Directors appointed Stefano Maffulli as its first Executive Director, and he’s leading the organization in revamping its web presence.

“One of OSI’s main goals in 2022 is to strengthen our communication channels,” Maffulli said. “We are improving the perception of OSI as a reliable and trustworthy organization. OSI did not have a regular publishing schedule before, nor a content plan. Now we’ve established a regular cadence, posting at least once a week (often more), commenting on recent news like a victory against a patent troll or open source licensing court rulings, featuring our sponsors and offering opinions on topics of interest to the community at large. This is a starting point to affirm OSI as a unifier of conversations between the different souls of open source communities.

The blog was launched on a subdomain of the opensource.org site, which uses Drupal 7, self-hosted on a droplet from Digital Ocean. It is also tightly integrated with CiviCRM to manage member subscriptions, individual donations, sponsorship tracking and newsletter delivery.

As Drupal 7 approaches end of life in November 2022, the team plans to move everything to WordPress. They explored managed hosting with Drupal, but found it to be more expensive and also asked them to migrate to a newer version of Drupal. Themes and plugins designed for D7 are not compatible with D9+, so they didn’t see any advantage in terms of time or simplicity.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the staff to run a self-hosted Drupal installation and no one on staff really knows how to use it,” Maffulli said. “Tasks such as creating landing pages have proven to be very time consuming for us.

“With money, knowledge and time constraints and an urgent need to increase our posting rate, to increase the visibility of the organization online, we decided to migrate the website in two phases: first , we are migrating the blog in order to have a new look with the improved publishing schedule. This phase is over – the blog is on managed hosting offered by DreamHost. The second phase is the migration of the rest of the site: it is in course with the help of Automattic and will take a few months.”

Although Maffulli wanted to avoid creating a blog under a subdomain and preferred to use the old URL (opensource.org/blog…), mixing self-hosted Drupal with a managed WordPress site was not a case of common use with simple solutions. If the blog’s new design looks familiar, that’s because it was inspired by WP Tavern’s new design.

The Open Source Initiative’s New WordPress Blog

“Once we decided to go with a subdomain, launching the new site only took a few days: I knew I wanted to have a simple site, minimal plugins, no page builders and a very clean design based on WP Tavern, which I’m a fan of,” he said.

Since the tavern theme was not yet on GitHub, Maffulli hired a developer who used WordPress’ new full site editing features to create a simple child theme based on the default Twenty-Twenty theme. Two. He said he was happy that supervising the project gave him the opportunity to learn the basics of ESF.

Some OSI staff were already familiar with WordPress, which contributed to the decision to use the software. The wide range of features and third-party integrations were also a factor.

“We rely heavily on content calendar solutions that allow managing calendar posts and social media promotions from a single tool,” Maffulli said.

“We are addicted to CoSchedule. This tool is far from perfect, mainly because it is not Open Source. But it’s so incredibly powerful and convenient for a small team like ours. We follow our publication schedule and our tasks with CoSchedule, which makes it possible not to miss anything: each blog post has its attachment on social networks, as well as the newsletter, which becomes a blog post to archive. Soon we will add podcasts.

Maffulli said he wanted the WordPress media library to provide a more standardized way to store and track copyright information, such as author, source, and license.

“I think this unnecessarily exposes WP users to copyright infringement claims where trolls could successfully threaten people who may not have kept their records clean,” he said. . “This is something to think about for future versions of Instant Images and similar plugins.”

The OSI team has chosen to keep comments closed on posts at this time, as they do not have the ability to properly moderate comments.

“I have a lot of experience running online communities and I know it can be time consuming,” Maffulli said. “We just don’t have staff, but we are raising funds to solve this problem.”

The OSI is also looking to create a way to give its members the privilege to comment. This would require a way to integrate authentication with CiviCRM to access member records.

“While we build staff and upgrade opensource.org, I hope to configure IndieWeb Community Services in Voices of Open Source,” Maffulli said. “This will allow comments made on various social networks to be aggregated into blog.opensource.org.”

The new Voices of Open Source blog began by introducing the OSI Affiliate Network, which has 80 organizations including Mozilla, Wikimedia, Linux Foundation, OpenUK, and more.

“We would like to share OSI’s unique position to shine a light on the open source stories, challenges and successes of companies and people around the world,” said Maffulli. OSI is in communication with its affiliates to inform them of this opportunity and aims to open up guest posting on the blog to individual members of the wider community in the future.

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