If there’s one cool thing that open source platforms have done, it is to encourage collaboration and participation in building new platforms on top of existing ones. Just recently, WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg said that “Open Soure is about people, not technology“.
According to Mashable’s Ben Parr:
…He (Mullenweg) didn’t build the software from the ground-up, but looked to the open source software that he was using at that time to blog. That software was b2/cafelog. When he and his partner Ryan Boren realized that it was abandoned, they decided to build on top of it to create a better open source blog software, the beginnings of WordPress.
Building on this, Tim Akinbo recently started discussions on Google Buzz about an attempt to create a local open source platform that could serve either as a social bookmarking site or Reddit-like app or a social question and answers site for the Nigerian tech community.
In case you don’t know, Reddit is a source for what’s new and popular on the web where users provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk.
According to Tim, “The project has been dubbed orombo – inspired by a song and it exists on github as and there’s also a discussion group…Github is the repository being used for the development of the platform.”
The developers are planning to use Django, which is a framework of the Python programming language. Interestingly, Seun Osewa of Nairaland has also volunteered to help in building the platform. In January 2009, he built Nairalist.com using Python.
Other Nigerian developers that have shown interest in the Project ‘Orombo’ are Damilare Onajole, Ayodeji Aladejebi (financially), and Buea-based developer, Mambe Churchill Nanje, co-founder of Naijaborn.
Update: Had a quick chat with Damilare who likes my funky design on the tee-shirt, but says ‘Orombo’ would likely come with an orange look and feel since the Yoruba word actually means ‘Orange fruit’.
“You know in the olden days, children play and learn under the orange tree, hence the song”, says Dami. He’s asking you to recite the song while they wait for the project plan.
I agree with Matt Mullenweg when he said “Open Source is About People, Not Technology”. With open source, developers can actually build on existing platforms while engaging with a community of people interested in technology.
Personally, I think that a real-time question and answer community about tech, web, startups and social media will fly. It could grow to become a major resource for real-time news and information about anything tech-related.
If managed well and eventually launched, Project Orombo will be the first project successful launched through open source collaboration and participation from the Nigerian tech community.
I’m wondering what the platform would be called when it’s eventually launched as it seems orombo.com has been snatched by someone else since 2005. It’ll be interesting to see how this project develops and I’ll be watching the conversations around the platform.
What are your own thoughts?
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