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The Music Industry's Going Drupal? Have You? DrupalCampLA Is In One Week

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There was a time when all top-of-the-music-chart bands had killer flash websites, showing off their graphic and motion skills and competing with other record labels' fancy webpages. But there were problems. Flash became more about gimics and "cool tricks" than actually letting the fans access the information in a timely and easy manner. Not only that, for the record labels, flash sites are expensive to update, time consuming to update, and not accessible to all internet users.

Today, companies like Warner Brothers and even the Los Angeles Unified School District are starting to switch to a different technology called Drupal, an open source content management system (CMS).

If you don't know what open source is, it goes something like this: it's a free, open software that isn't owned or solely controlled by any one person, company, or organization, so virtually anyone can access the source code, play with it, create new things with it, or contribute back core improvements to it. According to Crystal Williams of Sisu, Inc. and lead organizer of next week's free DrupalCampLA, "this means that software created in this manner is not only free, it's also gone through much more scrutiny than your average commercially developed code. Think 'Wikipedia', but extend that to the other sorts of applications you use every day."

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Jacob Redding of adds in that "closed source" software like Microsoft Word is a "phenomenon [that] really only applies to the software industry. For example when you buy a car you put in new seats, a new stereo, change the engine and modify it until it is "your car". The same goes with almost everything we buy. Once you pay for it you can do whatever you'd like with it at your own risk." With a Microsoft product, good luck making improvements on your own.

Drupal exemplifies the best qualities of open source and some say it's the best option around for developing websites. It has become so popular, it's been hard to come by an expert with the time to work on your project. "The biggest problem," writes Kent Nichols of Ask A Ninja and Metroblogging Los Angeles "is that everyone who knows Drupal is in high demand, and there isn't a lot of good, cheap training options available."

Enter DrupalCampLA, which takes place next weekend at the AOL Beverly Hills campus. The gathering, in part sponsored by Warner Brothers Records, AOL and other media companies, is a conference (or in the tradition of BarCamp, an "unconference") and is free for Developers, designers and site admins (non-technical, beginners) to get their learn on and how to live and breathe the beauty that is Drupal.

September 8-9, 2007

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AOL Beverly Hills campus
331 N. Maple Dr.
Los Angeles, California 90210

Photos (top, bottom) by Kris Krug via Flickr