Open Source Program Of The Year

Summary:It's Scoop. Scoop was created by Kuro5hin, and it might have remained obscure but for one key "customer," a man named Markos Moulitas.

It's Scoop. Scoop was created by Kuro5hin, and it might have remained obscure but for one key "customer," a man named Markos Moulitas. Markos switched his own site, DailyKos, to Scoop in the spring, from Movable Type. He made the decision in October 2003 and it took time to implement. If John Kerry wins the Presidency on Tuesday, this will be seen, in retrospect, as a key moment in the campaign. That's because Scoop scales, and Scoop is interactive. Scoop has features that let its users take control of it. It is built from the ground-up, not as a blogging program, but as a community-building program. While DailyKos is often called a blog, it's not. It's a community, built with community software. Anyone can create the equivalent of a "blog entry," called a diary. Anyone, upon reading a diary, can "vote it up," creating a recommendation that other users act on by reading the diary entry. When an entry becomes popular enough it becomes "recommended," and sometimes it is "featured" in the center column of the main page. Diary writers have the same control over their posts as the site managers. They can add graphics, they can add links. They can highlight blocks of text in gray so their entries look professional.But what has really set Scoop apart, over the last few months, is its scaling ability. As the election has drawn closer, millions of people have "rushed to the rail," to DailyKos, and the site has seldom let them down. Moulitas and his staff have added servers, they've added bandwidth, they've sometimes turned off features for a time, but they've kept operating.As a result DailyKos has the circulation of a major metropolitan newspaper. (Kuro5hin says it now gets 5-10 million "hits" per day.) DailyKos breaks stories. DailyKos has been able to direct contributions to candidates even more effectively than Howard Dean's own organization, which still runs Movable Type. In a political sense the success of DailyKos will be determined next Tuesday. From a business and technology sense the story has already been told.

Topics: Enterprise Software


Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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