Back in February, I posted that I’d be moving on from full-time involvement with Ma.gnolia. A minimal amount of involvement was expected to help Larry on side-projects and minor contributions to Ma.gnolia’s ongoing operation. But that situation ended up being surprisingly fleeting.
At SxSW in March, we started talking about Ma.gnolia’s long-term future. As it was, the service required ongoing balancing of a small team keeping up with a very large database and engaged member base, the sometimes-turbulent nature of web app operations, and the overarching need to better capitalize on business potential without losing a fun place to do R&D on new web techs.
The plan: make the core Ma.gnolia application an open-source product and run a service providing hosted accounts with value-adding and customization services as revenue channels. More than just opening the doors to what’s already there, Ma.gnolia 2 will be a ground-up rewrite and re-take on the way the service works, structured specifically to make numerous community and feature configurations possible. Moreover, it throws our support fully into the open-source tradition that’s made important parts of Ma.gnolia possible.
To share the plan, Larry took to the stage at Gnomedex 8 with Tara Hunt. There they talked about Ma.gnolia’s history with open technologies, and announced that we’re going to take that trend all the way. As I’m a touch behind on my writing, I can point to some headlines that you might have seen a few weeks ago in the social web media (or is that social media web?)…
- Profy takes a look at the business strategy and how they interact with key aspects of the architecture.
- John Eckman at the open parenthesis blog gives a solid and detailed overview of the announcement, and pulls some good stuff out of the charter documents.
- The Mashable scoop you may have already seen.
- And Marshall’s ReadWriteWeb article that was read widely.
And so we come to my belated follow-up announcement, which is that I’ll be working extensively in Ma.gnolia 2 to re-design features and to make a space for the open product to live. It’s the first project that I’ve worked on with open-source as such a central focus, so I’ll be looking for advice along the way. I’ll also be writing about pieces of M2 and the overall project in more detail between now and December. It’s an amazing project to round out 2008, and I’m truly excited for the chance to build on what we’ve learned in round one.