Forum OpenACS Q&A: Repost of an RFP request for a CSM Site

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Posted by Caroline Meeks on
I saw this on the NOSI mailing list ( and I thought an
OACS company would be a good match:

Hi All,

SEIU, the largest union in the United States, is looking to hire a
vendor to build us an Extranet using Open Source from the ground up.
So far, I've been having trouble finding enough bidders; most of the
usual suspects in the nonprofit world don't do open source.  Does
anyone have some suggestions?  I've attached our RFP to give you a
sense of what we are looking for.

So far, our problem has been that most bidders have either:
* wanted to use Cold Fusion or some other proprietary system--by far
the biggest problem
* wanted to use Perl, Python, or PhP rather than building off an
existing applications platform such as Zope or Midguard; we don't
want to reinvent the wheel
* been a one or two-person shop that couldn't provide enough service
for an organization as large as we are; we use one-person shops for
lots of our projects, but this this sytem will be supporting staff
from 250 locals around the country.

Any suggestions?  If you know anyone who'd be interested, please feel
free to forward this e-mail to them and suggest that they contact
John Westenberg ( or myself (
immediately.  If at all possible we want to get the proposals back by
May 31st -- and since all we are asking for is a basic robust content
management system, they shouldn't be too hard to do.  Any help would
be greatly appreciated.


Anders Schneiderman

Information Manager

SEIU International


Posted by Rafael Calvo on
If all the OACS shops are too busy to take this project it would be interesting to find out as well.

I mean, if there is more demand of people that knows OACS, than the number working today, we should be able to use that as a way of attracting more developers. THe rest of the industry seems very stale!.

Posted by defunct defunct on
I'm not so sure whether a shortage of willing companies is so much the issue but rather the difficulty in connecting to the two together.

I feel its often a shortcoming of open source communities that they become overly focussed on the technical aspects without paying similar attention to necessary commercial practices that help establish and market the great idea and products within the community.

I'd very much welcome and be prepared to participate in any effort in this direction. Perhaps this is something that the commercial companies who rely on OACS (such as ourselves) should focus on and help create a better channel between supply and demand? And in tandem with that should we all, collaboratively, be considering how we market and communicate this excellent product? After all its a powerful message, a complete community development where we collaborate no just on code but on strategy, marketing and raising its profile. What a great way to get other, non technical resources from various organisations involved with the project.

Thoughts anyone? Perhaps this is a thread in its own right?

Posted by Don Baccus on
There's been some previous discussion, and currently there's discussion in some of the threads regarding dotLRN (Michael Feldstein's upcoming article won't focus on tech details, he's not a detailed tech, not in the least!).

So I don't think you need to worry about interest in, or understand of, the need.

Best would be threads raising specific ideas for advocacy, communication, and the "M" word.

Maybe we should have an "OpenACS Advocacy" forum, just as we'll shortly have a "dotLRN development" forum?  One of the OpenOffice forums is baldly named "Marketing", so there's at least one Open Source group that's not afraid of the word.  They're out to make a dent in MicroSoft's bottom line ...

Posted by defunct defunct on
I agree..... need a volunteer to administrate? :)

Not sure how much response there's be though... I think i've found with the testing that resources are always scarce, and if they're scare for technical efforts, I may be facing un uphill struggle finding volunteers outside of that..

But, if you want ot discuss this further, more than happy to. As I said I;d be happy to offer what assistance I  can.

Posted by Rafael Calvo on
We had a number of business oriented discussions, including This one where we had agreed on a Business (or maybe advocacy forum).
I think that with the release of 4.5, dotLRN and a number of papers it is good timing to show this "new" face.