I've been repeating myself a lot lately: "It's not about technology. It's not about technology." Nevertheless, I find myself being drawn back into the technology frequently, and last week I spent a day at the Barcelona Drupalcon, surrounded by a bunch of really smart guys (mostly guys, anyway) half my age.
I was "in the neighborhood" because BDZV, the German federation of newspaper publishers, had asked me to speak at an annual meeting. I hopped a cheap flight to BCN and slipped in a day at the four-day Drupal conference.
If ever you're in doubt about the power of the community-driven open-source development process, I'd encourage you to take in a conference like that one. There were 492 people registered for more than 80 sessions, and all of the sessions were nominated and chosen by the attendees in an open online process in the weeks before the conference (in other words, applying open process to the conference itself).
As you might expect, the hallways were full of high-energy conversations, and many of the developers skipped an evening or two of partying to write code in marathon sessions in apartments and hotels scattered around the city.
I appeared on a panel discussing participative news sites, probably the least technical panel at the whole show, and the room was packed. My panel was organized by our own Ken Rickard, who was involved in half a dozen other presentations through the course of the conference. Ken was vacationing with his wife in Spain and performing, as usual, above and beyond the call of duty.
Online journalism is not a matter of technology, but we need to use technology to do it. Tapping into a global community of thousands of really smart developers is a powerful way to get there.