I know first hand that one of the biggest costs associated with the traditional media and their online presence is the platform they currently have their websites in. These are high dollar systems that require countless hours developing.
One way the media can curb some costs, yet keep up with an ever changing world in online presence is to drop these old systems. Instead they should look at open source platforms, and the one I highly recommend is Drupal. That’s what powers this blog, as well as Crooks and Liars. You can also add the biggest name in satire news to the list of Drupal powered sites – The Onion.
Recently one of Europe’s largest media organizations just made the switch:
Pierre-Jean Duvivier, Head of WebFactory at Edipresse, shared some remarkable data points with me. Edipresse is one of Europe's biggest media and communications companies. It is a traditional print company that publishes more than 200 titles, including some leading European newspapers (i.e. Le Matin, Le Temps, and 24 heures).
Pierre-Jean told me that they converted 11 newspaper and magazine websites to Drupal in 18 months. The reason for adopting Drupal was that it is cheaper, faster, and more stable than their old content management system.
Today, some of Edipresse's biggest media properties are on a shared Drupal platform that delivers 30 million pages a month. Since they switched to Drupal, they cut their global IT cost by 75% and grew their online traffic by 220%. On average, it takes their internal Drupal team 40 days to migrate an existing newspaper site to Drupal, so I think we can expect to see more Edipress sites moving to Drupal.
With a minimal amount of work and hardly no programming one can transform a vanilla Drupal install into a robust community oriented site offering things like comments, user ratings, post sharing, image galleries, blogs and video sharing. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Given the power and extreme effectiveness in which Drupal operates, these companies would end up saving tons in terms of staff and infrastructure. They would also benefit from the much desired features of user interaction that the web is built on today.
It makes good business sense for these companies to look at such a switch. In turn they could contribute back some work to the project(s) they are using and then everyone benefits. Think of it as a partnership for the future.