New Open Source Site for IFAT

by Michael Smith

World Fair Trade Day will, for 2009, have a major new multilingual, interactive, multimedia website.

Ethical communications agency, Host Universal, has built the site, on behalf of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT), and has been using for it the open source content management system Joomla!

Users will be able to register and manage their profiles, plan events, post videos, take part in discussion forums and comment on blog and news articles, as well as post content to their favourite social networking sites.

Plans are in place to extend the social networking capabilities of the site over the next few months, to allow users to link to each other, form groups and exchange private messages as well as invite friends to the site and send e-cards. The site will help organisations to plan and manage their World Fair Trade Day events on 9 May 2009.

The Joomla! site uses a variety of social networking extensions and runs on Apache on a Xen virtual private server with Debian as the operating system. The use of open source software has allowed the site to be developed rapidly and to a tight budget.

Open Source software is a great way to go with such sites and not just with sites but also for ethical businesses and charities in the form of desktops, servers, laptops, and operations in general.

Open Source does not have a license fee attached to it, especially not the operating systems such as Linux Ubuntu and the likes of Open Office and other items of software.

While it is true that we should not go to Open Source Software primarily for the fact that, in the main, all of it is free, it, nevertheless, whether for individuals or organizations, and especially here those in the third sector, the charity and non-profit sector, where money that would have to be used for the licenses for proprietary software can then be used much better in places of need.

© M Smith (Veshengro), September 2008