According to Merriam-Webster, suffix –ocracy, or –cracy, is wrapped up with political connotation. From social classes, government styles, or social constructs –cracy is a suffix for organizing societies and leadership forms. So what does –cracy have to do with websites and Drupal?
Well, Angela Byron gave a talk at DrupalCon Denver in March 2012 and in her presentation, Byron described the Drupal community and model as a “Do-Ocracy.” In a second we will talk more about the Drupal Community Do-Ocracy. But first, let’s answer this important question for those who are wondering: “What is the Drupal Community and why does it matter?” Drupal is an open source content management system that we use to make websites that thrive. Because Drupal code is open source, people from all over the world are contributing to the Drupal package. There is no proprietary information because Drupal is owned by the Community itself.
The Drupal Community allows us to share and benefit from the wisdom of the crowds. And the crowd’s aggregate knowledge is a big deal whether its code based or organizational or whatever! There is a place for each person’s strength within the Drupal Community. Byron says that a contributor just needs these three general traits: 1) ability to identify issues, 2) ability to see solutions, and 3) ability to make those solutions happen. That is really broad, but it encompasses the full variety of contributors, not just the code monkeys.
So back to the Do-Ocracy. Byron explains that in a Do-Ocracy, those working on a task get to make choices about how that task gets done. Others can provide opinions but the people actually working on an issue are at the helm. The person doing is leading. Thus Do-Ocracy.
But also within the Do-Ocracy idea of the Drupal Community, if no one does anything, nothing gets done. (Einstein moment on that one. But it is true!) Because Drupal is open source, folks have the access to make improvements. It is no good just complaining, you need to get your feet wet especially with issues that matter to you. But here is the beautiful thing: the Drupal Community is here to help! There is no “them” within the Drupal Community, only us!