Pirillo Starts Large Scale Community CMS Project

Chris Pirillo has announced a new, large scale open source CMS project that aims to “de-geekify” website tools (announcement video above).

The project will be built on the open source Drupal framework:

“For the geeks: Drupal has so much power in its core, and enough fantastic community-contributed modules, that I think it’s time to assemble an Install Profile, complete with beautiful (accessible, microformat’ed, high quality) themes, pre-set Views for any Web community to either install on their own or have hosted at any given Web host that supports Drupal with optimizations. The benefits to you should be more than obvious….And I don’t mean just the framework for the community platform, I mean… like, it’s ready to go. “It’s not the features, it’s the implementation.”

I chatted with Pirillo after the announcement. What he’s looking to achieve is delivering a multi-faceted, open source, easy to use end CMS. To break that down further: imagine installing a package on your web host that immediately delivered Digg style functionality, or photo sharing, a community forum, a blog, a social network ala Facebook, or even a clone of the growing number of FriendFeed style sites, or a combination of all or any of them. Here’s the important difference to existing solutions: imagine that you wouldn’t have to touch a piece of code to activate the various aspects. Imagine that a color change made in one module automatically applies across all module or as specified, without the need (again) to touch code.

The project would also be committed to best practice in DataPortability with OpenID, OAuth and even support for OpenSocial:

The bottom line is freedom and flexibility – the freedom to choose, the freedom to grow, the freedom to leave (and take your profile data with you, or easily transfer it to another system). The flexibility to add features that pivot around the user or groups of users – whatever new tool may come along.

Pirillo is committed to building the community and project completely open source and without undue influence or commercial constraint, although he is willing to talk to potential partners.

Adam Kalsey has been assembling the project and Pirillo is looking for those interested to explore the idea some more and even come on board. A first release of an activity stream for Drupal is available here. It’s a noble idea with a perhaps insanely wide scope, but as Chris idealistically said to me tonight: “The deliverables must be realistic, but if you’re going to dream – dream big, and make sure the world benefits.”

See our coverage of Crowd Fusion, another upcoming CMS system, being built by former Weblogs, Inc. cofounder Brian Alvey.