After finishing a 20-year, hall-of-fame career with the most storied team in baseball history, Derek Jeter took a well-deserved two days off. We don’t know what he did with all that time, but we do know what he did next. The Yankees’ last man ever to wear the #2 jersey launched The Players’ Tribune – a new online journal for fans written by the athletes themselves, “unfiltered, honest and unique.”
Jeter is by no means alone in this endeavor. He carries with him a powerhouse of sports-reporting talent: the former editorial director of ESPN Publishing, Gary Hoening, the former photography director of Sports Illustrated, Maureen Cavanagh, and all the creative and financial muscle of Legendary Entertainment – producers of films like The Dark Knight.
His first move into online publishing was derekjeter.com, a site designed to “give fans the chance to get closer to one of the game’s top stars.” The site was developed by the interactive media arm of Major League Baseball. The site appears to have been developed with proprietary technology. It is not responsive (meaning it doesn’t resize itself depending on the size of the viewport) and, worst of all, it is not mobile. Proprietary software is often like that – a box that, once in, it’s hard to get out of. Maybe it’s the monopoly mindset that would attract MLB to that platform. Whatever the reason, this would not happen to the Tribune.
Legendary could well afford to use proprietary software for its servers and databases and applications. Derek Jeter alone could finance that. But they have chosen to build The Players’ Tribune on the foundation of open source technology instead. This is the way of FaceBook and Twitter. It is the tried-and-true way of the internet.
We know from examining the source code that the content management system is WordPress and that undoubtedly means that the LAMP stack is in play –Linux OS to power the servers, Apache to serve and control web pages, the MySQL relational database management system for what will eventually be massive storage requirements, and the PHP programming language to serve as the framework to control it all. So why go open source?
Announcing the Better Way
When all is said and done, we know that the culture of open source provides us with technology that is by its very nature responsive, secure, highly scalable, customizable and extremely cost effective. Open source “kills” its own technology before it can become a legacy drone and embarrass itself on a smartphone or tablet. With thousands of skilled developers and millions of savvy users, this technology evolves daily and has leveled the playing field for those willing to take the time to “learn how to use it.” And again, Jeter finds himself not alone.
Visit The Players’ Tribune.