SourceForge ‘s Ohloh Acquisition and Beyond

Last week, while on a call with Jon Sobel – SourceForge Inc. Group President – I congratulated Jon for SourceForge’s acquisition of Ohloh, and he gave me some insights.

Ohloh serves developers and open source users with good data and insights, and we are enthusiastic about this acquisition. We see a number of ways that working together will be good for Open Source. Ohloh’s skill in collecting and sharing data helps SourceForge share insight about Open Source projects from other forges, it helps us offer more of a developer focus in addition to our project focus, and it speeds our ability to combine insights about Open Source activity from different sources. We are looking forward to working with Ohloh and improving the breadth and quality of SourceForge as a true open source platform.

I share his excitment for the acquistion: Ohloh adds a great value proposition to SourceForge, something I have already been writing about talking of developers’ recruitment. But there is more to a story started about one year ago.

SourceForge is ‘the’ open source collaboration powerhouse. Ohloh data and metrics and SourceForge development environments are complementary in nature. Most important, perhaps, are the (potential) implications of the newtork effect. A greater and wider value proposition can make all SourceForge’s stakeholders happier, or at least most of them.

Plastering ads all over Ohloh won’t be a good idea, while exploiting revenue streams from Ohloh data services seems more appropriate. Let’s see how Ohloh acquisition will fit into the big picture now that SourceForge is about to split into two different experiences (software development, software consumption).

Sourceforgers live in interesting times..

[Disclosure: I am advisor to SourceForge]