A quick jaunt over the pacific and back, has given me some new perspective on what exactly is going on in the rest of the world as far as web development is concerned. Having just gotten back from Korea, I find I see it through a different colored lens this time. This was my second trip to that wonderful country and the trip, overall, was MUCH more enjoyable than my first, but I noticed many things that I found quite startling. In that regard it's amazing to see a country so thoroughly drinking the Microsoft Coolaid. There is NO Firefox in that country, all the major website providers are creating activeX based products, and as such, the default assumption is that everyone is using Windows and everyone is using Internet Explorer... we (the Drupal community) have GOT to figure out how to change this (not just for Korea, but any major country in this same situation) and I think the first real step (from our end) has to be a Korean translation for Drupal. I'm working on it with some Koreans, but I don't speak it natively, so it's slow work and I'm sure there are others better qualified than myself.
I attended the Drupal in China session while at Drupalcon Boston but nothing prepared me for just how little open source seemed to be used. Typically we'd find some Firefox users in a crowd of just about any number. We do a quite a few sessions weekly preaching about Drupal and Open Source and in any one of those sessions I might find one or two Firefox users, but Korea doesn't seem to know anything about it, and even if they did, since the largest producers of the most commonly used websites are all using activeX controls for many things, Firefox is largely out of the loop.
With all of that in mind I've spent a bit of time thinking about other open source projects, primarily Firefox, and how they've been handling things like this. For example, Mozilla has organized evangelical groups in many places to raise awareness about Firefox and open source and specifically I'm thinking about the one in Japan, but I have to wonder if Drupal might not be able to organize something similar, perhaps in a more informal fashion. This could (and should) obviously be done at home (where ever that may be) as well as abroad (again... where ever that might be) but I think we, as a community need to start considering the ramifications of doing such a thing. This has to be something larger than the typical DUG though... perhaps the DUGs themselves could choose to organize such things in their local areas, and maybe the community surrounding Drupal could begin to develop some workable tools to help out in this evangelical process.
My suggestions may be a little off for where Drupal is today, but I can't help but feeling we need to get this ball rolling in some regard. I'd love to hear comments on these thoughts, and if you happen to be located in Korea, give me a yell as I'd love to talk to you directly to hear your personal experiences with Drupal or any other open source software in that area.