A little while ago we made the decision here at OSTraining.com to alter how our name is shown to visitors.
We changed "Open Source Training" to "OSTraining" throughout our site. The main reason? In our user testing and customer interactions we constantly found that people were confused about the phrase "Open Source". We kept on hearing comments like these:
That left us with two options:
We went with option 2. We realised that visitors need to know that we're great trainers first and foremost. The fact that we work with open source can wait.
The thing is, we're not alone in this. I went to look at the websites for a lot of big Open Source companies and nearly all of them mention "open source" far less than they once did. I picked five companies as examples. Here are some screenshots from archive.org compared with the 2012 version of their sites:
RedHat.com in 2004: Four Mentions
RedHat.com in 2012: One Mention
Here's the single mention, tucked underneath a menu:
SugarCRM.com in 2008: 18 Mentions
I gave up pointing out all of the examples on this archived page:
SugarCRM.com in 2012: One Mention
Alfresco.com in 2006: Eight Mentions
Alfresco.com in 2012: Zero Mentions
MySQL.com in 2003: Fourteen Mentions
There were so many that I've only marked those at the top of the homepage.
MySQL.com in 2012: One Mention
Acquia.com in 2008: Four Mentions
Apologies for the low quality of this particular archive.org snapshot.
Acquia.com in 2012: One Mention
I wonder if "open source" is disappearing for one or more of these reasons?
What do you think? Is it a good thing or a bad thing that the word "open source" is used less by companies relying that rely on it?