Our company has been developing community websites since 2006. Our interest began when we provided webmaster services to a BIA, using the Bridgelin web platform. From there, we expanded our work into other community websites, which gave us a chance to develop ideas on the service needs of website administrators and their membership. While we have worked with various website platforms, we were drawn to work closely with Nabernet-Bridgelin, the pioneer in engineering powerful community-run websites.
Under the leadership of Tony Bolla of Toronto, the Bridgelin platform blazed a trail in developing relational databases that could empower organizations such as BIA's and Chambers of Commerce to get the word out efficiently. We found the community building concepts embedded in the technology was both visionary and technically years ahead of its time. It also had a distinctly Canadian flavour of fair play, which encourages a level playing field and community engagement on many levels.
The Bridgelin web platform was intended to empower non-technical people within community organizations to participate in the emerging digital economy and democratize the sharing of information. The ease of use of the Bridgelin content management system made community building communication accessible. Of course, CMS systems such as WordPress have caught on to the benefits of accessible web editing interfaces, but even today they are left in the dust in terms of database capabilities. The Bridgelin platform was designed from the ground up to be used by community associations. It was never an after thought application of technology. For that reason, the platform continues to reflect the real needs of community websites.
Since 2015 we have administered the Bridgelin platform on behalf of Nabernet Inc. We were encouraged to work on the "next big thing" to re-code the concepts and take the vision forward. Bridgelin founder Tony Bolla decided it was time to pass the keys to tomorrow's technology to RBN. He has since been able to refocus his efforts on other community building initiatives to help knit our communities together. Best wishes to Tony, as he blazes new trails!
We have inherited the vision, and are taking it to new levels. The foundation is knowing what the customer needs. We went to work on rebuilding the platform from scratch, and now have a modernized, mobile friendly Drupal version of community software that is light years ahead of anything else out there. Drupal is a powerful and stable software coding platform that is used by the Government of Canada, and the White House. It is very robust.
In addition to that, we have added to the vision our business building expertise in delivering needed services for end users to prosper in today's digital economy.