The news is significant as it reflects the interest in open-source alternatives to the proprietary microblogging services that currently dominate the market in the consumer and enterprise communities.
According to their web site, StatusNet makes sites that use open-source software to create and distribute open content. The company also provides professional support contracts and customization for companies that use StatusNet software on their own servers for intranet or Internet microblogging.
identi.ca, the open network micro-blogging service is based on the StatusNet tool.
Phillips, who is an avid microblogger (@rejon) writes on the StatusNet blog:
I'm super enthused about the direction Status.Net is heading as a free network service, as a business, and as a leader in software and culture with a focus locally on niche communities on scaling internationally (more on that soon). Right now, we are working very hard towards some big releases slightly under the radar with the push towards Status.net hosted services and Status.Net 1.0 software.
Phillips says he will help with some large projects Status.Net is building, including an upcoming relaunch. He will be there to help ease some of Evan's work load so he can be freed up to be "uber-CEO rather than having to wear 50 different hats."
According to the bio on his blog, Phillips worked from 2005 to 2008 building the community and business development strategy for Creative Commons. Phillips "worked with hundreds of businesses through Creative Commons 50+ international jurisdictions to integrate Creative Commons licensing, and managed globally successful projects such as ccSalons, the Case Studies, Metrics, and CC+ projects. He recently completed the special project, the Public Domain Wiki, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation from Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation, Access Copyright, and Internet Archive.
We expect some major pushes from the open-source microblogging community. Phillips arrival is a sure sign that major efforts are underway to make StatusNet a leader in this realm.