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Updated: 15 hours 44 min ago

American Councils for International Education

27 July 2018 - 9:11pm
Completed Drupal site or project URL: https://www.americancouncils.org

Since 1974, American Councils for International Education (ACIE) has been making international education accessible for all. And today, the organization has built a global community of 85 countries and 89,000 alumni through cultural and academic exchanges, research assessments, language immersion programs, and professional development. ACIE’s alumni include everyone from high school students to professionals, national leaders, ministers, members of parliament, ambassadors, and CEOs.

In an effort to improve national security, prosperity, and peace, ACIE’s goal for its members is to prepare them to succeed in our increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world. But ACIE most recently created a whole new set of strategic goals, and brought in Threespot, a digital communications agency, for a website redesign to expand its global impact, strengthen its financial standing, and build a stronger understanding of who they are. Threespot partnered with Inclind, ACIE’s ongoing Drupal development partner to implement the new design and upgrade the website's functionality.

DC-based Threespot provides digital strategy, creative, and development services exclusively for organizations and ideas that align with their progressive values. Known for strong collaborative capabilities, Inclind brings to the table nearly 20 years of experience developing, designing, supporting and maintaining web content management systems. With ACIE's mission to prepare tomorrow's leaders for an ever-changing world and its need for a more modern and sophisticated Drupal site, a collaboration among the three organizations was a no-brainer.

“We’ve worked with Inclind in the past and they’re a trusted partner,” says Liz Ott, Director of Client Engagement with Threespot. “With collaborative projects like this, there’s a real value in leveraging partner agencies for their strengths. Our track record working strategically with progressive nonprofits dovetailed nicely with Inclind’s strengths as Drupal developers, giving ACIE the best of both worlds.”

Categories: Drupal

Syfy.com

8 May 2018 - 5:16am
Completed Drupal site or project URL: http://www.syfy.com/

While the Syfy network was busy creating compelling new worlds with shows like 12 Monkeys and Helix, their website was worlds behind. It was not responsive, not beautiful, and, in the words of Matthew Chiavelli, VP of Digital Media and Strategy, "put together with duct tape and baling wire". Syfy needed a scalable, cinematic full-screen experience that would look great on any device and be commensurate to their original content.

Categories: Drupal

State of Drupal presentation (April 2018)

25 April 2018 - 12:11am

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

© Yes Moon

Last week, I shared my State of Drupal presentation at Drupalcon Nashville. In addition to sharing my slides, I wanted to provide more information on how you can participate in the various initiatives presented in my keynote, such as growing Drupal adoption or evolving our community values and principles.

Drupal 8 update

During the first portion of my presentation, I provided an overview of Drupal 8 updates. Last month, the Drupal community celebrated an important milestone with the successful release of Drupal 8.5, which ships with improved features for content creators, site builders, and developers.

Drupal 8 continues to gain momentum, as the number of Drupal 8 sites has grown 51 percent year-over-year:

This graph depicts the number of Drupal 8 sites built since April 2015. Last year there were 159,000 sites and this year there are 241,000 sites, representing a 51% increase year-over-year.

Drupal 8's module ecosystem is also maturing quickly, as 81 percent more Drupal 8 modules have become stable in the past year:

This graph depicts the number of modules now stable since January 2016. This time last year there were 1,028 stable projects and this year there are 1,860 stable projects, representing an 81% increase year-over-year.

As you can see from the Drupal 8 roadmap, improving the ease of use for content creators remains our top priority:

This roadmap depicts Drupal 8.5, 8.6, and 8.7+, along with a column for "wishlist" items that are not yet formally slotted. The contents of this roadmap can be found at https://www.drupal.org/core/roadmap.

Four ways to grow Drupal adoption

Drupal 8 was released at the end of 2015, which means our community has had over two years of real-world experience with Drupal 8. It was time to take a step back and assess additional growth initiatives based on what we have learned so far.

In an effort to better understand the biggest hurdles facing Drupal adoption, we interviewed over 150 individuals around the world that hold different roles within the community. We talked to Drupal front-end and back-end developers, contributors, trainers, agency owners, vendors that sell Drupal to customers, end users, and more. Based on their feedback, we established four goals to help accelerate Drupal adoption.

Goal 1: Improve the technical evaluation process

Matthew Grasmick recently completed an exercise in which he assessed the technical evaluator experience of four different PHP frameworks, and discovered that Drupal required the most steps to install. Having a good technical evaluator experience is critical, as it has a direct impact on adoption rates.

To improve the Drupal evaluation process, we've proposed the following initiatives:

Initiative Issue link Stakeholders Initiative coordinator Status Better discovery experience on Drupal.org Drupal.org roadmap Drupal Association hestenet Under active development Better "getting started" documentation #2956879 Documentation Working Group grasmash In planning More modern administration experience #2957457 Core contributors ckrina and yoroy Under active development

To become involved with one of these initiatives, click on its "Issue link" in the table above. This will take you to Drupal.org, where you can contribute by sharing your ideas or lending your expertise to move an initiative forward.

Goal 2: Improve the content creator experience

Throughout the interview process, it became clear that ease of use is a feature now expected of all technology. For Drupal, this means improving the content creator experience through a modern administration user interface, drag-and-drop media management and page building, and improved site preview functionality.

The good news is that all of these features are already under development through the Media, Workflow, Layout and JavaScript Modernization initiatives.

Most of these initiative teams meet weekly on Drupal Slack (see the meetings calendar), which gives community members an opportunity to meet team members, receive information on current goals and priorities, and volunteer to contribute code, testing, design, communications, and more.

Goal 3: Improve the site builder experience

Our research also showed that to improve the site builder experience, we should focus on improving the three following areas:

  • The configuration management capabilities in core need to support more common use cases out-of-the-box.
  • Composer and Drupal core should be better integrated to empower site builders to manage dependencies and keep Drupal sites up-to-date.
  • We should provide a longer grace period between required core updates so development teams have more time to prepare, test, and upgrade their Drupal sites after each new minor Drupal release.

We plan to make all of these aspects easier for site builders through the following initiatives:

Initiative Issue link Stakeholders Initiative coordinator Status Composer & Core #2958021 Core contributors + Drupal Association Coordinator needed! Proposed Config Management 2.0 #2957423 Core contributors Coordinator needed! Proposed Security LTS 2909665 Core committers + Drupal Security Team + Drupal Association Core committers and Security team Proposed, under discussion Goal 4: Promote Drupal to non-technical decision makers

The fourth initiative is unique as it will help our community to better communicate the value of Drupal to the non-technical decision makers. Today, marketing executives and content creators often influence the decision behind what CMS an organization will use. However, many of these individuals are not familiar with Drupal or are discouraged by the misconception that Drupal is primarily for developers.

With these challenges in mind, the Drupal Association has launched the Promote Drupal Initiative. This initiative will include building stronger marketing and branding, demos, events, and public relations resources that digital agencies and local associations can use to promote Drupal. The Drupal Association has set a goal of fundraising $100,000 to support this initiative, including the hiring of a marketing coordinator.

Megan Sanicki and her team have already raised $54,000 from over 30 agencies and 5 individual sponsors in only 4 days. Clearly this initiative resonates with Drupal agencies. Please consider how you or your organization can contribute.

Fostering community with values and principles

This year at DrupalCon Nashville, over 3,000 people traveled to the Music City to collaborate, learn, and connect with one another. It's at events like DrupalCon where the impact of our community becomes tangible for many. It also serves as an important reminder that while Drupal has grown a great deal since the early days, the work needed to scale our community is never done.

Prompted by feedback from our community, I have spent the past five months trying to better establish the Drupal community's principles and values. I have shared an "alpha" version of Drupal's values and principles at https://www.drupal.org/about/values-and-principles. As a next step, I will be drafting a charter for a new working group that will be responsible for maintaining and improving our values and principles. In the meantime, I invite every community member to provide feedback in the issue queue of the Drupal governance project.

An overview of Drupal's values with supporting principles.

I believe that taking time to highlight community members that exemplify each principle can make the proposed framework more accessible. That is why it was very meaningful for me to spotlight three Drupal community members that demonstrate these principles.

Principle 1: Optimize for Impact - Rebecca Pilcher

Rebecca shares a remarkable story about Drupal's impact on her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis:

Principle 5: Everyone has something to contribute - Mike Lamb

Mike explains why Pfizer contributes millions to Drupal:

Principle 6: Choose to Lead - Mark Conroy

Mark tells the story of his own Drupal journey, and how his experience inspired him to help other community members:

Watch the keynote or download my slides

In addition to the community spotlights, you can also watch a recording of my keynote (starting at 19:25), or you can download a copy of my slides (164 MB).

Categories: Drupal

Kevin Thull, from behind the camera

24 April 2018 - 9:17pm

Chances are if you've attended any of the Drupal camps in North America you've run into Kevin Thull. He's the fellow that is dashing from room to room before the first session begins to set up the AV equipment and checking in with presenters making sure they all "push the red button". Because of him, we are all able attend the sessions we miss while busy elsewhere. He is personally responsible for recording over 800 sessions and donating countless hours of his time.

Not only does he record sessions at camps, he also helps organize Midwest Drupal Camp. For this next year he has been charged as their fearless leader. He will be working on their web team, arranging catering, organizing the venue, as well as doing all the audio visual.

This year at DrupalCon Nashville the Drupal Community awarded Kevin the Aaron Winborn award. The Aaron Winborn award is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community. Kevin's commitment to capturing knowledge to share with the whole community is truly inspirational. He has provided a platform that helps tie local Drupal Communities together.

The Drupal Community Spotlight Committee's AmyJune sat with Kevin before Nashville and asked him some questions about contributing to the Drupal Community.

Ironically, AmyJune had chosen to write this spotlight on Kevin a few weeks before DrupalCon. AmyJune had asked him if he was coming to Nashville and he relayed that he had a prior commitment to attend another conference for his job. Unbeknownst to us, during the interview Kevin knew he had been awarded the honor and managed to keep it a secret. While he did mention that the marketing conference only ran through Wednesday, AmyJune was pleasantly surprised to see him take the stage.

Well, not too surprised, after all he truly deserves the honor.

How long have you been involved in the Drupal community?

I’m not involved with Drupal through my employer, I work in Marketing, but I got into Drupal through freelance.

My first meet up was when the Using Drupal 6 book first came out. I would say that is when I first started getting involved in the community. So, that's close to 10 years now.

I started recording Drupal Camps back in 2013. The official Chicago Camp was having issues and so we as a far western Suburban group decided to have our own camp. I thought I could do some of the logistics and session recordings since that's what I do for work. I had the same setup with video cameras in the back of the room and I spent countless hours rebuilding these presentations. It's a similar process, but it's a very a different presentation between a marketer and someone from the Drupal community giving a presentation on diversity. A marketer might have 20 slides, but a Drupal talk may have 104.

Everybody at the time was telling me I was insane for doing this, but my response was, "Nope, it's important."

In 2014 was the first MIDCamp and we were able to get the DA recording kits. But that was not great either. There was a lot of setup, they were expensive to ship them back and forth, they didn't work terribly well, so that's when Avi Schwab ( https://www.drupal.org/u/froboy) and I started collaborating. He did all the setup for the laptops and I did all the running around from room to room and post production. We brainstormed and I started doing research. The next Suburban Camp is when I had my first test kit for what I am using today.

I saw that you recorded Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit remotely this year? Can you share that experience with us?

That's a funny story. It was the same weekend as Jersey Camp and I tend to favor camps I have already recorded. They had committed before Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit and when Amber Matz saw me at BADCAmp, I explained the conflict. I told her I had started working on the next step and would be shipping the kits to camps. I sat with her and showed her how the kit worked and she said it didn't seem too difficult, and we said "Let's do this".

I got a new case, sent 5 kits to them. It's funny how talking with the organizers of camps helps all of this come together. Because later at New England Camp, I was explaining to one of their organizers how I was shipping kits and he suggested labeling the cables. I thought that was brilliant so I got a label maker and labeled all the cables. I wrote out more a detailed instruction guide, and all these things were things I had been meaning to do.

I sent 5 kits, insured FedEx for around $50, whereas the DA sends this giant pelican case that must cost hundreds of dollars. That was part of the plan originally; we wanted something lightweight and easy to use. I heard they had an 84% capture rate which is a great start. The issue is that non-Macs recordings have no sound and so I have to lay up the backup recording into the video. A lot of times that back up recorder gets turned off or stopped for some reason.

While I was in Florida I started working on pinpointing why non-Mac machines don't have audio. Later, I had mixed success at MIDCamp, I captured a couple, some didn't work, one being an Ubuntu build. At lunch I worked with that presenter to test various setups and we found a setup that worked. Once I can crack that nut, then shipping with even more instructions will increase the capture rates.

Now that you're capturing some camps remote, how does that cut into how much you like to travel?

I do like to travel, but there are a couple of issues. A) I can't be everywhere. B) I am potentially doing 13 or 14 camps this year. Which is cool now, but it may not be cool in couple of years. And C) I don't do Drupal at work and when I first starting doing this I was using all my PTO. I don’t do any Drupal at work, but I brought back all kinds of information and my boss recognized that. She said I could count those as remote days, but of course there's a limit.

There is a balance to be found between visiting the camps and sending the kits remotely.

What are some of your favorite camps?

Everybody asks me that, that question is not fair. I like them all. It's generally the places I know the most people and/or I go ahead of time to play before camp starts. I am not a solo traveller, so if I know a lot of people at the camp I tend to like those: Badcamp, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Texas (cuz of Austin), and Montreal.

What are the things you like to do before a camp that makes it more fun?

HaHaHa, eat and drink all the things. Bar Crawls, Food Crawls, you name it.

Have you given any thought to helping with camps outside the States?

I would like to, but it’s a time and cost issue. The camps now reimburse my travel expenses. To fly to a European camp - I don’t know if that would be in their budget.

It’s interesting, Mauricio Dinarte tailed me for a few camps and he wanted, and he did, get some kits to start recording Nicaragua. One day he tweeted that he saw my kits at Drupal Camp Antwerp. It’s cool to see how these things grow organically. There’s not a camp that goes by where someone from the community doesn’t ask me about how everything works.

Congratulations Kevin!

Kevin’s not just the guy who reminds us all to push the red button. He is the guy who loans out his phone when a presenter is doing a live demo and needs an internet hotspot. He is the guy spending hours during and after Drupal Camps piecing together audio and video for maximum quality. The Drupal Community has so much to thank him for, the Aaron Winborn award couldn’t have been awarded to anyone more deserving.

Link to Kevin Thull Youtube acceptance

On Kevin, from the community:

“It has become a no-brainer to invite Kevin to Florida DrupalCamp and have him record and post all of our sessions online. He makes it easy for us to share our great content with a world-wide audience by coming prepared, making it easy for presenters, and uploading the video almost immediately. He’s a true asset to the community.”  - Mike Anello (Florida Camp)

"His never-ending abundance of energy and positive contributions in the form of Drupal Camp video services in the US is unmatched. At the camps where I’ve spoken or helped organize he has been a great person to work with through the whole process - helpful and organized across the board." - Aimee Degnan Hannaford (BADCamp)

“We appreciated Kevin’s willingness to send recording equipment and documentation to our event so that we could record sessions, even though he couldn’t be there. He was encouraging and helpful all along the way.” Amber Matz (PNWDS Portland)

Thank you Kevin for your contribution to community, for sharing your story with us, and for being a most excellent secret keeper! And thank you to the hundreds of volunteers that make Drupal Camps, Cons, meetups and picnics a success every year. And thank you AmyJune for this most excellent Drupal Community Spotlight article!

Top image credit: Image by Jordana F

Categories: Drupal