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Next Great Digital Experience Adds Reality as Channel

The Internet dealt a staggering blow to business-as-usual. The digital disruption of connecting buyers and sellers through the World Wide Web changed everything, posing a serious threat to the brick-and-mortar retailer. But that was only the beginning.
While digital has been so successful in the early rounds of this battle due to lower pricing, convenience is now the high ground to be taken and has pulled the physical retailers back into the picture.
Reality, as it turns out, is the next digital channel.
One of the early signs of the inter-reliance of digital and physical retailing was... More

What does Google Hummingbird mean for Drupal SEO?

If you didn't catch the news last week, Google announced that they made the single largest change to their search algorithm since 2009. They also didn't bother telling anyone for the first month, so if you're a Google user, you've been using Hummingbird for a while now. If you're anything like me, then the first thought you may have had is "what will this mean for SEO?". Clearly, for anyone who is operating or building web sites, what Google thinks of your... More

Open Data - A new birth of Freedom

Whether FOIA, or local equivalent (we call it OPRA here in New Jersey), the demand for public access to information from our government - that should be in theory if not in practice "of the people, by the people, for the people" - remains stronger than ever before.
In fact, various Open Data initiatives affirm this. Transparency in all aspects is crucial for effective governance, and ultimately, accountability. Classified material aside:... More

9 Changes To Be Excited About In Drupal 8

(Cross-posted from DigitalBungalow.com)
Although still lacking a firm release date, the upcoming launch of Drupal 8 will be sure to impact the CMS landscape for years to come. Already, it has sparked interest across a host of different fields. While developers are waiting tosee how this will affect with work flows, clients are already asking what this next iteration will do for them that isn’t already available in Drupal 7. Luckily, you don’t need to be a developer to understand all the working parts that go along with this latest update, and what it really means for the future of our... More

Embracing the Teen Hacker as the Next-Gen Innovator

As I was sipping my morning coffee checking my LinkedIn newsfeed, I came across an article about a small group of LA School Students who had an interesting reaction when they were given iPads that were set up so that they could not access Facebook, Pandora and other social sites. What did the 300 kids at Theodore Roosevelt High School do? They hacked their way around the restrictions.
In reaction, LA school district shut down the program. The author of the... More

Drupal Commons Tutorial: Customizing Community Website

Often community managers are moving between a variety of fractured systems. They might have a community discussion in a forum application, but they need to edit content in a CMS. Recently we completed two live tutorials showing community managers how to manage groups, users and the content on their sites using Drupal Commons.
Drupal Commons allows you to unify the content editing and community experience. It is online community software that works right out of the box. It is used to build knowledge sharing networks, collaborative spaces... More

3 Keys for Brand Success

I was underdressed. That was the first thing I noticed this week at the Luxury Interactive, “The Premiere Luxury and Branding & eCommerce conference”. The list of attendees was a veritable who’s who in luxury brand marketing, including: Chanel, Stuart Weitzman,... More

Effective Git for Drupal Development

Possibly the nerdiest thing that's ever escaped my mind is a reimagining of the lyrics to 1983 pop hit The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats in tribute to my favorite distributed version control system, Git, contra CVS:
"We can branch if we want to. We can leave your friends behind. 'Cause your friends don't branch, and if they don't branch, well they're no friends of mine!"

You may think that's a little over the top, but even if your appreciation for Git hasn't advanced to the point of putting anachronistic praise into the mouths of... More

Real-Time Marketing is the Next Marketing Evolution

Website marketing is undergoing an evolution, just as it did several years ago when marketers realized the benefits of creating and promoting valuable content. The advent of inbound marketing saw websites move from digital brochures to content producing machines. This opened the top of the funnel, enabling marketers to draw in more and more traffic. However, strategies for converting this newfound traffic haven’t really changed, and this is where the next evolution, real-time marketing, is going change the game.
To understand how real-time marketing will increase conversions, first you... More

Not just another pretty higher education website

Georgia Tech’s new website is fantastic. Engaging, clean, informative, it really helps tell the impressive and dynamic story of who Georgia Tech is, where the school has been and where it is going. Granted the previous site wasn’t all that terrible, but the “before” and “after” from this week’s new site launch highlights how impactful creative design, fresh perspective, and of course a little imagination can be.
But the new GaTech.edu isn’t just a pretty site. There are five key elements that quickly and forcefully inform visitors of who Georgia Tech is and more importantly why Georgia... More

The Best Things About Drupal - DrupalCon Portland Rebroadcast


While the Acquia Podcast is busy at DrupalCon Prague, here's a flashback to DrupalCon Portland. I went around the exhibitors' area and through the halls of the Oregon Convention Center asking two vital questions to our community:

What is your favorite thing about Drupal?

Why should other people come to DrupalCon?

This week's podcast is a selection of some of the answers I got and the conversations I had with (not nearly enough of) you wonderful Drupalists!

Drupal's new spokesman?

The answers of the Con, for me, came from Drew Jarvis of Sandstorm Design in... More

Drupal will not be ugly; we will not punish dissent

The Drupal community is looking inward. This introspection was in large part sparked by the BackDrop fork of Drupal. In short, Jen Lampton and Nathan Haug selected a specific commit of the Drupal repository and set off on a new project from that point in time in Drupal's development.
Drupal is an open source project. Forking is a right anyone has under its licensing terms. We all make a little fork of Drupal... More

For Bezos, Fixing the News Industry is All About Content

Most of my career has taken place at the nexus of news and technology. Before joining Acquia to oversee content and communications, I spent a number of years at The Boston Globe where I helped digitize the print publishing process, transitioned the newsroom to digital tools, and then advocated to move the content to tablets and eReaders.
And so I am watching with great interest as Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, takes control of The Washington Post, wondering if this digital visionary can successfully create a business model to once again ensure a healthy news industry in the face of digital... More

Top 5 Media and Entertainment Trends for 2013: No. 2, YouTube Video

(Part 2 of the "Top 5 Media and Entertainment Trends for 2013" blog series)
What the biggest challenge for content management systems these days? It’s video, video and more video. Tackling the challenge of video also poses the question of what is more important: Building your own Great Digital Experience vs. sacrificing brand presence for the established success of YouTube video epicenter.
In this second blog about this year’s Media and Entertainment Trends, I’ll address the phenomena of YouTube video, which will cover the boom in the growth of video consumption and how media entertainment... More

The TestOps Files, part 1: You can't mock out the operating system

DevOps is a software development method that, among other things, involves automating the provisioning and configuration of IT infrastructure. A key part of that definition is software development—DevOps is about writing software. Like all software, DevOps software needs to be tested. Like all software, DevOps software is best tested in an automated fashion as part of a Continuous Integration (CI) development process.
Acquia Cloud is a PaaS for developing and running web sites. It is a software product, and a massive DevOps... More

FedRAMP - one goal. multiple paths (but please, no hugging)

To paraphrase Matt Goodrich, it's past time to stop "hugging your server" and to start embracing the Cloud.
In the not too distant wake of this year's cancellation of DIA (DoDIIS), and despite seemingly never-ending budget concerns, attendance at the AWS Worldwide Public Sector Summit just two weeks ago was strong. In... More

Drupal 8 OOP benefit 1 of many: entity types

Many people, including me, have been blogging about Drupal 8 and its transition to object oriented programming. One question that comes up often is why?, given the extra layers of abstraction, complexity, and verbosity that often accompanies that. Dries wrote a post, answering that question at a high level. In this post, I want to quickly highlight one place, entity types, where the abstractions have what I think to be very obvious and impressive benefits. I... More

L'usines à sites selon Acquia

Comment permettre aux équipes marketing de lancer et de maintenir une multitude de sites web et d’expériences utilisateurs multi-canal pour mettre en œuvre efficacement leurs stratégies digitales ? La majorité des entreprises internationales doit répondre à ce défi majeur.
Avec un large catalogue de produits, des services en constante évolution, une présence à l’international, des sites e-commerce, des campagnes marketing, etc, le nombre de sites à gérer peut très vite dépasser la centaine. Sans une plateforme digitale adaptée, une telle gestion multi-sites, multilingue, et multicanal... More

This Week in Drupal Core: September 18, 2013

"Cross Posted from Drupal.org"
Welcome to the inaugural entry in the "This Week in Drupal Core" series, which aims to highlight cool happenings in and around Drupal core for people who don't have their home pages set to http://drupal.org/project/issues/user (as shocking as it may be to hear, apparently these people exist ;)).
Overall, energy in the core queue has largely been spent around readying things for DrupalCon Prague (in just a few short days,... More

Drupal 8, iOS 7, and Disruptive Innovation

I was recently struck by a story told to me by Tom Bogan, one of Acquia's board members and the board chairman at Citrix. Citrix has risen to become one of the most successful technology companies in the world. Tom says that the key to Citrix long term success has been its willingness to look for ways to "disrupt itself". Citrix often takes a critical look at its business, and looks for ways to innovate fast like a startup.
This process is called disruptive innovation... More

Sneak Peek into Next Generation Cloud Tools (they're wicked sick)

Over the course of 2013, the UX, Product and Development teams here at Acquia have been hard at work to make our systems and interfaces do more, work better and load faster.
The year started with the code behind the UI at insight.acquia.com being vastly refactored to be more object oriented and more streamlined. As a result we reduced our database queries by as much as 50% on some pages. Next we created the Acquia Notify system which provides notifications about your site and displays them in the re-designed top nav bar.
Following that we created a new account management site (accounts.acquia... More

As Egypt Goes Into Crisis, Support Team Keeps Al-Masry Site Delivering News

Egypt has been engulfed in constant turmoil over the past decade, including upheavals during the early days of the Arab Spring, and then again this summer. Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt’s leading independent media group, plays a critical role, serving as a vital information source for Egypt’s population in these turbulent times. And because its digital site is a key beacon of communication, the site’s stability and functionality needs to be a top priority for Al-Masry’s IT team.
But what happens when your lead developer can’t get to work because of another series of riots? Acquia’s Support team... More

Low cost, low risk, high value - come to BADCamp 2013!


I spoke with two members of the Bay Area Drupal Camp (BADCamp) 2013 organizing team, Anne Stefanyk and David Hwang.

What: Bay Area Drupal Camp - One of the oldest (7 years and still going strong!), biggest (1500+ attended in 2012), and freest (tickets are still a very open-source-friendly zero dollars!) Drupal events around.

When: October 24-27, 2013

Where: UC Berkeley, California

More info: http://2013.badcamp.net

David Hwang on... More

Building a Great (and Social) Alumni Platform


Over the past several weeks I’ve had more conversations with schools about alumni sites and alumni portals than I can even count. Big schools and small, public and private, are exploring and evaluating options for their next (or in some cases, their first) digital platform. And for the most part they are all looking for similar things: an infrastructure for social integration and community building, back-end interoperability, and of course the right tools to deliver an amazing online experience for their alums that will keep them engaged and coming back again and again.
There are several... More

Explaining Varnish for Beginners

A short time ago I published a presentation I gave at DrupalACT entitled 'Varnish for Beginners'. Whilst the presentation itself went down well and those attending hopefully garnered a good amount of knowledge, I thought I'd share the basics in this blog post for those who would like to know more about it.
What is Varnish?
Varnish is a reverse proxy HTTP accelerator that is often placed in front of... More

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