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Acquia Podcast 33: Interview with Angie Byron

Angie Byron, aka webchick, is probably the second most well-known person in the Drupal universe, between her awards, magazine covers, and role as the Drupal 7 co-maintainer. With her move from Lullabot to Acquia and her expanded role in the Drupal community, I caught up with her to find out what she's up to and what this move means to her work in the community.
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An island or an archipelago?

Is your social business software a point solution or an enterprise solution? An island or an archipelago?

Is your community a bottle opener or a Swiss Army knife, a Kindle or an iPad? I think you get the message here. A one trick pony point solution is great at solving a short term need but will not meet your future UNKNOWN business requirements. If you are looking to future proof your investment in a community platform then its wise to consider the bigger picture now rather than later. Okay that’s kind of obvious and you’ve probably heard that pitch before, right? If its so obvious then why... More

A month (and a bit) in the Office of the CTO

Drupal 7
Last month, I started my new job in Acquia's Office of the CTO. I posted my to-do list last month of a given week's worth of work, to try and provide some insight as to what I'm working on. Since that probably reads as chicken-scratch to you (my handwriting tends to be one-way encryption ;)), here are some of the highlights:
Drupal 7
Stability and adoption of Drupal 7 is a critically important factor in the growth of Drupal, so this is also an important priority... More

Status Streams in Commons

At Enterprise 2.0 this week, Acquia demoed new status stream functionality that will be in the next version of Commons. The ability for users to post short updates to groups and users encourages new users to jump in and participate, provides a centralized space for ambient communication that doesn't need to crowd your inbox, and keeps users connected and engaged. It also represents a new frontier: where businesses previously had to choose between traditionally laborious... More

Acquia, Drupal that never sleeps

I’ve only been with Acquia for three weeks as a intern and I have to say I love every moment of it. I work on the Operations and Hosting Engineering team and last week, my second week, I was placed on a on-call rotation for Operations. A on-call rotation is like being an E.R. Doctor though my patients were servers. You have to set up your phone and laptop to receive ‘critical’ notifications from our internal monitoring and notification system as well as be prepared with all the tools you could possibly need to handle any situation. Being on call is like being a technology boyscout, always... More

Community, DrupalCon and Damn Quick Drupal

I've recently crossed my six month mark with Acquia and have to say that it is the ride of a lifetime. I was certain when applying that this would be my dream-job and it turns out that I wasn't wrong. Acquia has been a great place to expand my knowledge and experience and to get a deeper connection to the community.
It has been a long time since I've gotten deeply involved in online communities--not since 1996 and the early online chat rooms of MSN (the orignal Microsoft Network). Back then things on the web were a bit slower and you could sit and have a 3+ hour chat with 10 or so like minded... More

Drupal Commons is now Commons

Acquia’s social business software distribution, Drupal Commons has allowed many developers to build community sites easily with Drupal. This has always been one of the major goals of Drupal Commons – to help Drupal adoption by making it easy for people to create great community sites quickly without having to build from scratch.
Drupal Commons has been very successful in doing this – so much so we are ready to take the next step. We are changing Drupal Commons to... More

Being an intern at Acquia

I’m not Acquia’s first intern, though I am working a nerf gun’s shot away from him. That title belongs to Charlie Gordon. I’m proud and excited to come to work every day, especially with many of the interns I work with. Isaac Sukin is an experienced Drupalist whose only project at Acquia is making Drupal Commons even more awesome. To use a pseudo quote from Star Wars, “The force is strong with that one.” I’ve also enjoyed working... More

Acquia Podcast 32: Marcus Estes on Donor Rally and Volunteer Rally

Two resources any non-profit organization needs assistance in obtaining and managing are volunteers and donations. In this episode I speak with Marcus Estes of Open Sourcery about Volunteer Rally and Donor Rally, two Drupal distributions designed to help non-profits accomplish those tasks.
Show notes:
Donor Rally project page
Donor Rally blog post
Volunteer Rally ... More

Party with Varnish

Anyone who runs a high-availability Drupal site knows about Varnish, the open-source HTTP reverse-proxy server. Varnish intercepts requests before they hit the web server and delivers relevant information that it finds in its cache, resulting in lower loads and radically faster pages.
We love Varnish at Acquia. It's one of the ingredients that makes Acquia Dev Cloud and... More

Stop Thinking Open Source Can’t Be Full Service

STILL there is confusion out there around open source solutions. I was reading today’s great post by Caroline Dangson from the Dachis Group on “Building a Business Case for Customer Community," when one line derailed my concentration on the topic enough to make me write this. Caroline was outlining a great plan for building a detailed business case for customer communities, when I read this line in step 10:
“Will... More

Acquia Cloud Gettin' Git

I'm pleased to announce that the Acquia Cloud will soon support Git repositories! We're rolling this out over the next few weeks. I'd like your feedback: Are you a Git user? ... an SVN user? ...or something else? If you're a current customer, how we can make the upgrade process as painless as possible?
Our current plan is to switch to Git by default for all new customers. Is this the right thing? I'd like feedback from the community on whether you've already made the switch to Git. And, if not, which version control system are you using and when do you plan to make the switch to Git?... More

A writer joins Acquia

Today marks my first day as Acquia's Director of Content and Communications, although I've been following the company since its birth. I started using Drupal in late 2007 -- right around when Jay and Dries were founding the company -- to build a site that would promote a book that was soon to be published. That site launched within a month of Acquia's first hires, and the popularity of Drupal supported me to write several video courses for lynda.com,... More

What differentiates social business software platforms?

Frequently I hear people say the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Social Software is ‘overcrowded’ and very little separates the vendors from each other. One reason is because the core capabilities of social business software, namely blogs, discussions, social networking, file sharing, etc. are becoming ‘commoditized’ (sorry Tony, I used B.S. word #4).
They exist in all... More

Mr. Men and the Google Doodle

Guest blog post by Nancy Stango, CEO & Solution Architect, Blink Reaction.
Mr. Tickle, Little Miss Sunshine, and Little Miss Naughty... do these names sound familiar? Even if not, you'd probably recognize Mr. Tickle's spaghetti-like arms and Little Miss Sunshine's big smile on her yellow body. These are the designs of Roger Hargreaves, whose 76th birthday was recently celebrated by "Google Doodles" of his lovable characters on google.com. In a global multi-doodle... More

Drupal Commons: Then and Now

Drupal Commons 1.0 was released almost a year ago, in early August. I was an intern at Mediacurrent at the time, and as the author of several social networking modules, I was intrigued. I dug in and wrote an analysis of where Commons stood relative to its competitors, to the default Drupal installation profile, and to the... More

Drupal Gardens hosts over 50,000 sites, adds styling history, and fonts.com support!

We are thrilled to announce that the 50,000th Drupal Gardens site has been created.  Thanks to all of you who made this milestone possible!  To celebrate this milestone we have updated Drupal Gardens with two major improvements to its powerful ThemeBuilder. First, you can now review and change any of your theme customizations to get even more control over your theme's design.  With this feature you can quickly see all of the stylings and corresponding CSS the ThemeBuilder generates, and hide, show, delete or restyle it as needed. Second, we have... More

Drupal Gardens hosts over 50,000 sites, adds styling history, and fonts.com support!

We are thrilled to announce that the 50,000th Drupal Gardens site has been created.  Thanks to all of you who made this milestone possible!  To celebrate this milestone we have updated Drupal Gardens with two major improvements to its powerful ThemeBuilder. First, you can now review and change any of your theme customizations to get even more control over your theme's design.  With this feature you can quickly see all of the stylings and corresponding CSS the ThemeBuilder generates, and hide, show, delete or restyle it as needed.... More

Acquia Partners with ONUVA to Further Drupal's Success into Latin America

The explosion of Drupal has begun to shake the globe’s South Western Hemisphere. Over the past few months we’ve seen a significant uptick of demand for Drupal services across Central and South America. Being able to supply this demand with the same level of services Acquia offers our current customer base is of the utmost importance. Acquia has a handful of South American partners to help deliver these services including SeeD Software from Colubmia, BeezNest from Peru, and... More

Drupal Commons brightens up with new themes and user experience changes in release 1.6

This morning is an exciting moment: Drupal Commons version 1.6 is released! This release brings some really exciting new advancements:
Two new themes. (Yay!)
Usability improvements
A collection of smaller, yet important feature advances
Let me start off talking about the two new themes. Having these two themes, and bundling them into the default distribution, is HUGE. A key advantage of Drupal Commons is that it is built on Drupal - a platform that enables organizations to fully reflect their brand on their community site. But this was an abstract idea to most people who were kicking the... More

Proposal: Create a predictable schedule around Drupal 7 point releases

Due to a variety of factors, there hasn't been a point release of Drupal 7 since its 7.0 release, roughly 5 months ago. There are a lot of good bug fixes (some critical/major) and performance improvements in the 7.x branch right now, and the lack of these making it out there for public consumption yet has hampered the ability for contributed module authors to port their modules to Drupal 7, and several other bad effects.
I'm planning to roll the 7.1 release this week, but obviously this won't include all of the fixes to all of the bugs we know about, since some are still in progress, and... More

Drupal Gardens improves new site builder experience

Recently the Drupal Gardens team has been working on both some exciting new major features (coming soon!) as well as simplifying the overall new user experience for those not familiar with the power of Drupal 7.  Recently we updated the Drupal Gardens service with the following new user experierence enhancements: 

Publishing content, saving drafts, and promoting content is easier.
To add content, click the 'Publish' or 'Save draft' button at the bottom of the form.
To edit existing content, click the 'Save' or 'Unpublish' button.
To manage content... More

A Drupal Safari in London

As those that attended my last talk at DrupalCon know, I (and others before me) intend to change the way sessions are presented. In Chicago, I let the audience pelt me with 100s of Nerf Darts to describe the concepts of caching. Armed with a large blue shield aptly named "The Cookie Monster", about 20 participants fired on cue.
In London, we'll take a Drupal safari together to learn how the system lives and breathes. To... More

Using Enterprise 2.0 to Collaborate Around the World

Acquia, along with our partners Merlin International, Navigation Arts, Forum One Communications, and VML, is currently working with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in the Department of Defense (DoD) to deliver a collaboration platform based on the latest Enterprise 2.0 concepts. The new platform is in support of two Initiatives at the DSCA: Partnership for Peace Information Management System (PIMS) and the Regional International Outreach (RIO) program. “The Partnership for Peace (PfP) is a major NATO initiative introduced in January 1994. The program aims to enhance... More

Pre-Sales Consulting Mission: Always Do Right by the Customer

Someone once told me that 70% of all technology projects fail. Regardless of whether the statistic is true, it stuck to me like glue. As an engineer I always asked myself what I could have done differently to have made a project more successful, although it seemed the failures had much more effort put into them than the successes. When I joined Acquia as a consultant, I was surprised to see that many organizations were also experiencing the same anomaly.
There are many factors that contribute to the failure of a project, but a common... More

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