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Migrating the Drupal way. Part II: saving those old URLs

For the second part of my migration blog, I want to touch on the importance of maintaining URLs from your old site and demonstrate some examples of how to capture them in Drupal. Search engine traffic and other referrals are invaluable when it comes to the success of a site. I've managed sites that have received upwards of 100,000 referrals a day from Google alone. This is not even to mention all of the external links and bookmarks to your pages. If you are thinking about migrating to Drupal and have not considered the importance of maintaining old... More

The Google iPhone voice app angle that no one is talking about

I checked out the new voice-activated Google Mobile App for iPhone this morning. It works pretty well - not perfect - but solid.
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A hosted search service for Drupal

Jay just announced Acquia's plans to get into the hosted search business. By doing so, we hope to provide Drupal sites a (i) faster, (ii) more scalable search solution that (iii) can work across multiple sites, that (iv) can handle broader content, (v) that offers faceted navigation and more.
Content management systems with basic keyword search are going nowhere but out of style. Content management systems that do search really well can improve a site's navigation in new and significant ways. We want Drupal sites to be... More

Hosted Solr site search for Drupal is on the way

The search technology area is highly important to people with websites. As a result, I've spent serious time looking at it. Several things have come from this time spent:
The important thing: We'll soon be adding "hosted site search" capabilities to the Acquia Network for our subscribers. More about this below.
The unimportant thing: Search was modestly influential in the selection of our company name. ah-kwe-eh is the (native American) Navajo WW II code talker word for "Locate." I reasoned that this made sense... More

The S-Files: "Why can't a user edit content?"

A few days ago a user emailed with a problem about giving users the ability to edit content. The problem started with a small site that had been added to over time. Now that there were a few more pages to maintain the webmaster wanted to give access to other users to manage a few pages.
Since they had started out with only a couple of content types and needed extra control they added the Content Access module and configured it properly. The webmaster's goal was to give Sally, the company president, the ability to edit the "Executive... More

The freemium business model: giving away pays

I've recently been thinking a lot about the freemium business model. For those unfamiliar with the freemium business model, it was first articulated by venture capitalist Fred Wilson in 2006:
"Give your service away for free, possibly ad supported but maybe not, acquire a lot of customers very efficiently through word of mouth, referral networks, organic search marketing, etc., then offer premium priced value added services or an enhanced version of your service to your customer base."
I've been thinking about the freemium... More

The S-Files: "Help I deleted my theme"

Tech Support Case Studies
One of the core services that Acquia offers is support for people building sites with Drupal. "The S-Files" are stories about the day-to-day life of our support team. Each one contains a nugget of Drupal knowledge that helped a customer succeed with Drupal. Enjoy!
"Hello, I installed a new theme on my site but I didn't like it. So I deleted it. Now I can't log into my site and it really looks broken."
That's the message that appeared in my email inbox. It was a voicemail message that a customer had left after calling our support hotline:... More

Acquia Upgrade Team: Mission Copenhagen

Acquia documentation agent Jam* and I will be heading to Denmark this weekend where we'll be geeking out with Scandanavian Drupallers at the first ever DrupalCamp Copenhagen. You will recognize us by our Acquia shirts and our inability to speak Danish. Our mission is to help you upgrade your Drupal 4 or 5 sites to Drupal 6. We will come armed with Jam's upcoming migration guide (you will find this in our download section soon, as an appendix to the freely available Getting Started Guide), and a slew of tips,... More

Drupal in the formative stages of adding RDF(a) for Semantic Web

There has been a lot of hand waving about the semantic web, RDF, and Drupal. This is good, and it is important for there to be excitement about the possibilities that this opens to us. Now the first concrete plans are being laid and the first patches are being written and evaluated. If you’ve ever wondered about this semantic web business, or if you thought microformats were a good idea, or if you’ve been secretly (or... More

Migrating the Drupal way. Part I: creating a node.

Update: Acquia has released a great migration whitepaper to help you get ready to move to Drupal.
My position with Acquia will find me helping out with a lot of migrations and upgrades. I'm going to embark on a multiple-part blog to discuss some of the common techniques that I use when moving clients to Drupal.
Migrating to Drupal can seem intimidating if you already maintain a database-driven website. However, populating a Drupal site with your current content might be... More

I work for Acquia, allow me to introduce myself

I'm still a little surprised to tell people that I work for Acquia. My fascination with Drupal started in late 2007 and quickly turned into an addiction. While building my first large project, I spent countless hours on drupal.org meeting cool people and getting advice from the Drupal community. Then in February, I found out about Acquia and kept a close eye on them as they filled up their roster with some amazing talent. At the time, I was living in Boulder, Colorado, hard at work on VeloNews.com. Acquia seemed like a dream job, but it also seemed to be... More

The DX Files: Static caching in Drupal

This is part four of my series, The DX Files: Improving Drupal Developer Experience. I started this series with fairly simplistic suggestions. They proved not very popular and some of them I agree were of questionable benefit due to PHP’s nature. I was pleased to discover, however, that they nevertheless had quite an impact on raising the visibility of “Developer Experience” within the Drupal community. I am therefore ready to move on to some of the more complex DX issues in Drupal.
The most important DX change... More

Two more Drupal user experience studies underway

The Drupal project has been doing user experience work for several years but the pace has really picked up in 2008. This year alone we've have already completed two studies, both for Drupal 6.
Over the last week Leisa Reichelt, from Mark Boulton design has continued her user experience studies with iteration four of the redesigned Drupal.org site. In testing iteration four here's what the team from Mark Boulton design found.
We need to remove the word ‘Join’. Users need to be steered towards joining the community in the context of when they need to, not before. It just sends the wrong... More

Bay Area Drupalcamp 2008 - Testing party and BADCamper party

Last weekend I attended BADCamp. The camp was organized by Tao Starbow, Dan Robinson, Chris Bryant, Dmitri Gaskin, and Jen Lampton. The event was a big success and filled up to capacity with the waiting list closed weeks in advance.

One of the big things I was looking for was a measure of the health of the Drupal economy. From what I saw it was still pretty hot. There was a popular job fair and the jobs board had about a dozen listings. I was actively recruiting organizers for the San Francisco Drupal user group. New recruits included Ben Bannone from Bioraft, Dan Kurtz from Trellon,... More

Lullabot podcast #65

I was featured on the infamous Lullabot podcast series. Jeff Robbins and I talk about Acquia, Mollom and Drupal 7. Check out the Lullabot podcast #65 (mirror) if you want. We kick it off talking about Acquia, the Mollom part starts around minute 25 and the Drupal... More

Setting up Acquia Drupal on GoDaddy Hosting

This set of screenshots grew out of a recent forum post on the Acquia Network forums. It walks through setting up a GoDaddy Linux hosting account to use Acquia Drupal. At the end of the process one has a new website. Some will scoff at the choice of GoDaddy as a hosting platform. Many shared hosts have shortcomings in different areas. Few shared hosts are going to be getting glowing recommendations on the day your site ends up on the front page of Digg, they simply aren't built for that sort of load. However,... More

Introducing the Acquia Partner Program

Today we launch the Acquia Partner program with [fourteen partners](/partners/finder) ranging from [sole proprietorships](/partners/showcase/33rd-prime) to [venture-backed firms](/partners/showcase/optaros). I'm excited by the diversity of partners in the program; partnering with different sizes and types of firms will help our customers find the match that maximizes their success. We've been able to enlist parters from [Israel](/partners/showcase/linnovate), the [UK](/partners/showcase/io1-limited), the [US](/partners/showcase/pingvision), and [Canada](/partners/showcase/raincity-studios... More

The way the web should work

In the Spring of 2007, I teamed up with Partners in Health, a non-profit building hospitals in developing countries. We had a long list of ideas for an intranet and for a new public site and needed a tool with a lot of flexibility. We picked Drupal because of the active community, the growing collection of modules, and the hope that non-engineers could administer the sites. The Partners in Health sites went up fast. In a matter of weeks, people from around the world were downloading and using materials from the sites to help train health workers in rural parts of Africa and Latin America. As... More

Keeping Acquia Drupal in Sync

We did a security release of Acquia Drupal yesterday in order to incorporate the security fixes in the core Drupal 6.5 release. One of the internal goals of the Acquia engineering team is to respond to security releases of Drupal core, or any of the contributed modules in our distribution, by updating our Acquia Drupal release within 24 hours. We want to ensure that Acquia Drupal sites stay in sync with the most secure code from the Drupal community.
Drupal 6.5 was the the first test of our engineering release process since Acquia Drupal came out of beta. While we... More

Do it with Drupal - New Orleans

On December 12, 2008, I’ll be in New Orleans to talk about the exciting world of Drupal Search. In a first-of-its-kind event, the Lullabots have organized a “large-scale, 3-day learning event” that will bring together some of Drupal’s most sought after speakers, as well as a number of other prominent internet personalities and luminaries. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the speakers who aren’t necessarily known as Drupal rockstars (meaning they did something else to get famous):
Chris Pirillo (... More

Acquia and the Drupal security team

I've been working on the Drupal security team for over three years now. My current role is coordinator of the security team and that means I help to coordinate when releases happen, review security announcements, recruit new members, and review inactive members. The Drupal security team has a highly competent group of developers and they do a good job self organizing and getting security releases out the door. If they get stuck, I may step in and help rally the team or work through some of the non-code issues involved in getting security releases out the door. The security team is led by... More

How to raise money for your Drupalcamp: The jobs table

If you are organizing a Drupalcamp you are probably finding that you are thrust into a fund raising role. As the Drupal association fundraiser, let me offer you a quick tip for raising money to meet your Drupalcamp expenses.
First, follow the rules of BarCamps and keep everything as simple as possible. Don't try to provide too many comforts. Instead, communicate what you need and then what ever you get provided with is what you will have.
You will have some expenses. Here's how you can get them covered. You are bringing... More

Web 2.0 New York: Is sales always this much fun?

It's been a couple of weeks since Web 2.0 New York. The event was a success and early reports indicated it exceeded expectations for the event organizers.
For Acquia it was a successful event. We met over 214 people who were running Drupal sites and gave out Acquia t-shirts to each of them until we ran out. We gathered over 400 leads that we qualified as interested in or likely to be building a social publishing site. What was new for Acquia was that those leads were closely followed up by our inside sales team. I'll touch more on that at the end of this post.
One of the key goals for my... More

On corporate blogging policies

Acquia launch coverage

Cheers to the Acquia launch, which went really well. Hundreds of people signed up for a free community subscription. Also, check out Jeff Whatcott's blog post covering some of the blog posts, press articles, and Tweets about our new product and service offerings. Awesome!


Cheers!

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