Drupal at LUGRadio live in San Francisco
by Kieran Lal
This past weekend Neil Drumm and I manned the Drupal booth at LUGRadio live. There were a lot of Drupal fans in attendance, and I think Drupal got a lot of interest from groups like engineers without borders and the independent games developers conference.
The highlights of the conference for me was the Wordpress versus Drupal presentation by Andy De Luca and Selena Deckelmann, the community manager for Postgresql. Both are big Drupal fans and so it was really a presentation about what sucks and what's awesome about Drupal in comparison to Wordpress. All their points were rational and presented with freaky cranked up to 11.
The second highlight was watching Miguel De Icaza, running through a conference almost naked and standing on stage in his rolled up boxer shorts. I think he's an executive at Novell. He's also the founder of Gnome. When he got his clothes back on I debriefed him about Drupal.
We had about 50 people come by the booth over the two days. We showed off Robert Douglass's 15 minute video about Drupal, a new Drupal banner, Drupal mini cards, and a great slide show that Sooz put together showing off some beautiful Drupal sites. It was great to have Miguel watch 37 Drupal sites and note that only one was ugly. The slide show set to music got a lot of attention.
I tried to talk to the LUGradio gang but they were distracted by having to run a conference. I am hoping to reach out and get them do one or more shows featuring spreadfirefox, haiku-os, kerneltrap, brainstorm.ubuntu.com, drupal.org, and hopefully some possible new Drupal sites like xen.org or planet MySQL.
We also got some interesting feedback at the booth.
* Some people were confused about social publishing. I've received a confidential copy of upcoming web 2.0 report and was eager to test out some of the messaging from that report that reflects on social publishing. It was very well received.
* Two visitors complained about the speed of Drupal upgrades. One was a 4.6 site that was been managed by Ruby developers who had given up on Drupal. The other was someone on Drupal 4.7 who wanted to know the best way to get to Drupal 6.
* A business school professor from SF state stopped by to let me know he trains all his MBA students to launch a start-up online business using Drupal. He requires them to apply quality metrics and justify each contributed module they add to their site. I was blown away.
* A Joomla user dropped by to say hi. She let me know that her son had recently moved his college website to Drupal and loved using Drupal. He was also an MBA student. Is Drupal the web 2.0 platform for MBA students?
* Overall there was generally a good vibe about Drupal. Lots of people saw the Drupal logo and smiled and gave us the thumbs up even if they were just walking by.
Google, particularly Leslie Hawthorne and Cat Allman were running around making everything operate smoothly. They did an amazing job with the LUGRadio team. I think this is going to continue to be a hot event in years to come.
I am at the MySQL conference this week and I am conspiring with the MySQL and Sun folks to get more Drupal goodness inside MySQL. We are having a Drupal BoF Wednesday night at 7:30PM if you feel like making it to the Santa Clara convention center. It's free to attend the BoF and Sun's MySQL party.