Thoughts that Count

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Drupal Gardens adds blog template, analytics, pseudo-class styling & more

Last week the Acquia engineering team finished its first post-DrupalCon sprint and upgraded nearly 9,500 Drupal Gardens sites to a new release. For an invitation-only beta, that is a lot of sites. Considering that this effort is combined with running on recent daily builds of the Drupal 7 alpha, the team has no shortage of challenges. While a significant chunk of our time is spent working on advancing and testing Drupal 7 core, key contributor modules and Drupal 7 HEAD to HEAD upgrades, the team also introduced some cool new features that... Mehr

Gov 2.0 Expo: Introduction to Government Social Publishing with Drupal

On Tuesday, May 25th, 2009 from 9AM to 10:30AM I will presenting a session on Introduction to Government Social Publishing with Drupal. I'll be covering the basics of the rise of social publishing from commenting through micro-blogging. This session is targeted at both new Drupal users and experienced Drupal users who want to learn how Drupal is being used across several US government agencies. I will also address the adoption of Drupal for national government websites as demonstrated in this slide show.

I will... Mehr

Tom Erickson on Gov 2.0

Government: Of the People, By the People, For the People

Tom Erickson, Acquia's CEO provides context for his Gov 2.0 Expo session: Drupal and Social Publishing Strategies for Meeting the Open Government Directive.
Tom will be serving on a panel with 3 other Drupal in Government experts:
- Andrew Hoppin, CIO New York State Senate
- Kirsten Burgard, Department of Veterans Affairs
- Rob Klause, Siteworkx, Inc.
In this session, Thomas Erickson, CEO of Acquia, will... Mehr

Extraordinary glimpse of Acquia Client Advisors in action

Working at Acquia often means taking on the hard problems, the big challenges, and making the difference between success and failure for our customers. To highlight just how flexible our Client Advisory Team needs to be on a daily basis, I want to share with you this extraordinary glimpse into the inner workings of a real life customer who was dealing with a Drupal problem they never even imagined could exist. Please be warned, this is a real screenshot of a real "support incident" - nothing has been held back, except the customer's name (for their own... Mehr

Creating Successful Support Engagements

It’s 4:00 AM, local time. You’ve been awoken by the angry sound of your iPhone’s SMS notification to tell you that the website you manage is totally offline. You’ve got a worldwide business and being operational 24/7 is critical. You call your support hotline (in Europe) which at this time has a long queue. You’re sweating, waiting. The rep finally comes on the phone and proclaims, “Hi there, Mr. Snuffleupagus, how can we help you?”
Something you may not realize about engaging with a support team member is this: Every piece of information you provide is a possible path for them to follow. So... Mehr

Top 10 Reasons for Marketers to build Microsites

You have heard us talk a lot about the benefits of Drupal, specifically Drupal Gardens, when it comes to speeding the creation of building microsites. But I get asked a lot by fellow marketers “what is it that I can really gain from microsites that I’m not already getting from my other web marketing tactics?” In fact I get asked that question so much, that I’ve come up with my Top Ten on why marketers will be (and should be) building more microsites.
For those of you who are building microsites, what do you think?
1- Traditional, vendor-driven... Mehr

Drupal Commons is growing

At the start of DrupalCon San Francisco, we let folks know that we were working on a new Drupal Distribution called Drupal Commons. As a reminder, Drupal Commons is integrating groups, discussion forums, blogs, wikis, documents, and events into a single packaged solution. It is designed to meet the business needs of enterprises who are looking at solutions like Jive. At the time, I made a screencast to give people a quick look at what it's... Mehr

On business models for Drupal distributions

The fact that thousands of developers use Drupal to make money building websites for their customers has resulted in thousands of modules being created and hundreds of events being organized around the world. When I started Drupal, I wasn't aware of the importance of such a commercial ecosystem. Looking back at 10 years of working on Drupal, it is an important lesson learned. If I were to start a new Open Source project (I'm not!), the ability to build out a large commercial ecosystem would be one of the criteria that I'd look for. Disruptive innovations... Mehr

DrupalCon SF Impressions

Recapping my thoughts after a wonderful week at DrupalCon San Francisco 2010.

Acquia Hosting: an update after 8 months of Drupal hosting

Roughly 8 months ago at DrupalCon Paris, we launched Acquia Hosting. In this blog post, I wanted to give a quick update on where we are after 8 months.
Current status
For those who don't know, Acquia Hosting is a highly-available cloud-based hosting platform tuned for Drupal performance and scalability. From a technology point of view, we've built tools to automatically launch multi-server hosting environments... Mehr

Enterprise Drupal Gardens

Early last year, shortly after I had officially joined Acquia as an employee, I was thinking about critical issues that enterprises face when confronting the interactive web. Acquia had heard from several corners of the market about their headaches with current technologies.

The head of NBC digital had spoken at a conference in Boston, and talked about their number one issue: creating micro sites.
We had some conversations with a large university, who has over 400 web sites. Each professor, every department, individual libraries, etc. all had their own sites. The vast majority of... Mehr

Venti Drupalccino coming right up! Acquia Hosting's automated provisioning system

Acquia Hosting is designed to be a high performance, high reliability, highly scalable, and highly manageable Drupal hosting infrastructure. Our goal was to be able to quickly provision small and large sites, meet the enormous requirements of Drupal Gardens, and keep all of it running reliably, with a small engineering and operations team. It is easy to say that "the cloud solves all of that," and indeed cloud technology provides a substantial number of benefits. However, in my recent talk at Drupalcon,... Mehr

Aspiring Drupal users want Drupal Gardens

Can the Drupal community expand by 100X? Yes! And Drupal Gardens will help.
As the product manager of Drupal Gardens, my days at Drupalcon last month were filled with product demos and discussions about Drupal Gardens. The product was previewed last fall at Drupalcon in Paris, but it wasn't yet in beta. This Drupalcon was a different story. I was able to talk to dozens of Gardens beta testers each day and meet new people who wanted to use it. The thing that pleased me most was how excited new Drupal users are about Drupal Gardens. Each... Mehr

Innovation is at the Heart of Open Source

Network World published a story about the decision that the US Veteran's Administration has made to pursue open source for their next generation VistA (VA Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture)system.
While the current VistA system currently works well, "its roots make it too hard to innovate on the system". This is precisely the point I made in an earlier... Mehr

Acquia Hosting Customer Hits 5,000 requests/second! (or Why I Love Load Testing...)

Who says Drupal doesn't scale? Certainly not Acquia!
A large global PR firm recently measured their Acquia-hosted web site performance to over 3 million page views per hour (or 830 pages per second). When including all content, that's 5,000 requests per second. Wow!
Drupal gave them the flexibility to quickly respond to events. Of course, the bottom line is customer success and they reported that it was one of their "best web launches... ever".
Following industry best practices, they performed load testing multiple times during the development process.... Mehr

The Lifestyle of Drupal Support

When people hear the word support, it often drums up images of overcrowded call centers in a faraway land staffed by the lowest bidder and a digitized voice that tells you how important your call is to them. So important, in fact, that it will be answered in the order received.
That may be true in the proprietary software market and, oftentimes, rightfully so given the repeatability of solutions that are often present in that space. While I don't believe proprietary software is inherently evil (Yes, I use a Mac and a Windows 7 machine), that's a model that cannot work for open source software... Mehr

Building Drupal publishing sites on OpenPublish

Publishers love Drupal. We see this everyday at Acquia. In fact, they make up one of our largest group of customers including the Slate Group, Thomson Reuters, and Publishers continue adopting and migrating existing sites because they can leverage thousands of modules, features, and monetization capabilities of Drupal to stay on top of the latest web trends and technologies. This is no surprise due to Drupal’s inherit social capabilities, custom content types, media and third party integration, and flexibility to customize or build on the CMS in any way you desire. In... Mehr

DrupalCon Buzz - Can We Say the "R" word for Drupal 8?

If you are reading this and Drupal 7 is not yet released, pop over to the critical issue queue and roll, review, or comment on a patch before you go any further!
Ok, done? Drupal 7 is the top priority, but getting people together for the core developer summit stimulated (as intended) lots of excitement and... Mehr

Simpleviews on Drupal 7 - how we did it

Early on in the development of Drupal Gardens, it was clear that we needed some type of simple Views-like functionality. You know, letting users set up simple lists of content beyond what is included with Drupal 7 core, but simpler than the Views UI which can be quite intimidating to first-time users. Drupal Gardens' goals include making Drupal easy to use, and that sometimes comes with feature sacrifices. You cannot do everything you could do with a self-hosted solution, but you can do most things easier. If you exceed what Drupal Gardens can do, no... Mehr

How Acquia keeps aHEAD of Drupal 7

When we (Acquia) started planning our hosted Drupal service (Drupal Gardens) a year ago we had to take the call of developing in Drupal 7 or Drupal 6.  I don't think this was ever really in doubt, but the decision to try to build a product on Drupal 7 core at that stage was certainly a risky one. Why? there were almost no contributed modules or themes and the architecture and APIs were changing daily. Acquia's business is squarely Drupal.  Drupal support, Drupal promotion, Drupal hosting, Drupal polish, Drupal architecture... Mehr

DrupalCon San Francisco wrapup

DrupalCon San Francisco ended a few days ago, so once again I'm sitting here with post-DrupalCon blues, trying to wrap my head around what just happened, digging out my backlog of work, and rediscovering my usual rhythm. It happens to me every time, and it is a sign of having had a great time. In short, DrupalCon San Francisco was 'fantastic', a word I use sparingly. It is best expressed in numbers, like Matt Cheney of Chapter Three did in his closing session:
Roughly 3000 registered attendees at an average... Mehr

Drupal Software Publishing

Acquia announced a new program at Drupalcon last week, Drupal Software Publishing. I thought it might be useful to provide some of the thinking that went into establishing this program.
Acquia’s core mission is to establish Drupal as the dominant social publishing platform. If we’re successful at this, there will be a thriving ecosystem around Drupal offering a broad variety of services and solutions.
As a part of this, we continually think about how we can create more win-win opportunities for Acquia and our partners. Acquia has frequent discussions with our customers and partners, and... Mehr

Drupalcon growth: Ideas on how we go from 300 to 30,000 participants based on 5 Drupalcons

I am a permanent member of the Drupal association, and the director of business development for the association. I do not speak officially for the association, nor do I speak on behalf of the Drupalcon organizing committees. But I do have a blog and I want to have a discussion with the community about smart growth at Drupalcon. (*I've also helped raise approximately a million dollars for the association so they at least listen to me)
Growing smart
The smartest thing I've heard about Drupal community growth over the last week was that Drupal should not grow beyond our ability to... Mehr

Social Publishing in the Enterprise: Industry Case studies from Drupalcon to convince your technical executives

For Drupalcon San Francisco I lead the "Leveraging Drupal for your Business" track. Within the track there was a "Social Publishing in the Enterprise" sub-track designed to tell the story of how enterprises are succeeding with Drupal.
At Acquia, one of my jobs is to help explain Drupal's capabilities to Enterprises. These case studies help tell the business success stories that can convince technical executives that they can succeed with Drupal in their enterprises. The first step is convincing technical executives that they are not unnecessarily taking risks, in effect that Drupal is a safe... Mehr

How we trained 120 people to be core contributors at the Drupalcon sprints

In my previous post on Drupalcon innovations I addressed how we, the Drupalcon organizers, added a sprint before Drupalcon when contributors are passionate and well rested. This was one important part of growing the Drupal community. In this blog post I'll explain a larger strategy of how the community is training new community members to use quality assurance tools to improve Drupal sites. This sprinting has the side benefit of teaching people how to become core contributors.
I've been... Mehr