2008/07/31

Progress on Drupal

Progress, albeit via baby steps and slow ones at that, is being made in our efforts to learn Drupal and to develop and/or identify the Drupal community in northeast Wisconsin.

Andy M and I did another Drupal session today in his office. We figured out a couple minor points about modules and changes to our test site but didn't make nearly the progress we'd hoped for. As a result, part of our session focused on what we need to do to develop and/or identify the Drupal community in northeast Wisconsin.

In the past couple weeks we found out about four other Drupalers in our region. One emailed me in response to one or more of my blog posts about Drupal. Another two, as mentioned in a previous post, were identified as the result of a brief conversation in the Appleton Library. The fourth person came to light as the result of a conversation at BarCampMadison last weekend. I now need to schedule several meetings in the next few weeks so Andy and I can connect in-person with these four people.

Additionally, Andy and I identified other action items to find more nearby Drupalers. The Appleton Library system often has their Drupal materials checked out and one or more holds placed on the materials. This indicates there are others in the region interested in Drupal. With a bit of effort, we should be able to connect with at least three or four more Drupal users with whom we can periodically connect with online and, we hope, in-person. Other possible community-building tools include meetup.com or its event siblings, blog searches, general web searches and contacting computer science college professors in the area.

We have begun identifying local merchants to contact for beta site coupon sponsors. There will be no cost for those merchants to place a coupon on the site, so it should be fairly easy to sign up a few coupon providers to make that part of the website functional. However, we still need the rest of the site to be usable and attractive before we approach merchants other than those business owners we know on a personal basis.

The tech book publisher Packt, at www.packtpub.com, is willing to provide a gratis review copy of their books to people who will publish an online review of the book. I contacted them about getting one copy each of Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6 and Building Websites with Joomla! 1.5. The books are now riding across the USA countryside and expected to arrive on my doorstep on 04 August, with their most-recently reported location being Hodgkins, Illinois, on 02 August. (I love web tracking of packages. Copy the tracking number from the email you receive, paste it into a Google search box and, voila, you know when and where it's been, as well as when you should receive it.) My plan is to read the Drupal book and use it to help us build our site. After reading it and using what I learn for a couple weeks, I'll post a review on this blog. After we have our first site in decent, usable shape, I'll then read the Joomla book and build a website with that to compare the two CMSs and to evaluate the book. This approach means it will likely be six to eight weeks before I post a review of the Joomla book.

If you're interested in Drupal and live in northeast Wisconsin, roughly from Fond du Lac and Sheboygan north to Marinette and Antigo, and from Sturgeon Bay and Two Rivers west to Waupaca or Wautoma -- please contact us via bwaldron {att} gmail [dott] com. We'd very much enjoy meeting with you, learning about Drupal and other topics from you, and sharing what we know.

We look forward to hearing from you!

*****

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