This Wednesday Ben Jeavons and I (of pingVision) and Mollee Bauer (the owner/founder of pregnancy.org) will be doing a case study/showcase presentation at Drupalcon DC. I’ve been working on our presentation in Keynote over the weekend based on our collective notes.
One of the challenges of combining the notes of three people into a single presentation is creating something with one voice that comes across as coherent. One of the ways I work to create a single voice is through images. When I’m putting together a slides I have a few rules.
- Don’t write every word you are going to say on the slides! It will bore your audience to tears. Short points that emphasize your commentary will suffice.
- Use your slides to keep momentum up. They should be punchy and interesting. A little bit of humour is helpful.
- Try and have roughly 50% of your slides contain images. They will help generate interest.
Professionally, this past year has proven to be pretty amazing. I've continued to work for pingVision - an interactive media company that has a pretty heavy focus on Drupal. It was Drupal that brought me to pingVision nearly two years ago. I was learning about Drupal on version 4.7 in Vancouver to leverage the CMS in a site I was working on for WESTAF--I was, at the time, Senior Director of Technology. I was moving my blogging activities from Blogger to my own domain, which my wife and I have used since 1995.
The camp occurred a week ago. I was making arrangements for bagels in the morning and mapping out the best way for me to get from Westminster to the Camp at Denver Open Media. I was thinking, for a Camp, things seemed pretty well organized. At pingVision we had had several meetings about food. Both Al and I had gone to different Costcos to see about enormous coffee urns and finding none reverted to large cardboard containers enjoyed by all, but not by anyone more than Greggles, who chose to "wheeze the juice". The t-shirts proved awesome--I love mine--and we got some pretty nifty stickers as well.
So, what went well?
TJ Cook from HiDef Web Solutions, Brian Hiatt from CivicPixel, and Wes Morgan, a key CiviCRM contributor presented CiviCRM at the Camp. CiviCRM is CRM system focused on nonprofits that can stand alone, work with Joomla, or with Drupal. CiviCRM is a complex package with a footprint larger than Drupal Core itself. This session gave participants a taste of what CiviCRM is all about. These are my notes from the session.
Jacob Redding, John Zhu, and Scales ran this session. I've known Scales for about a year and a half and was pretty amazed (but not surprised) when he announced that he was moving to China. The three of them talked about China, the Drupal project, and why the Open Source community makes so much sense in the Chinese environment.
Jay Batson and Dries presented an introduction to Acquia. This is a report on what was said and is based on my notes at the time.
Dries had the idea to start a company and at Drupalcon in Sunnyvale, Jay "dropped out of the sky". Drupal was finding its way to a tipping point. Its usability has improved, but still could be further improved upon and to be really successful the overall ecosystem must be increased.
Acquia will seek to be a provider of services like Ubuntu, Zend, RedHat, and MySQL all of which have commercial ventures/companies behind them.
Cooperation and Collaboration--can it happen between shops?
One of the challenges faced by different Drupal houses is overlap of efforts. For any given client, there may be several solutions for the same problem that has faced other developers. Similar solutions come up again and and again--meaning there is a waste of time and a waste of code. Often code that goes into a client project, it dies in a client project. If code is contributable back to the community, share it. It belongs in Drupal CVS.
Despite two wars, a looming recession, a shrinking job market, and a tanking stock exchange, the arts may have one of the best years in decades.
In 1992, the National Endowment for the Arts appropriation was almost $176 million--the largest ever. Little did the agency know, that a piece created by Serrano in 1988 was poised to cause the agency the most precipitous decline ever.
Between 1989 and 1990, the Corcoran Gallery displayed Mapplethorpe and Serrano works that created a bit of a firestorm. The NEA continued to enjoy fairly robust funding until 1994 when the Republican party took over. Congress very nearly eliminated funding all-together. The agency's budget was cut by 40% dropping its funding levels to $99.5 million. This may seem like a lot of money, but in a country as large as the United States, it is a tiny drop.
To illustrate, in 2003/2004 The following countries funded, per capita, at the following rates (in Canadian Dollars):
My family has taken a short working vacation and flown to Orlando to see the mouse. Despite waking up at 5 am to get an early morning flight, the time change had us arriving mid afternoon and not getting to the hotel until dinner time. We are staying at the mouse's "Animal Kingdom Lodge" and I must say that arriving at the airport, not having to pick up luggage, and having a coach take us to the door of the resort was pretty terrific. We were delighted to find out that they upgraded our room to a "Savannah" view which has us looking out on ostriches, giraffes, and water-buffalo from our balcony. Pretty cool.