Spent the day yesterday at the Bay Area Drupal (BAD) Camp learning some basics about Drupal, the open-source content management system.
As someone new to trying to develop websites in Drupal, the intro workshop I attended was both amazingly informative and overwhelming.
Apart from the explanations of nodes, modules, blocks, views and panels (whew), what I enjoyed most about the day was the communitarian impulse of the people involved in organizing the event. Kieran Lal, who is billed as Acquia‘s Drupal Adventure Guide, the first speaker during the session I attended, was both open and welcoming to us newbies and talked about his desire to make Drupal more widely available as a low-cost publishing option. Not just for the people in the room and their communities, but also for newspapers and magazines, which are being shuttered left and right in this era of cost-cutting.
Loved this. As an ex-journalist, I’m torn about the financial difficulties newspapers face. Selfishly, I don’t want my dead-tree Sunday New York Times to go away. And yet history tells me that journalism is a creature of evolution and will always exist in some form or another. It’s just the medium that has changed, from town crier to printing press to now blogs and Drupal.
Oh, and I’ve got a website idea … let’s see if I learned enough at badcamp to launch.
This from Claire McCaskill, US Senator from Missouri (democrat), in a letter to the editor in the May 10 issue of the Sunday NY Times:
After reading Matt Bai’s piece last weekend (April 26), I’d like to explain why I tweet. His thesis is that Twitter is banal and superficial, and yes, it can be. But it has redeeming value in the context of my job.
First, through Twitter, I am able to post information daily on a public bulletin board about serious policy issues. These short messages are intended to drive thought and discussion rather than provide a thorough analysis of the issue.
Second, tweeting is a discipline that keeps me connected. Between hearings and votes, I think of what I want to tell the folks at home – after all, I’m in Washinton to work for them.
Third, I use Twitter because no one can edit me. In a world driven by edited sound bites, and a Capitol Hill culture that parses, obfuscates and works hard at saying nothing, we shouldn’t look down our noses at a few short declarative sentences.
Finally, it’s fun. Part of the problem in Washington is that folks take themselves too seriously. As I tweet about work and even the mundane parts of my life, I’m staying connected and grounded, and I have a smile on my face.
Well put, clairecmc. Let us never look down our noses at a few short declarative sentences.
Here’s her Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/clairecmc (she’s following 1 person and being followed by over 24k)