Jim Craner's blog

New Drupal 7 Site: Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger website screenshot

I recently served as co-developer on an awesome new Drupal 7 project - migrating the Action Against Hunger organizational website from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.  Although I'd already built a simple D7 site from scratch (this one :-), this was my first sophisticated D7 production site.  My primary responsibilities during the project were content migration and image management and I learned a lot, obviously, about the differences between D6 and D7.

Nonprofit QR Code Article Roundup

QRCode exampleHave you seen these square bar codes popping up everywhere - billboards, magazine ads, conference programs, even tombstones?  Since half the US population will be using smart phones by the end of this year, expect to see a lot more! 

The NTEN Discuss mailing list (which is awesome) recently had a great discussion about QR Codes.  There are lots of nonprofit organizations using these codes in interesting ways to connect viewers with various outreach channels and activities.  Since I've been working on some QR Code-related projects, I've collected some of the links below for any interested NPOs:

Chicago NPOs: Chicago Cause giving away $32K in-kind services

Chicago Cause is a collaboration between three local firms - Orbit, Lightspan Digital, and Flanigan Communications - that donates an in-kind package of website design, public relations, marketing, and video production services to a local Chicago nonprofit.  You can check out the what can happen by visiting the site of last year's winner, the Center for Disability and Elder Law.  The in-kind donations this year include:

Michelle Murrain's brief on open source NPO CRM

My friend and colleague Michelle Murrain wrote a great overview of the open source nonprofit CRM space as well as the benefits and drawbacks of open source vs. proprietary and desktop vs. SaaS approaches.  As a CiviCRM dev, I pretty much agree with everything she had to say, especially the love-hate relationship.  In the past five years, though, as the software has improved so quickly, I've gone much more toward the "love" side.  :-)

Know What You Need Before You Buy What You Don't!

blueprints of a house"How much does a nonprofit website cost?"  I think I've answered that question several hundred times in my career.  I've sat in on conference sessions with that title.  I've discussed it with colleagues and collaborators.  And now I can discuss it yet again.  :-)

Drupal Doesn't Suck - Countering Slashdot's Amateur Web Developer Rabble

Drupal iconSigh.  Today's Drupal-related post on Slashdot, like the previous 50 Drupal-related posts on Slashdot, will generate a ton of comments, most of which will be variations on "Drupal sucks."

I'm tired of the same old conversation that happens every time this topic comes up; by reading this blog post you can save yourself the trouble of ever reading another Drupal story on Slashdot.

Nonprofits: Think Before You Build A Mobile App!

With a few exceptions, I always dislike hearing that nonprofit organizations are considering building a mobile app.  My main gripe has always been compatibility: why on earth would you make an iPhone-specific app (or an Android-specific app) and exclude every other mobile user not on that platform?  Now that the iPhone is no longer dominating the app-friendly smartphone market, there are plenty of folks working on - and obviously paying for - versions of apps for both platforms.

ZeroDivide's "Technology Related Grantmaking" Report

cover of ZeroDivide report

ZeroDivide recently released a new report about tech-related grantmaking by foundations: "Survey of Technology-Related Grantmaking: 'Amplifying Social Impact in a Connected Age'" (PDF).

As someone who would love nothing more than to see boatloads of money poured into well-planned, well-managed, and well-executed nonprofit and community programs with strong technology/online components, I was eager to read this report and see what folks were saying about its findings.

New site launched: Galecia.com!

Screenshot of new Galecia.com siteThe Galecia Group is a library technology consulting firm that I've been working with as a web developer since late 2009.  After working on various web projects for the open source library community (LibraryFiltering.org, OpenSource.califa.org, rscel.org), we finally created and launched a new Drupal-based website for the firm itself this week.  The site owner had very specific requirements for design, architecture, and functionality - which required a decent amount of Drupal customization.

The old Galecia.com website was a Wordpress-based blog created in the late '00s.  Wordpress categorization features were used to separate content into blog entries, resource posts, client portfolio entries, links, etc.  The main reasons that the site owner cited for the overhaul were 1) to implement an aesthetic refresh, 2) improve information architecture, and 3) offer improved content management features.

Drupal recipe: dynamic menu link to "most recent" node, plus Disqus

I'm working on a Drupal website implementation for a fellow consultant's portfolio site, including a blog.  As an IA tactic, we want the primary menu item "Blog" to link to the most recent blog entry.

I spent some time researching dynamic paths in Drupal and initially couldn't find anything suitable.  For SEO reasons, I would prefer to be able to click the link in the menu item and automagically go to the proper pathauto'ed blog entry as opposed to having an extra alias applied to the post.  I really didn't want to get into custom code with hook_menu or anything similar if I could avoid it because I don't have any experience with hook_menu stuff and as this is a budget-sensitive client, I don't have the time didn't think I had the time to research doing that correctly.  :-)

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