Making Buttons

One of the amazing birthday presents that I got this year was a kit from Badge-a-minit to make 1.25" buttons. I was inexplicably excited about it. But immediately drew a blank of what to put on my buttons.

Skip ahead nearly two months.

Tonight was the first Green Party meeting where myself and the other nominee (Lynn Morgan) were asked to speak about why we decided to become politicians. I'm one of those crazy process people who wishes that more people would care about politics. I wish more people would vote. And I wish more people would pay attention to the decisions other people make that affect everyones' lives. I get excited when I can make a difference in someone's life---when I can enable them to find their own voice and participate in their chosen community.

SEO: Plug your nose and get stuck in

This week I am almost completely consumed by search engine optimization. It's the topic for chapter in my new book on building Drupal Web sites and the topic for an SEO class that I'm teaching at the beginning of August. I've been comparing search results for phrases like "php drupal" and "php drupal help." I've been obsessing over click through rates and conversion rates and I've been studying the competition. And then I got side tracked. Using the little built-in Firefox Google search (so that Mozilla could get a few fractions of a cent from my search) I looked up the following terms:

If we do a little comparison against these four terms we'll see most people use the term "software" with occasional forays into "program" most people have been using the term "software" and that the most popular regions for any combination of these terms are from India, South Africa, New Zealand and the UK. GIMP ranks well in all four search phrases, but only the first link yields a top-ten result for Inkscape. What's up Inkscape? Why aren't you top ten how can we make you do better? SEO to the rescue. Before you get covered in hives and think that SEO is just for marketing wonks let's take a look at how all projects, products and businesses can benefit from a little bit of site optimization.


I have the most interesting conversations while at open source conferences. A few weeks ago at CMS Expo I had a great conversation with Jeff Eaton about open source as it relates to things other than code. I'm not sure where Jeff had come up with the phrase, but he had recently realized that many of our best third party ("contributed") Drupal modules are "artefacts of paid work." Unlikely many other types of open source projects where a developer was "scratching their own itch", much of the Drupal ecosystem of code has been built by people who were paid for their time.

While this could open up the conversation to all kinds of interesting comparisons and rebuttals and agreements and disagreements, let's head off in a different direction instead. Contributing artefacts has made the Drupal code ecosystem incredibly healthy and a wonderful place to dive into when you are looking to deploy a Web site with a shoestring budget. There are, however, two main problems that we've not yet solved: designs can never be artefacts and training people has no residual artefact.

Git for Teams

Git For Teams

Best selling title from O'Reilly media. Covers essential skills needed to use Git in a team environment.

Available from O'Reilly media, and better bookstores worldwide.

Collaborating with Git

Collaborating with Git

Practical how-to videos to get you, and your team, up and running with Git. A complementary video series for the book, Git for Teams.

Available from O'Reilly media.

Drupal User's Guide

Drupal User's Guide

Site building for Drupal 7. Includes in-depth information on Drupal's most popular site building modules, SEO and accessibility. Two complete case studies are included in the book along with the tools you'll need to build (almost) any Web site with Drupal.

Available from Amazon.com.

Front End Drupal

Front End Drupal

The industry go-to for learning theming in Drupal 6. A great companion to Lullabot's book, Using Drupal.

Available from Amazon.com.