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Adventures in Drupal-Flavored Community Building

Your session in a few words: 
A review of solutions employed across a variety of Drupal-based community websites and the lessons and design patterns that can be extracted and re-used in your website.
From zero to hero
Session Type: 
Level of expertise: 

Creating an online community website is a weird and wonderful process that calls for both technological and sociological tools and design patterns in order to provide a structure within which your community members can interact and your community can thrive.

We will look at:

  • What different types of communities can exist
  • How different communities call for different tools
  • Why it doesn't always make sense to throw in every single tool and the kitchen sink and let them figure it out
  • What Drupal modules (and combinations of modules) can give us the type of community we need (the trick here is to achieve it with minimal hacking and the smallest number of modules)
  • What modifications / simplifications we can perform to make it easier for users to use our community
  • How to define metrics and use Drupal to measure success for our community
  • Where and how Drupal can grow as a platform/ framework/ infrastructure/ plumbing for communities
  • What will Drupal 7 offer to community builders

This session is based on work that we are doing in trying to extract community design patterns by looking at a variety of Drupal-based community websites and the Drupal-based community websites we have built and maintain ourselves.

The overarching aim of our work is to create guides that include website recipes and solutions that can help with community development. Such guides should look at both the technology required (in this case Drupal modules, what problems and requirements each one solves and how they can interact between them) and the sociology required (what type of management does the community and its members need - from a statement of purpose to a set of rules, etc) .

This session will be the first time we present this work and hopefully kickstart a more long-term project of sharing of experiences on the subject.

No need to be frustrated

Some things are not obvious straight away with Drupal but the good news is that if you manage to get someone to explain a few tricks the whole process speeds up considerably - it is discovering these things on your own that takes a lot of time.

That is why coming to DrupalCons is such a good idea!