At this time of year, a lot of people are thinking about gifts, both those that we give and receive. It is often a joyous time, although often stressful too. People come together and often reflect on what has happened in the last year, celebrate the victories and set new goals for the year ahead. We have a great deal to be thankful for and it is a time of year when we find ourselves expressing gratitute for those who have supported us and are part of our community. I don't think we are particularly good at doing this in...
I was happy to have OpenConcept well represented at Ottawa's first Ladies Learning Code Drupal event. There was a great turnout of interested people, keen to get their feet wet learning Drupal. Mathew Winstone from Coldfront Labs led the full day event. It was clear how much work he had put into getting new people who weren't familiar with programming started with Drupal. It was great to be able to leverage Pantheon 's free hosting service to get people started. Fortunately, we didn't need to introduce the students to Git or installing a local environment before getting them involved in...
Ryan Weal & Others in the Code Sprint
San Francisco is beautiful in the fall, BADCamp has become a real institution in the Drupal community, and I had an opportunity to present about Drupal 8's accessibility. So I packed my bags and flew down to sunny California and was able to participate in several Drupal Core Code Sprints , the NGO Summit and several talks. It is useful to go to these community events and to have a chance to hang out with other people who are shaping this community. The Drupal community involves a lot of passionate people who believe strongly in collaboration. It is always exciting...
Organizers of A11yYOW 2014
Digital Accessibility is a really big and complicated issue. There are no simple fixes because the technology keeps changing and the web standards are regularly being adjusted in attempt to keep up. A site that is considered accessible today, may not be accessible viewed this way in 6 months. Ultimately it is about building technology such that the widest number of people can have the greatest access to the web. The web has become our town square and school as well as our our path to city hall and venue for purchasing for goods and services. Increasingly, to be an...
Duane Raymond preseting in Ottawa.
It was great to work with Duane Raymond and George Irish to create a FairSay campaign/fundraising training in Ottawa on October 15th. I've corresponded with Duane for many years and have always wanted to make the trip to Oxford to go to the eCampaigning Forum. After organizing these events for over a decade, Duane has built quite a considerable base of knowledge and an extensive global network. In the afternoon session we had very interesting conversations on building a digital election strategy for 2015, retaining supporters online, effective eCampaigning models and converting online activists to donors. There were two streams...
Flynn Theatre B Inspired
I had a great time in Burlington earlier this month with the B Corporation community . It was inspiring to be around people working for change and meeting people who are working to make business a force for good in this world. Over 350 people came from around the world to attend this event and it was exciting to see how global this movement has become. The event was held in Vermont and it was clear to see the pride of all of the local B Corps who have been fighting to make a difference in this community. I went...
Roadtrip Back from DC DrupalCon
This is a story of our origins that I hope will resonate with others seeking change in this world. There are many truths, some of them are here. Foundation The name OpenConcept came from a kitchen table conversation between three friends: Nancy Shaver , Russell McOrmond and myself. The initial idea was to use the Web as an interface for Popular Education (PopEd) and to help build Sustainable Communities. This idea never got off the ground at the time, but Russell continued to direct me in the essentials of HTML, PHP , MySQL and server administration. Russell also schooled me...
Google Styled Map from Hackable Cities Guide
Canada's Cities Need a Digital Roadmap, and it needs to engage with citizens. Most Canadians interact with the local level of government more than any other, and increasingly this is being done electronically Defining a Digital Roadmap A roadmap is a common planning tool to help both visualize and achieve a particular goal. It's useful to build consensus around any multi-stakeholder process. Projects often stall if they get caught up in the details, because there is no strategic approach to define priorities that everyone understands. Technology plays a critical role in most municipalities that goes well beyond infrastructure. Yes, many...
New Office Wall with Values
I didn't start OpenConcept because I was interested in business, I started this company because I saw the Internet as being a vehicle of much needed change in our world. So when thinking about the future of my business, I had pretty non-traditional way of looking at growth. My initial inspirations about OpenConcept as a business started around a kitchen table over 15 years ago, and in much of this time has been spent around a kitchen table. What I knew was that progressive organizations needed to be better at collaborating with each other and that open source web tools...
The Awesome Room from TCDrupal's Sprint Room
At DrupalCon Austin I was asked by Barry Madore of Triplo to talk about Drupal & Accessibility at TCDrupal 2014. In 2013, a team of people had done some great usability and accessibility work on Drupal 8 at the University of Minnesota . This seemed like an excellent opportunity to follow-up on that. This year Twin Cities Drupal Camp took place from August 7-10. I spent a bunch of my time there in the Awesome Room, which was where the sprints were taking place on Saturday. I couldn't get there in the week unfortunately, but was able to present my...