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...
Old Zenith Monitor
I was a relatively early adopter of the Internet, having gotten a Bitnet account at the University of Calgary through the Shad Valley program. Of course I'd been involved in BBS 's & Fidonet before this, but that branch of computer networking died when the Internet started to take off. It was exciting to see the range of conversations on Usenet newsgroups , mailing lists and of course through email. I became very involved in exploring what could be done with this technology and in 1990 began approaching non-profits, encouraging them to invest in this technology to help them accompish...
Slide from presentation
I am presenting at Ottawa's first Accessibility Summit . It's a 20 minute presentation on Fixing Accessibility Problems at the Source which I am using to talk about Drupal's experience trying to meet WCAG 2.0 AA. The slides from this event are available on slides.com , a neat service that works nicely using the open source library reveal.js . I totally loved that I could both edit the HTML directly in the interface and also import/export and host my files wherever I wanted to.For my Accessibility Summit Slides . I am including my notes here as part of this. Hopefully...
Mike Gifford Preseting about ATAG at CodeFest 2014
Anyone who has been involved Web Accessibility knows that the basics are quite simple, but that it can get complicated really quickly. Training people to create content that can be perceived by people with varieties of sight, hearing, mobility & cognitive challenges is no small task, and ultimately we all make mistakes. Most web content now is being created through Content Management Systems, which are helping to simplify the process of producing content. The future seems to be bright for systems that can manage small chunks of data which are assembled on the fly to give users a personalized experience...
Drupal Guy & Octocat sitting in Frank Lloyd Wright Porch
Yesterday we saw profile images get into Drupal.org. This has gotten a bunch of positive feedback as it both modernizes the look of the community and addresses a style bug that goes back to 2010 when the last design (Bluecheese) was applied to the site. More importantly though it puts a face on the contributors of the d.o community -- we are no longer just anonymous blue nicknames ! The styling changes on Drupal.org are a nice improvement, mostly because it is a regular reminder about the individuals who are pushing to make Drupal better. Hopefully when we see the...
Mike Gifford presenting at HubOttawa
This was a more in-person presentation about web accessibility issues in general.  We showcased some general issues and facilitating a bit of a discussion to raise awareness. We welcomed people from different backgrounds, including government services, universities and design agencies. The topic was addressed to a non-technical audience to raise awareness on accessibility. Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) began pretty well this year for us. I started by participating in Inclusive Design 24 (#ID24) with a 7am presentation. For those who missed it the talk live, a recording should be available soon. In the interim, I quickly posted the presentation...