Today is Amy’s birthday. For a bit of quirky/geeky celebration, I decided to take some snaps today of found typography to produce this.

Happy Birthday

It doesn’t hold a candle up to Amy’s work, but I thought it’d be fun to do and share.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Amy’s personal photoblog, Newtown photoblog, and also her portfolio site.

Amy has an uncanny ability to capture the vibe and essence of the world that I inhabit – the places, the people, the music – and inspires me daily (and I sooooo wish she’d write more as well as post photos). HB Amy – hope it’s a good one!

Web Essentials

I missed last year’s Web Essentials conference, much to my regret. I’ve just booked in for this year. Should be a lot of (geek-filled) fun!

Triple Bottom Line, Down Under

Worldchanging: Triple Bottom Line, Down Under. The author notes how little press the report has garnered here (and how what little coverage has occurred has mis-represented the report). I recall reading reports of plans by the government to reduce funding for CSIRO – but I can’t seem to find a reference. But CSIRO does perform an important role in Australian research and policy development, so I hope that I’m mistaken.


Thought for the day: calling Drupal a “content management platform” is stretching the truth somewhat. Technically, yes, it supports the management of content. But it lacks fundamental features, such as creating site structure, and re-using content across the site in forms outside of basic “show everything for a category” style lists. It’s more a “community blogging platform” with some additional features, and a big community doing lots of hacks to get things resembling a normal site.

This is not to dis what the Drupal community has achieved – it is significant and is an amazing platform for certain types of sites. We’re going to have to a significant amount of hacking to get it to work even with a basic structure. And one section of the site in particular is looking like requiring a significant amount of custom page development.

I often hear (on the web and elsewhere) that the CMS market is crowded, and that it’s tough to be competitive. But I actually disagree. There is no system that I’ve found, certainly in the open source space, that really balances blog-style/community tools with site management tools. Flexible version control and workflow management is also lacking on many tools – some don’t have any (or poor implementation) and others are too restrictive.

It seems that the systems that do exist are either a) overly expensive ($20k for a basic installation is a stretch IMO), b) counter-intuitive from an admin/editing perspective, or c) lacking core features (like standards compliance etc.). Perhaps our needs are too specific. But I have read about and talked to a number of people that have lamented the same thing.

What this means is that there is still room for CMS systems to take root and take on a significant chunk in the market. Certainly, if we had a bit more time we would seriously consider building something ourselves, or at least getting involved in extending a framework or existing project (Cuyahoga comes to mind) that fits our needs. It’s no trivial task, but I certainly don’t think that building a solid system is out of the realm of possibility.

Ish coffee notes

Wi-Fi Hotspots, Fair-Trade Coffee, gadgets and podcasting (damn mt archives are dead – read here for the moment). Ashley’s morning coffee notes. My coffee almost ended up on the keyboard when I read this:

Damn laptop battery (on the work IBM T40) is deteriorating faster than world peace and human rights under Bush.

Another gem: “Better to beg for forgiveness than ask permission…” Advice to live by methinks 😉

Pushing Power to the Edges

Worldchanging: Pushing Power to the Edges. Highlighting a new report into civic engagement and technology.

A key recommendation of the report: nonprofits and NGOs will have to adapt their cultures and practices to keep pace with technology and to use it effectively. They’ll have to develop an understanding of the Internet demographic and its relevance to their work – e.g. the Internet is particularly effective in reaching, not necessarily all potential constituents, but at least “influentials” who may be catalysts for organization and action.

This is certainly the way I see the website at WWF. There are, of course, many ways to do this, and there’s bound to be push-back as the changes take place. Some of the challenges we face…