Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Drupal 7 will Rock so hard!

Sat, 10/24/2009 - 07:49 -- rprice

Where do I even begin?

First of all, I must preface that the Drupal Community is without a doubt one of the best open source communities. (meaning: most open, most likely to share code, experience and best practices, most innovative, most forward-thinking, least likely to "chase the bunny", most likely to be the bunny, and most likely to create tons of venture-backed companies in the next few years)


I mean, the people involved are just amazing. The two DrupalCons I've attended were just amazing, and our local Florida DrupalCamp and Florida Drupal user groups are a big part of why I have not jumped ship to Python, Ruby, or other even other PHP-based platforms, and why I have no plans to any time soon.

We had a demo of the penumbrant Drupal 7 at our recent monthly Drupal user group. I am convinced it is THE CMS with more power under the hood (built-in, for free) than anything else... ever. The whole Job Queue API by itself is a reason to build web apps on top of this, and stop thinking of Drupal as a CMS - if you've got tons of processing that needs to happen, such as processing thousands of RSS feeds, or creating something very processing-intensive like Feedburner or Flickr, you will need to use multiple servers - a simple Cron job isn't enough any more.

Then there is the database layer - not that it was the worst before, but there were certain kinds of configurations which used to require hacking core. Now, because of some pretty OOP (yes, Drupal has objects now!), you can override the database layer, and it uses PDO.

One huge change is the addition of a Fields API (AKA adding CCK to core, but it's more than that). This means that instead of storing simple rows in a database, Drupal 7 exposes data storage to developers and end-users. At the most basic level, fields are used to store the title and body of nodes, categories/tags, images, dates, links, numbers or references to internal objects like nodes and users. This allows you to add extra fields to comments, user accounts and taxonomy terms as well.

Next, we'd have to talk about user interface and workflow improvements. The entire administrative interface now has a default skin - and there is now a compact administrative toolbar at the top of each page, plus a customizable bookmarks area and a configurable dashboard (unlike Wordpress, where you get to read Matt's blog). The interface is a great sensible default, which is a bit of a departure from where Drupal has been in the last few years.

You'll actually notice that there will now be a choice when you install Drupal - to use a "Basic" install, or strip everything down to the bare metal. In fact, you don't even have to turn on node module any more - really. This is part of some hard work by folks who would like to use Drupal's core as a PHP framework for building entirely custom apps (instead of smelly Zend Framework or the other unmentioned PHP tools that exist). If you look around for #smallcore, you'll see what I mean.

There is so much more to say... In fact, this presentation by Steve Karsch says more. If you're a big podcast listener, I'd highly recommend listening to Lullabot's Drupal Voices. I'll leave you with this, Drupal Planet and Google to find more.


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October 24, 2009: A Day of Climate Action (350)

Fri, 10/23/2009 - 10:17 -- rprice


Download Eco Footprint Special:


Length: 3:04

Gabe LeBlanc of EcoFactory left me this message about the event being held on 10/24/09 to raise awareness about the level of Carbon in the air. More info can be found at and

Gabe is offering free beer to the first 350 people to arrive at Orlando Brewing at 3:50 PM on October 24th. Gabe is doing awesome stuff in our community, and I recommend everyone go and support him, or find a similar event in your area.


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Think and Drink is Tomorrow Night! 9/16/09

Thu, 10/15/2009 - 12:29 -- rprice

Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow night, Friday, Sept 16th, at 7PM, we will be opening the doors of the historic Cameo Theatre to an event to have everyone get together, share ideas, talk about community building, and hear from a few people who have experienced success in their own communities.

Please bring $5 cash per person - each paid admission also gets a free drink coupon for a drink at the bar (non-alcoholic options are also available). If you don't want to pay cash, we can hook you up on the internet, but the EventBrite service slaps us with an extra $1 service charge.

We will be keeping the venue open as late as everyone wants to stay, so call the babysitter, put out the cat, and tell the wife (or husband) not to wait up for you! The conversation can continue until the wee hours of the morning! The Cameo will keep the bar open as long as we need it.

Who will be there?

Gwendolyn Anello is a co-owner of Anello Consulting out of Merritt Island. She consults several organizations in the areas of communications, market development, community and public affairs, and fundraising.

Chris Blanc is the Marketing Director for the Enzian Theatre and the Florida Film Festival. As if that wasn't enough, he's involved in several other local communities, and had a hand in creating the Dandelion Cafe.

Darren McDaniel is the creator of a feature film (The Essence of Irwin), the founder of a local internet startup (Petentials), former programming director at the Downtown Media Arts Center, and has done PhD-level research Sociology at Vanderbilt.

Julie Norris
is the owner of Dandelion CommuniTEA Cafe and the host of Front Porch Radio on WPRK 91.5FM every Wednesday. She's also a new mommy! Congrats!

John Rife
was a media missionary in S. Pacific / Asia, a founding member of Interactive Expeditions (, is an independent documentary filmmaker, a video blogger and is currently pursuing an MFA in Digital Media at UCF.

Lance Turner is the founder of the Ourlando movement and the owner of AEonBlue in Winter Park. You'll see Lance at tons of local events snapping pictures or signing up small businesses to bring the local color.

The Cameo Theatre
1013 E Colonial Dr (corner of Mills & Colonial)
Orlando, FL, 32803
Map Link:

About Florida Creatives

Ryan Price and John Rife hatched the idea for Florida Creatives Happy Hours in Ryan's kitchen 3 years ago, and the event is now a fixture in the Orlando community. FLCreatives has expanded to Jacksonville, Brevard County and South Florida. The first New Media Think and Drink was held in January 2008 at Redlight Redlight in Winter Park. John and Ryan are planning to hold Think and Drink several times a year. Get more info at or follow @flcreatives on Twitter.


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Media + Communitty -or- FLCreatives Discussion Series

Thu, 10/01/2009 - 07:43 -- rprice

In preparing to plan for a local event in October, namely Bringing Arts and Technology Together (BATT), I went through the process to reserve a space and get a few people involved with the organizational parts.

Long story short, we didn't have enough time to pull off BATT. Time to take baby steps. At the same time, we still have a venue reserved, so it's time to pull other ideas from my back pocket.

In the last 3 years, Florida Creatives has had an important role to play in helping the community grow, but we can take it farther. Our network (and network of networks) is capable of reaching all kinds of people around so many subjects.

I started a wiki page on the FLCreatives site to outline and suggest a format and possible topics for FLCreatives discussions. My main concern right now is the discussion we will hold on October 16th in the evening. Here's my first draft:

The Role of Media in a Community

A collected panel of community leaders with a successful track record will be given the stage and a chance to share their thoughts and stories using media to communicate with:

* Their community members
* Traditional media
* Other organizations
* Their volunteers and employees

New forms of media seem to appear every day, and what used to work in a print, TV and radio world may not fly in the world of social networking and YouTube. Some more established community leaders will have had to adapt, and those with newer missions will have had to make it up as they go along. We can hear from both sides in a panel like this.

EDIT: New Media Think and Drink Event RSVP

We have already confirmed 2 panelists:

  • EDIT: New discussion leaders!
  • John Rife
  • Darren McDaniel
  • Julie Norris, Dandelion CommuniTEA
  • Chris Blanc, Enzian/FL Film Festival
  • Lance Turner, OurLando
  • Gwendolyn Anello, PR & Marketing Consultant

Why do this event?

BarCamps and large events are great, but they only happen once a year in a given city - it would be hard to organize them too often. Happy Hours and Likemind are fun, but we try to keep the agenda out of those events. Ignite is great as a showcase of local talent, but there is no real theme to the event. The idea here is to pick one subject and pick it apart from several view points.

I always like following up a great discussion with some brainstorming, time to make plans and get things done, so my ideal would be to follow a great discussion with a "think tank" the following day - this is what the unconference format is great for - have an empty schedule and fill it with all of the things in your head after you get energized and inspired, then have a room full of people who are willing to talk about anything.

The discussion series should be followed by a BarCamp-like event to let people workshop on the discussion's topic from the previous evening. It's great to have time to "sleep on it", go and reflect, then get back together and get stuff done.

We've got the venue for Saturday the 17th as well, and they'll be happy to leave the chairs and equipment set up for us to hold a 'Camp style event on day 2 if we want.


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Photowalking, Anyone?

Tue, 09/15/2009 - 07:59 -- rprice

The last photowalk (at least that I know of) was back on April 10th. Anyone up for another? Perhaps through College Park? Perhaps October 1st? October 6th? Just asking...

EDIT: I went ahead and picked a time and place:

Tuesday October 6, 2009 at 5:30pm
Harmoni Artisan Meal Market
2305 Edgewater Dr # H
College Park, Florida 32804
Get Directions

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(some) Drupal Theming: Slides

Thu, 07/16/2009 - 18:04 -- rprice

For a DrupalEasy workshop we taught today for NEFLIN, I put together some slides about learning good webpage design, which is mostly geared towards theming Drupal. All of the links in here are clickable, and I highly recommend you check them out.

(pass around a shortened URL to this slideshare with

I spent years making static pages and hand-coding stuff before I came to Drupal, and I feel as though I was able to reach the brains of some librarians today with a few of these links. It was good fun when I was showing off the article about Sprites. One guy said "...really small, fly around sprinkling magic dust". Indeed.

Also, a quick reminder that we have a DrupalEasy CCK and Views Workshop coming up on July 23rd at Leu Gardens in Orlando. Use the coupon code "FLORIDA" to get $25 off registration.


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When was the last time you favorited a tweet?

Mon, 06/29/2009 - 06:05 -- rprice

A few days ago I was listening to @davewiner and @jayrosen_nyu on their Rebooting the News podcast, and dave was talking about his 40tweets app.

40twits takes a look at the stats for the shortened URLs you post to twitter and decides which ones are most popular, then displays them in order. Dave's current top link as about Wikipedia and Michael Jackson.

I don't know if it counts the link being retweeted, but I'm going to guess yes.

This got me thinking about one of the original features of twitter - the favorite. I remember using favorites a lot before I started following 1000+ people. Now I just sort of let the wave go by. Also, not every desktop tool has an easy/visible favorite button.

I put out a call to my twitter group: "when was the last time you favorited a tweet?" and got a big response. (displayed in reverse order)

Thanks @gilcreque, @modulist, @karschp, @thandelike, @ericschechter, @domhay, @staticnrg, @tiburon, @doreeno, @incanus77, and @mrscrumley for replying. Of everyone who participated, it seems like Eric Schechter and myself are the only two people who don't use it very often, or at all.

Looks like I'm not the only person thinking about the utility of Twitter Favorites. This post by Christopher Lynn is about the same subject.

TweetDeck has a view to let you look at your favorites, but I didn't see a place to add a favorite very easily - it's hiding under "other actions", which you see when you hover over the user's icon. Tweetie (desktop) requires a right-click, or you can press the "F" key, then a little star appears next to the tweet.

I currently pipe my blog feed to twitter, and I don't hear a lot of complaints about that. I'm thinking about piping my Delicious bookmarks to twitter as well. Do any of you folks pipe your bookmarks in? Would you like to see more useful links on twitter?


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How to Kick Ass at Your Job - Slides from Ignite Orlando #2

Wed, 06/24/2009 - 18:29 -- rprice

Before you get too far into your creative endeavor, stop and think about why you got into this in the first place. Creating a Mission statement can tell you why, but should not tell you how, when or how much, but a Vision statement can. Arnold, Cyrano and Kermit can help too.

Presented at IgniteOrlando just moments ago.


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BlogOrlando >>> WordCampOrlando, more events = more specialization = more awesome

Fri, 06/12/2009 - 05:47 -- rprice

The spring has kept me busy, so I haven't been able to read every blog post on my RSS reader. However, the recent announcements around WordCampOrlando made me wonder what Josh had to say about it.

BlogOrlando 2009 from Josh Hallet's blog:

After a great deal of consideration I have decided not to host a big, public BlogOrlando this year.
It is the complete end? No. I may still hold a small private event this year, or may think about hosting an event in 2010. We'll see.

2 years ago, I talked about doing PodCampOrlando, but the farthest we got was a happy hour and photowalk (lately I've been using the site to teach people how to do stuff in Drupal). Honestly, the social media wave tends to hit Orlando a year or two after the West Coast, so while a small and intimate PodCamp would have been fun, it was hard to get the podcasters, videobloggers, and especially the news media to sign on for something like that.

BlogOrlando was serving many of those folks very well, but now there may be some room in the Orlando calendar to explode what was BlogOrlando into a WordCamp, PodCamp, PR-unconference, SocialMediaClub, etc.

There are a lot more podcasts being produced in Central Florida than there were in 2006, and the ones that are still around from those days aren't going anywhere.

Would you come to a PodCamp? What presentation would you give, or what discussion would you like to have? Do you understand what a PodCamp is?


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