What we need next

This week we’ll be posting from DrupalCon Paris, where this year’s European Drupal conference is being held from 1 – 5 September.

As I write this, I'm sitting in the Thalys, travelling back to the Netherlands and watching the landscape roll by at 300 km/hour. Like last year, it's been an inspiring week and we've got a lot of new stuff to process and work out. New developments to try out and see what we need next. The project Drupal itself is also figuring out 'what we need next'. Drupal 7 is nearing completion but what's next?

Keynote: Social + media what we need next
Great talk by Chris Heuer about Social Media, Drupal, and the future of the web in general. You might call Chris Heuer a social media expert but he won't agree: according to him, social media is still way too new. Nobody can be an expert at this point because everybody is still learning.

He's also a frustrated Drupal customer and clearly pointed out Drupal's reputation problem. When he put the question  "What is Drupal?" on Twitter, he got back a lot of replies, but not a single clear picture. This touches at the core of Drupal. What is it's goal? Is it a framework or a product? According to the opening keynote by Dries, Drupal moving beyond the framework and becoming a product, but according to Chris, that doesn't go far enough.

[caption id="attachment_1029" align="alignright" width="574" caption="Chris Heuer and his view on the direction in which Drupal is moving"]Chris Heuer and his view on the direction in which Drupal is moving[/caption]

Another great quote:

"This is the real opportunity for Drupal to serve, at it's core , the common need for all companies to behave like media companies."

I agree. All companies are made out of people and people are social beings. Now, companies finally have the opportunity to communicate with their audience, have real conversations through social media. And Drupal is an excellent platform to leverage these possibilities.

Chris also gave a big thumbs up to Mark Boulton's blog post titles "Design in Open Source". An excellent article and must-read for anyone who's involved with open-source and webdesign. It also covers the friction between developers and (ux) designers. Designers -  generally the new kids on the block - tend to get little or no respect by hardcore coders. That's a problem. But at least, at this Drupalcon, the problem is acknowledged and that's a first step in getting there. These are the growing pains.

In the next weeks, I'll be posting some other topics which I attended, in the meanwhile you can check the official site. Video's of all sessions should appear shortly on that site.

http://paris2009.drupalcon.org/session/staging-drupal-managing-your-project-multiple-environments

Drupalcon Paris

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