In the Social Platform Wars, Utility Will Win Over Complexity

I tweeted some time ago that I felt Twitter would win out over Facebook in the “social platform wars”, as I dubbed them. As Twitter slowly began to chew it’s own arm off with recent changes to it’s API’s, I walked back from that statement. I still do feel there is a major shift happening in this space, and Facebook, among other large social networks, are beginning to falter.

For the past couple of years, we have seen niche social platforms spring up and become the hot new thing seemingly overnight. The successes these niche social platforms have seen – like Pinterest quickly becoming the third most visited social site or Instagram breaking 100 million users – is telling of how consumer behavior in social media is quickly changing.

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First Impressions of ThinkUp Social Media Analytics Dashboard

I just finished installing ThinkUp, the open source social media analytics application, on my server. Because it is built on PHP and MySQL, it was pretty easy to setup in a standard Apache hosting environment, no server configuration was needed.  It was as simple to get installed as most open source CMS’s – you create you database, SSH (or FTP) into your server, upload the files to your root directory, then run the installer to connect your database to the application. It takes care of the rest of the installation for you to get the basic app functioning.

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Taking a More Focused Approach to Drupal 8 Development

I never did a real write up on my thoughts coming out of DrupalCon London, so I wanted to share this (long) post I wrote for Drupal.org. It sums up my thoughts about the current direction of Drupal 8 and makes some recommendations based on my own thinking around the issue and some great conversations that were had at the conference.

Last night, as I read through the conversation that is happening on the “Make core maintainable” issue (http://drupal.org/node/1255674), I couldn’t help but feel that while this conversation is important, it may be the wrong conversation to be having at this time. I am glad this conversation has continued coming out of DrupalCon London, but I feel like we haven’t answered the fundamental question of “what is Drupal?”, which may help steer the conversation in a direction that will help us select the features that really need to be in core. I posed the question to Dries at the conference, and was surprised when he stated Drupal is “a product, a framework, and a community.” I mean this as no critique of Dries’ vision of the platform, but I felt like that answer was really vague and needs further definition given the maturity of the project, and, looking at the open source CMS landscape, the competitive disadvantage we are in due to our lack of positioning.

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