Josh Koenig's passionate presentation on the Future of Drupal at CapitalCamp 2013 was inspiring and worth discussing. So here I am!
Having arrived at Drupal through activist channels, it's intriguing to me how much overlap there is between the platform and nonprofit and civic-oriented groups. It's quite apparent that out of the box, Drupal can significantly empower organizations that connect and engage their constituents on a regular basis. But why do the Drupal legos stack up this way?
POLITICS (NOT) AS USUAL
One of the primary reasons for this political synergy is that progressive activists utilized Drupal during the Howard Dean campaign. The platform enabled grassroots campaigners to organize for Dean, a relatively unknown candidate at the time, and propel him into the mainstream media's spotlight. YEAH!
This injection of Drupal into the political ecosphere, and the resulting Civic Space distribution, planted the seeds that have resulted in Drupal being widely adopted and embraced by individuals looking to make the world a better place.
BOTTOM UP CHANGE
But how does the non-technologist get started? Well, with optimized Drupal hosting provided by groups like Pantheon Systems, we can cut out a lot of exhaustive time it takes to very effectively host Drupal sites. But not only is the hassle of hosting taken care of, we have avenues for easy site creation.
For instance, we were able to very quickly spin up and launch the Farm Food Freedom Coalition's website using Pantheon's one-click install of Open Outreach, a distribution geared toward nonprofits. Only one view was altered to make the underlying site structure possible! How can you beat that?
THE PANOPOLY INSURGENCY
Taking this verticalization further, the apps-powered Panopoly helps site builders make a lot of otherwise tedious tasks happen fast. Its reusable widgets and panels-made-easy interface enables administrators to make seemingly radical changes to their website with a few clicks of a button.
It's why we're onboard and contribute to the Panopoly project. With Kalatheme, we have built and are maintaining a theme framework for site builders to pick Twitter bootstrap libraries from sites like wrapbootstrap and apply them to their Panopoly website.
Combined with Pantheon, Panopoly is in position to power much of the Drupal space.
But where is the Drupal space going? It's currently powering 2 percent of the web. Yes, that's millions of websites, but how do we improve its frustrating quirks and bring this powerful tool to the masses so that humanity can connect more effectively and thus live in global, utopian e-harmony?
Perhaps the trick is not exactly to bring Drupal to the people. Koenig believes that Drupal needs to move into the background while the Drupal-powered solutions take the spotlight, and we think he's right.
As you should know (at least by now!), Drupal has the potential to be much more than just itself. And as a community, inspired and change-hungry Drupalistas are making underlying improvements and constructing distributions and applications that finally empower the non-technical do-gooders of the world.
So are you going to get involved with the Drupal revolution, or blog about it on Wordpress? The choice is yours!