Drupal for government in Dublin

My colleague, Frank Maxwell, and I presented recently at the "OSForum" - open source forum day for local government in Ireland, after that we received emails from people who wanted to know more. It seemed we needed to do something to suit a bigger audience. We helped out on a "Drupal4Gov Day" with Rhoda Kerins of the Local Government Management Agency of Ireland offices in Dublin. Participants ranged from project managers to developers who work for local government at the city and county levels in Ireland. I am so excited to see the enthusiasm and interest for open source.


To help plan the event, we sent a survey to the prospective attendees. Then we sent the results to the speakers to help them prepare. Having this information in advance was a huge help. We did our best to make sure all the questions were addressed. These were among the most common questions:

  • How can Drupal reduce costs? Costs of hosting, support and maintenance.
  • Case studies of example websites.
  • Pitfalls and issues encountered.
  • Multisite capability (shared data and publishing).
  • Multilingual capability.
  • Workflow options, publishing experience for content editors.
  • Ease of use.
  • Advantages of Drupal v other systems.

Structure of the day

In the first part of the day I led a Hello Drupal session (with some help from Mike Cahn of IndyTech!). This got out some of the major concepts of Drupal, while introducing the participants to some of the powerful features. The materials for the session are here: http://training.acquia.com/hellodrupal
In the second part of the day, there was a kind of "mini camp" with short talks. Speakers did 10 minute "lightning talks" and we followed with a panel Q+A. I'd never met some of the speakers before, I also learned quite a bit there too.


The speakers have agreed to share their presentations, which I've uploaded here. Having presenters from other government agencies was very effective, as they could share the same perspective. I also liked how Mark Conroy showed how to set up a website for the local government based on Commons in about 5 minutes. The speakers did such a good job in gearing the presentations for the audience. I hope all attendees felt they got something out of it.

** Also if you want to know more about Drupal-Astroboa, watch the "The Evolving Panorama of Data" from Martin Fowler and Rebecca Parsons at http://www.infoq.com/presentations/The-Evolving-Panorama-of-Data The presentation gives a high level overview of how data has changed over the years and how new technologies (noSQL, elastic architectures, etc.) fit in the new data market.

What's next up for Drupal in Ireland?