Field Report #9: 3 Essential Drupal Modules


Comment from Kevin Palmer on January 7, 2008 - 1:35pm

Nice rework of the site. The new layout feels a lot more intuitive. Views is probably the most useful module I've found. It's incredible but can be daunting to try to use off the bat. I've got to learn how to use Panels. Any good tips for someone unfamiliar with it?

Hope everything's going great over in San Fran.

Comment from Morgan Sully on January 9, 2008 - 4:13pm

Hey Thanks Kevin,
Hmm. With Panels, it's really helpful for layout of a site. It's nice for working with blocks (which as you know, are pretty limited on where they can be placed on the Drupal page). What's superpowerful though is when you combine the Views modules ability to render content in a block and feed that is as a 'block' on a panel.

For instance, these two pages:

http://www.namac.org/drupal (the front page, which is actually a panel)


Use a custom View - the same one in fact - the View (rendered as a block) brings up 10 random posts of the 'Article' content type as a list. This is the 'Articles From Our Members section' you see on each page, though on the front page I limited I to 5.

I included the screenshots from the admin interface so you can compare. Note that each is a 'two column stacked' style of panel, meaning one section at the top and one section at the bottom of two columns side by side.

Idea Exchange Panel:

Home Page Panel:

Hope these make sense. Hit me up if you wanna play with them anymore.

Does Ben use Views or Panels on this site? I'd love to see the module list.

Field Report # 13: And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor...


And now, a word from our sponsor...

Comment from Laura Hadden on May 13, 2008 - 6:40pm

Oh man, nothing motivates me more than "Eye of the Tiger". Thanks, Morgan! Maybe we should make an inspirational CTC VISTA mix cd?

Field Report #12: Board Report = Field Report!


So... as I had to write this for a Board Report (tip: writing Field Reports is a bit like writing Board Reports;), I thought I would include it here as a Field Report. It details what I have done over the past 6 months as NAMAC's Online Community Manager.

Things to Look Out For When Migrating Data Between CMS's


While redeveloping the NAMAC site, I had some difficulty importing data from our ColdFusion CSM to a new Drupal CMS. There were many odd glitches in migrating the data. DON"T UNDERESTIMATE THE TROUBLE OF THIS.

You will need to budget a sizeable amount of time to make this happen.

How To Apply A Patch to a Drupal Module


Sometimes, particularly when using a custom Drupal module, you may need to a apply what's called a 'patch'. A patch is simply a text file with a set of instructions saying which lines of code within a module need to be changed, added or deleted to get the module to function better or more accurately.

Field Report #10: Reconciling 'Capacity Building' with 'Fighting Poverty'



10 Tactics for Growing Your Community Online


Last week I attended an NTEN Member Appreciation Webinar entitled: 10 Tactics for Growing Your Community Online. As NAMAC's Online Community Manager, I found this webinar very helpful, engaging and well worth my time.

Resources for Good Site Aesthetics and Techniques


here are two link to fun web development stuff to look at, learn from and implement - updated daily (at least).

The most popular web development bookmarks on del.icio.us:

My favorite bookmarks on my del.icio.us account:

Site Planning: Tips and Resources for Planning Your Site


I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of PLANNING OUT YOUR WEBSITE. Before you can even start thinking about what the colors will be, you need to have a few things in place. 3 i can readily think of are:

Leveraging the Facebook API


Leveraging the FaceBook API



facebook was initially for college students

very little activity for people outside of formal networks (work, geographic region, school/college)

myspace is growing much faster than facebook

an API was released to the public for people to start developing it