The U.S. Department of Education just launched a new micro-site built on Drupal: teach.gov. At teach.gov you can learn what it's like to be a teacher and get the tools you need to launch your own career in education.
The site looks surprisingly crisp and modern for a government site, don't you think?
These kinds of micro-sites make a lot of sense. Visitors that are looking for particular information want instant gratification. It is much better to create a micro-site for this than to embed the same content two levels deep in ed.gov (also a Drupal site). No need to get bogged down with ed.gov's navigation, visual design or mix of target audiences.
While building highly targeted and compelling micro-sites makes a lot of sense, they can be expensive and time-consuming to build and maintain. That is exactly why I think Drupal Gardens will catch on -- it makes building micro-sites fast, cheap and hassle free. We're still boostrapping Drupal Gardens but I really think we're onto something. Why? Because it makes a lot sense. :)
If you look at the source of University of Washington at Tacoma's new site, you'll immediately notice it's running Drupal. What's not immediately apparent, however, is the path they took to get it in place.
I recently got an e-mail from a member of the UW Tacoma web team, who explained that they migrated to Drupal from a home-grown system running on IIS and mostly based in ColdFusion. Their system often required manual editing of HTML for even the simplest of content updates, and synchronizing between development and live versions of the site was (as we all know) an ever present problem.
Sounds familiar? I've heard this story so many times.
The team looked into a Joomla based solution, as well as one based on Plone, but eventually gravitated toward Drupal due in large part to the helpful Drupal community. As I've always maintained, our software rocks, but our community is what continues to make Drupal a success.
The e-mail concluded with a great quote that I hope James Woods, its author, won't mind me including here: "Once I learned how to stop fighting Drupal and embrace the automagical function naming hooks, I've come to love Drupal.". I think that quote probably describes the experience of many, many Drupal developers.
Way to go, James, and congratulations to you and the rest of your team for a great looking site.
Rafael Nadal is currently ranked the number one tennis player in the world, and is regarded by many as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Last weekend, he won the U.S. Open. Not only does he have a violently torqued topspin forehand, he also has a bad ass content management system for his official website. His official site is serving with Drupal at http://www.rafaelnadal.com. (Hat tip: Usamah)