A couple of weeks ago, Robbie Williams made his comeback on British television music talent show The X Factor, where he performed his new single "Bodies" for the first time live.
Most universities have had dozens of Drupal sites at the departmental level for some time now, but now it seems like Drupal is starting to graduate from the departmental level to the main site. Last week, I already blogged about how Rutgers University started using Drupal for their main site. More evidence that Drupal is starting to become a serious contender in the enterprise, and that more and more organizations are starting to standardize on Drupal.
It is great to see corporations, universities and governments endorse and adopt Drupal on a global scale!
I've been around the web long enough to know a good-looking site when I see one -- http://shc.stanford.edu is a good looking site. It is the home page of the Stanford Humanities Center, and it uses Drupal.
And there is more. A quick glance at https://techcommons.stanford.edu/topics/drupal/sites-using-drupal-stanford reveals a list of over fifty Drupal sites currently active at Stanford. As far as I saw on the ones I clicked on, each site is different.
This trend isn't specific to Stanford. We see it at MIT, Harvard and many other universities. More and more universities start to embrace Drupal. At many of those, Drupal is slowly becoming the de facto platform for web development. It is an emerging trend, and one that introduces a lot of students to Drupal.
Anyone who reads the news knows that Reuters is a major news agency; in fact, it is the world's largest international multimedia news agency.
It's also clear that Reuters is very interested in experimentation with "new media". They have established http://labs.reuters.com to package and highlight some of their technical innovations. Labs.reuters.com has an iPhone application, experimental social and community APIs, lots of semantic experimentation, and even a really neat "Face Search" application. The neatest thing, though, is that it runs on Drupal 6.
Let's think through this again. The world's largest international news agency uses Drupal to highlight the innovative features and applications they think they may want to deploy in the future. I don't know about you, but I like the way that sentence sounds.
Cable news network CNN just released CNNgo.com into beta, fully developed with Drupal. CNNgo is a guide to six of Asia's greatest cities. What is interesting about the site is that they are looking to complement their professional editors with local bloggers, opinion makers, and the very people that form the soul of these cities.
As a traditional publisher, you have to figure out how to turn audiences into participants because it opens the doors for better advertising and new monetization opportunities. I think CNNgo.com is a great example of how companies like CNN can use the power of Drupal to implement a social media strategy through an add-on site.
Rackspace, the hosting giant, is using Drupal on a support addon website: http://www.rackspace.com/apps/support.
In their blog post on the Rackspace Blog they explain: "The new site was designed to give our customers immediate access to the support documentation they need. We took our existing support information, re-wrote it, organized it into categories and subcategories, and built a new search system so you can find your answers in a hurry ...".
Rackspace's support ideology - termed Fanatical Support - is something they are very proud of and has made Rackspace one of the world's leaders in hosting. I assume this Drupal-based support site is very important to their business.
Drupal lends itself perfectly to these kind of sites and allows organizations to get a site up and running quickly. Given that they are looking for feedback on the new site, I'd recommend them to install Apache Solr (or to sign up for Acquia Search), as search facets would make searching their knowledge base both faster and easier. Drupal's custom content types and taxonomy system in combination with Apache Solr's faceted navigation makes for a very powerful knowledge base.
Either way, it is great to see well-established organizations use Drupal for micro sites or add-on sites. It is a great way to dabble your feet in Drupal and get a sample of its power. It is often individual developers or small teams that bring Drupal into use within larger organizations. Once an organization has its feet wet with Drupal after implementing a couple of micro- or add-on sites, you start to see Drupal bubble to the top of the organization or to larger and larger web properties. In fact, it is remarkably similar to how Linux started to get adopted in the enterprise ten years ago. Let's hope we see more Drupal at Rackspace. Either way, Drupal should have 'grassroots' tattooed on its arm.
Mattel, the world's largest toy company, just relaunched Mattel.com on Drupal. The site was built by Vancouver-based work [at] play. Mattel products include Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels, Matchbox cars, Masters of the Universe, and much more. For once, my kids and family will understand what I'm talking about. ;-)
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