Questions from Meet the Candidates Session 4 - DA Elections

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2012-10-03 00:17

This is the last of the questions asked in the Question and Answer sessions for the Drupal Association elections. There were only two new questions that were asked during that time. Here are my thoughts.

1) valthebald: What threats to the Drupal community do you see, which are not handled by DA? How CAN they be handled?

The biggest threat to Drupal and the Drupal community not handled by the the Association is competition. This competition manifests itself in both other opensource projects and from the closed communities. At the end of the day, most looking for a platform or a CMS seek something that:

  1. is cost effective
  2. reflects the client's brand and aesthetic
  3. scales to the traffic they need it to scale to
  4. is easy to use

In general, we can eke out reasonable results on 1-3. There is still work to be done - but the fact is folks looking for the CMS do not...

...care if it is Drupal.

Drupal has come a long way in user experience, but it struggles. Looking at the administrative end is a bit like looking at a jet's cockpit. It can be confusing. The DA has little control over this issue because it can not interfere in the actual development of the software. This really ties the DA's hands but points to a couple of ways it can be involved.

First, the DA needs to keep solidifying the community through supporting events and attracting new people to the community. We need community members who can move into leadership roles, whether they be in coding, documentation, event planning, or board positions.

Second, the DA needs to continue supporting events that encourage creativity in our communities. We need to continue funding scholarships. Providing resources for usability studies that can then inform the community on the changes that need to be made in future versions of Drupal will help.

Long and short, we need to foster the community in such a way that the software simply becomes to compelling to not use.

2) aimeem: What is the best/ way that the association can find out about the top 4 benefits that members see the associations as needing to provide to make the association more relevant for members

We could conduct focus groups - preferably in multiple constituencies - to identify benefits that members would like to see. These focus groups could have a follow up with surveys to more finely hone the DA benefit package. There should be a review of what benefits we offer regularly to ensure they continue to fit the needs of our community members.


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