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Media fragmentation is causing word-of-mouth advertising to be more important than ever. Information product managers must put their messages into social media or risk not having a voice in important discussions.
The OSTIblog is OSTI's first full featured social blog site used for direct two way communication to the public. In August of this year we completed a migration of our OSTIblog site from a different technical platform called Apache Roller. Any of you who have been involved in site migrations or database migrations know its a lot of cost and effort. Generally speaking migrations are not done on a whim. These costs certainly beg the question, why was Drupal worth the effort?
Essentially, we reached an obstacle in our prior open source tool that we we couldn't overcome.
Key outreach staff requested an "author index" of bloggers with links to their blog posts. This was attempted with the Apache Roller open source package unsuccessfully. Apache Roller uses the Velocity scripting language to manipulate the blog metadata such as titles, authors, etc. The syntax in the documentation didn't work as advertised and there was not much activity from the developer community. To be fair, we were able to do some 'Roller customization and it is a multi-user and a multi-blog site.
Perhaps one takeaway here is that all open source isn't created equal - community activity makes the difference. Even though Drupal's technical approach was more flexible, that alone would not have justified the cost of a data migration. Knowing there would be real people to help and collaborate provided the added confidence that was needed.
- Facebook http://apps.facebook.com/ostiblog/
- Mobile http://emulator.mtld.mobi/emulator.php?emulator=nokiaN70&webaddress=www.osti.gov/ostiblog