Cloud Four Blog

Technical notes, War stories and anecdotes

Cloud Four at ASAE Technology Conference & Expo 2010

Launching isn’t the only reason we have standards setting organizations and associations on our minds lately.

This week is the ASAE Technology Conference & Expo 2010 in Washington D.C. and Cloud Four is going to the conference for the first time.

Despite the snowpocalypse plaguing the city, John arrived safe in D.C. earlier today after a long flight from our home base in Portland, Oregon.

He’ll be in town all week. If you’re at the conference, we please say hello. If you’d like to set up a specific time to meet with John, please contact us or connect with John via Twitter.

Drupal for Standards Setting Organizations and Associations

When we’re not working on mobile projects, there’s a good chance we’re working with a standards setting organization or an association on their public web presence.

More often than not, we’re building that site using Drupal. We believe Drupal is a perfect fit for organizations and associations.

Before we started started Cloud Four, Aileen, Lyza, John and I had all worked for several years at Kavi which is focused on providing software for organizations.

John was one of the co-founders of Kavi. Lyza was one of the first employees. And Aileen and I had been at Kavi for over seven years.

Needless to say, we have a lot of experience working with these organizations.

After we left Kavi, we searched for a new web platform that would fit the needs of these organizations. Our experience had taught us that while there are some common characteristics of organization web sites, that each organization has unique goals and functionality that they need implemented on their site.

With that experience in mind, we tried many different solutions before settling on Drupal. Drupal provides:

  • Top-notch content management features
  • Support for simple or complex user management
  • Foundation that provides for future expansion
  • An active development community
  • Ability to build custom solutions on top of Drupal if needed
  • Integration ease including the NTEN favorite membership management suite, CiviCRM1

In addition to these core features, we found that Drupal supports other things that organizations often talk about such as:

  • Revisioning
  • Authoring Roles
  • Content Syndication
  • News Aggregator
  • Tagging
  • Localization
  • Blogging
  • Forums

All of this goodness wrapped in an open source platform that is widely used by both companies and non-profits.

We’ve been talking to our customers and partners for quite some time about why Drupal makes sense for organizations, but have been waiting for the perfect showcase site to make the point to a larger audience.

As you can see from the recently launched site, Drupal makes it possible to build beautiful and powerful web sites that accomplish the objectives of standards-setting organizations and associations.

If you’d like to learn more about how Drupal can help your organization, association or your company (Yes, it works well for corporate sites as well!), please contact us.

We’d be happy to talk to you more about how Drupal can help your organization.

  1. As an aside, if you run an organization and haven’t looked into CiviCRM, we highly recommend that you do. It is a full-featured, open source membership tool that integrates fully with Drupal. Not only that, but our friends at raSANTIAGO + Associates provide a great service called CiviServer and are experts in helping organizations utilize CiviCRM effectively. Launches

jedec-designLast week, we finally got to take the wraps off of one of our favorite projects of the last year:

While on our blog we mostly talk about mobile, we also do a fair amount of traditional web site development work.

In particular, we’ve helped many standards-setting organizations and associations like JEDEC with their public web sites.

JEDEC came to us with substantial issues that needed to be addressed. The current site had long outgrown its information architecture and had three different navigation systems and site maps.

We performed a full content audit and combined web analytics with information architecture analysis to create a new site structure that focused on helping people find information more quickly.

In particular, web analytics showed that the majority of people coming to the site wanted to download standards. The new design brings the search interface right onto the newly designed home page.

The search interface was reworked to provide people with the ability to narrow their searches. When documents are uploaded to the site, they automatically show up on the related committee pages and other sections of the site where the documents are relevant.

We worked with JEDEC to define technology focus areas that help people new to the organization understand the current hot topics for the organization and get a quick sense about what JEDEC does. These technology focus pages are all dynamic are constantly updating with new information as documents, press releases, and events are added.

We also collaborated with other vendors to integrate event data coming from another system and to provide a single-sign on strategy with a membership management system.

Perhaps most importantly, we had a great time working with JEDEC and its staff. In particular, Emily Desjardins and Arnaud Lebegue became part of our extended team over the last few months. We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with them and to see their vision come to finally come to life.