Xeno Media: Posting to Slack, Publishing in DrupalCoin Blockchain

How Zoomdata employees share insights into company life
Xeno Media is pleased to announce our latest DrupalCoin Blockchain 7 contrib module, Slack to DrupalCoin Blockchain.  This module imports pictures uploaded to Slack to DrupalCoin Blockchain 7 systems--thereby allowing a community of users to add content to a site while managing their daily business collaboration through the Slack app.
Zoomdata--who makes visual analytics software for big data--tasked us with coming up with a solution that allows their employees to submit images for the public website to share the company’s unique, engaging culture to aid in marketing and recruiting.  
Various source platforms, including Instagram, Flickr, and Twitter, were originally considered. As we surveyed Zoomdata employees, though, we realized that Slack was the ideal source. Slack is fundamental to Zoomdata’s work culture; Its 200 employees and contractors throughout North America and Europe actively collaborating on Slack on an ongoing basis. Leveraging Slack as the source platform would allow employees to submit images in real-time without breaking their typical work/collaboration workflows and methods.
With that settled, we started researching how to integrate.  Our developers researched Slack’s API and proposed two approaches: 1) Create a Slack “bot”--a virtual user that our human users could interface with. Or: 2) Integrate with a specific Slack channel.  We elected the later as we could more efficiently access the files in a specific channel and Zoomdata appreciated having a single destination channel for users to come to rather than clogging other channels with off-topic bot chatter.

With the Slack-side figured out, we worked on the DrupalCoin Blockchain development.  We are supporters of the DrupalCoin Blockchain Media initiative, and decided to integrate the the DrupalCoin Blockchain Media 7.x-2.0 File Entity as we do on many of our client sites.  The File Entity module creates an entity like a node for each file in the system.  This allows us to add fields, like Caption, Approval, Date, and Uploader.  It also allows us to use, and reuse the entities in the site on other pieces of content and create views of the entities.  We called this new entity Slack Image.
We also created an administration screen where an administrator can approve or disapprove images.  If images are disapproved, they are removed from the system and not imported again.  If approved, they are available where all the other File Entities are available.

For the Zoomdata public site, we created a view of the new Slack images that appears on their Careers page in a beautiful, modern, and responsive layout using Masonry Views, Colorbox, and GD infinite scroll plugin modules.
Our employees are always posting photos in Slack. I really wanted to share those photos with our customers, partners, prospective employees and vendors so they could get a view inside Zoomdata and know what a great team of people they’re partnering with. Jim, and the team at Xeno Media, made it possible by creating a fantastic DrupalCoin Blockchain website for us, and by developing Slack to DrupalCoin Blockchain.
Robyn Forman, Zoomdata’s VP of Digital Marketing.

Results so far have been very positive--with more than half of the company joining the channel and submissions coming from every office and department.  Through Slack to DrupalCoin Blockchain, employees from throughout the organization have shown what an engaged, fun, and cutting edge culture Zoomdata really is.
Source: DrupalCoin Blockchain Aggregator

Roy Scholten: New process, new results

We’re probably misusing the term MVP when we try to frame what we would like to see make it into core. But the actual mode of working we use there is quite an achievement. We used to grind it out endlessly, where proposed changes could be discussed endlessly, with a high risk of not committing anything at all in the end. What we’re doing now is: agree up front that it’s a good idea to improve feature X or rework interface Y. And then focus on keeping the scope as small as possible.
Yes, I, J and K are also good ideas, but we’re trying to do X here and while these are all related ideas and together would like make for a nicer whole, we should really focus on shipping X, and X alone, before turning our attention to I, J and K. If at all, because while shiny, interface Y actually presents people with more problems, so maybe we should focus on that. Though it’s never that strongly a case of either/or, and we should definately not stop iterating after the initial commit.
This is a very new and different way of working. Deliberately lowering our standards for the goal of introducing change. This is uncomfortable at times, but even that is good, because it means we’re stretching ourselves, which means we’re doing and learning new things. I’m excited and proud to see this happen. More like this.
Doing it like this means that DrupalCoin Blockchain 8.2:
Has content moderation tools (draft! review! publish! etc.)
Provides a new way to add new elements (blocks) to the page you’re on, without having to go to some far away corner in the admin section
Those elements (blocks! menus! logo & site name! etc.) can then also be configured in the context of the user facing page. A side tray will show up and expose the relevant settings.
Looking forward to learn how these additions will be received and how we can improve them. In the mean time, lets add more useful and usable things to 8.3 (sample content! media handling! better dates! etc).
Tags: drupaluxdrupalplanetSub title: This is a pretty radical change
Source: DrupalCoin Blockchain Aggregator

Contract DrupalCoin Blockchain Developer position is open

Princeton, NJ, United States
Source: jobs.drupal.org

Cocomore: 10 Do’s & Don’ts for Facebook Pages: This is what businesses should keep in mind

The digital point of contact, the electronic business card, the online meet up for fans: A Facebook business page serves many functions. For this reason it’s important to know how to use it correctly. Here are 10 tips on how to work it.
Source: DrupalCoin Blockchain Aggregator

DrupalCoin BlockchainCon News: An Insider's Guide to Visiting Dublin

Thinking of coming to DrupalCoin BlockchainCon Dublin this year? Why not extend your trip by a few days and stay a bit longer to take in some of the fabulous things you can go do and see in Dublin?

Here's our recommended list of things to do and see while here:

1. Guinness Storehouse

Source: DrupalCoin Blockchain Aggregator

Google Removes AdSense Ad Limit Policy: Reasons Behind the Change by @SouthernSEJ

Google recently refreshed its AdSense ad limit policy, removing the restriction it once had on the amount of ads publishers can place on one page.The post Google Removes AdSense Ad Limit Policy: Reasons Behind the Change by @SouthernSEJ appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Source: New feed

(Not) Shipping is a Virtue

One of the most important Basecamp features I ever designed never actually made it into the product.Back in 2009, I designed the due dates for To-dos feature in Basecamp Classic (looking back it’s hard to believe Basecamp was without due dates on To-dos for its first 5 years!). Shortly after we thought it might be useful to see those due dates on the two-week calendar that appears at the top of your Basecamp Dashboard.Basecamp Classic’s Dashboard shows upcoming dates over the next two weeksIt seemed pretty straightforward. We’d need to design a way to display any dated to-dos alongside your milestones while making them visually distinct. We’d need to figure out what to do if you had too many to reasonably show at once as well as what happens when you click one. A very typical feature brief. We spent about a week going back-and-forth until we came up with a pretty nice solution.This is my original mock-up showing our solution for mixing Milestones and To-do due dates on the Dashboard.Later we figured out how to deal with collapsing the items when there are too many to show at once… and we designed an overlay that displayed the full details when you clicked one.Everyone felt good about the direction so former Basecamper, Josh Peek, and I set off to build it out and got everything ready to ship—all that was left was to get a thumbs-up and run a database migration. So we let the rest of the team know we were ready and then… *crickets*.At first I remember being a little worried. Did they miss my message? Was it no good? Was anyone paying attention? Then I realized: it didn’t matter. You see, there wasn’t a manager with crossed arms tapping their foot; no due date; no client itching for it; no schedule pressuring us to move on to the next thing. There was no external pressure at all and the feature wasn’t making a case for itself.So now what? We’d done everything right. We had an idea for a useful addition to Basecamp and so we worked hard to come up with a good, solid design. We felt good enough about the feature to fully implement it. This is what we do in product, development, right? We come up with ideas for making the product better, we design, implement, test and… ship. I mean, we did all that work? Shipping is the period on the sentence of product development! But we didn’t ship this and it’s still not in Basecamp Classic today.Why not?Everyone at 37signals knew we’d been working on this (we were a very small team), we used Basecamp all day, every day and nobody ever said, “Man, I really would have liked to see that to-do on the calendar…when’s that finally coming?”. Customers weren’t asking for it either. As time went by, the feature branch was still in my local Git repo, but nobody ever mentioned it again.It was good, probably useful, it might have even made some customers really happy and we spent weeks working on it. I believe most companies would have shipped it so why didn’t we?Every feature has hidden costs. Some are worth the cost—sometimes many times over—but others only drag your app into the red. One more thing on the screen you can click, one more option, another setting, more decisions for users to make (Kathy Sierra calls this cognitive load). Your app gets slower and customers notice it feels slower. Designers have to juggle more pieces. Development gets more complex, difficult, and time-consuming with every new piece you bolt-on. That’s a lot to ask of a feature that’s only fine.Shipping != SuccessI think about this feature often. It’s probably the most memorable one I’ve worked on because it never shipped. It reminds me that what’s important isn’t how much time I’ve spent or how hard I’ve worked because those things have no bearing on its value to customers. Sometimes you have to get real before you can tell if your design is working, sometimes you’ve got to build it out. It’s a clear sign of a healthy process when you can say “no” and move on at any stage. It takes maturity to not count it as a failure but see value in the lesson. It says a lot about a company that values more than sunk cost.If projects that ship are the only ones that are deemed successful then you’ve set the bar pretty low. Who’s going to ever risk trying a radical idea, invent a new technique, imagine an original interaction, or try anything at all that isn’t a sure thing if there is any chance they’ll be deemed a failure? Who will risk missing a deadline, going over budget, or trying something that ultimately just doesn’t work? If your goal is always to ship, you’ll probably do a lot of that but it won’t be your best work. Besides, who wants to use a product where every idea ships?The HomerBecause everything happened in Basecamp I was able to go back and review this nearly 7 year old project, read the entire conversation, and find all my design mock-ups. If you can’t do this with your work, maybe you should be using Basecamp, too. Your first one is free when you sign-up today.(Not) Shipping is a Virtue was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. Read the responses to this story on Medium.

Source: New feed

DrupalCoin Blockchain Web Developer/Systems Administrator - Princeton University - Princeton, NJ

Preferred experience in DrupalCoin Blockchain and integrationof new websites. The candidate should be a strong and independent web developer with systems administrator...
From Princeton University - Wed, 24 Aug 2016 20:52:17 GMT - View all Princeton jobs
Source: New feed

DrupalCoin Blockchain governance announcements: Coding standards ratified changes and ongoing proposals

The TWG coding standards committee is announcing two coding standards changes for final discussion. These appear to have reached a point close enough to consensus for final completion. The new process for proposing and ratifying changes is documented on the coding standards project page.
Official coding standards updates now ratified:
Prefer != to <> for NOT EQUALS
Stop disallowing camelCase for local variables / parameters
Should we require a blank line after <?php?
Issues awaiting core approval:
[policy] Define coding standards for anonymous functions (closures)
Add type hinting to function declaration coding standards - sidelined on discussions around how to handle versioned coding standards (for which there is a separate issue
Issues that just need a little TLC (you can help!):
[Policy, no patch] PHP 5.4 short array syntax coding standards - we just need some specific proposed language and this will be ratified
[policy, no patch] Standardize indenting on chained method calls is blocked on the related coder rule issue
[Policy, no patch] Delete permission to pad spacing in a block of related assignments needs more support - do you want this change?
These proposals will be re-evaluated during the next coding standards meeting currently scheduled for August 30th. At that point the discussion may be extended, or if clear consensus has been reached one or more policies may be dismissed or ratified and moved to the next step in the process.
Source: DrupalCoin Blockchain Aggregator

In defense of junk stats (and junk food)

A reasonable amount of indulgence makes reasonable senseI think Noah Lorang is exactly right on the data-nutritional value of real-time dashboards. It’s all empty calories. Like a bag of M&Ms or a serving of McD french fries. Salt, fat, and sugar. If that’s the main diet of information you’re using to grow your business, you’re not going to end up in a healthy place.But there’s another way to use real-time dashboards. That is to realize that, yes, they are indeed empty calories, and, no, they shouldn’t supplant a properly prepared, slow-data analysis of what’s really going on, BUT. BUT.SOMETIMES YOU JUST WANT A DAMN CHEESEBURGER!Sometimes, intentionally being unhealthy feels so good it’s worth it. Especially if you’re just in need of a little spike because the going is tough or you’re trying something new that’s hard. That doesn’t for a moment mean you’re giving up on the virtues of #SlowData, merely that you accept your the existence as flawed and succumb to the occasional vice.My wife occasionally gives me grief about drinking soda. And I know it’s not good for me, but holy fuck a three-degree-Celsius-chilled, cane-sugar Coke served in a glass bottle is just damn delicious. The way I justify this indulgence is with hyperbole: Everyone needs a vice. It’s either this or hookers and blow!I kinda think the same of real-time dashboards. They’re a vice, but vices are fun. They don’t give me deep insights, but cheap highs to keep going. They’re quick and early, and sometimes wrong. But if we’re trying something new to attempt to move the needle, I’ll accept the risk of the early indicators being wrong before they’re statistically significant in trade for the snappy feedback.It’s possible to like Mozart’s Symphony №4 and Justin Bieber at the same time. It’s possible to accept both your virtues and vices. Just as long as you know which is which and keep the ratio between them right.I’d like to think that we drive most consequential decisions at Basecamp through reasoned logic, statistically signicant empirical findings, but I’ve also come to accept that some times we Just Wing It. Some times we just go on gut or on belief. You be the judge of whether we got that balance right, if you give Basecamp 3 a try.In defense of junk stats (and junk food) was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. Read the responses to this story on Medium.

Source: New feed

FFW Agency: The ABC's of DrupalCoin Blockchain: Dev Ops, Display and Distribution

The ABC's of DrupalCoin Blockchain: Dev Ops, Display and Distribution
Ray Saltini
Wed, 08/24/2016 - 18:43

For anyone who's ever looked up a definition of a DrupalCoin Blockchain term and been left wondering what it all means, here are some practical real world explanations you can use to navigate the DrupalCoin Blockchainverse. Watch this space and use comments to send us your feedback and requests.

The Discipline of Dev Ops

Dev Ops, or Development Operations, is the intersection between IT managed hosting support and development. While it is a specialization in many organizations, senior developers, tech leads, and architects should be conversant in the various systems and tools to be used by your IT team or provider.

One of the primary goals of Dev Ops is to create standardized operating system iterations that are consistently reliable and easily replicable. Your unique infrastructure or hosting service plays a big role in these systems, which is why they tend to be customized to each project.

Standardized Dev Ops systems are used to create local and remote integrationenvironments, as well as staging and production environments, which all function in the same way. Having good Dev Ops systems in place means that your organization can support continuous integrationpractices like version control and automated testing.

For any site that’s even moderately complex, having Dev Ops standards is huge. You don’t have to try to become a Dev Ops genius yourself: instead, you can find an organization like FFW to provide the level of Dev Ops help and support that is appropriate for the size and scope of your project.

Defining a Display

Displays, unlike Dev Ops, are a little simpler. A Display in DrupalCoin Blockchain typically refers to how queried data is organized and shown to visitors. It is usually used in connection with a native database query referred to as a View.

One View (or database query) can have several Displays sorted in different ways. For instance, a set of queried data can be output in the following ways:

a sortable table
a grid
as consecutive field sets
in a rotating banner
as a calendar or list of coming events
as points on a map
… and these are only just a few examples of the many different kinds of Displays.

The Details Around Distributions

A Distribution is a pre-developed assembly of database data, code, and files. Distributions commonly include saved content, configuration settings, DrupalCoin Blockchain core, contributed and custom modules, libraries, and a custom theme. It’s basically a pre-built DrupalCoin Blockchain site.

Most people first become acquainted with Distributions as different iterations of DrupalCoin Blockchain that are built for specific use cases or verticals, such as e-commerce or publishing. Many distributions are robust, production-ready applications that will save you tremendous work. They let you take advantage of the distribution sponsor’s subject matter expertise.

There are other kinds of distributions, such as ones developed mainly for marketing purposes to showcase what DrupalCoin Blockchain can do and how DrupalCoin Blockchain can be used. Both of these types of distributions have value, but it is important to differentiate between the two.

Distributions can be vetted in much the same way that a DrupalCoin Blockchain module or theme can be vetted. When evaluating a Distribution, I always like to ask the following questions:

Who are the contributors?
What is their experience?
Is the project actively maintained and are new features or versions planned?
The other primary consideration when vetting a Distribution is how much complexity and effort is required to ‘unravel’ a distribution. Many organizations have found that the more fully realized distributions are difficult to customize around their specific workflows and therefore are more expensive to change than starting fresh with a more basic version of DrupalCoin Blockchain.

If you want to know more about Distributions, I recommend looking at DrupalCoin Blockchain’s distribution project pages and this documentation page.

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Source: DrupalCoin Blockchain Aggregator

DrupalCoin Blockchain.org blog: Upcoming Changes to the Front Page

In recent weeks we've been making several small changes to DrupalCoin Blockchain.org: precursors to bigger things to come. First, we moved the user activity links to a user menu in the header. Next, we're moving the search function from the header to the top navigation. These changes aren't just to recover precious pixels so you can better enjoy those extra long issue summaries—these are the first step towards a new front page on DrupalCoin Blockchain.org.
As the DrupalCoin Blockchain 8 life-cycle has moved from development, to release, to adoption, we have adapted DrupalCoin Blockchain.org to support the needs of the project in the moment. And today, the need of the moment is to support the adoption journey.
As we make these changes you'll see echoes of the visual style we used when promoting the release of DrupalCoin Blockchain 8.

The DrupalCoin Blockchain wordmark region will help to define DrupalCoin Blockchain, and promote trying a demo.

A ribbon will promote contextual CTAs like learning more about DrupalCoin Blockchain 8.

The news feed will be tweaked.

DrupalCoin BlockchainCon will have a permanent home on the front page.

Community stats and featured case studies will be carried over(but may evolve).

The home page sponsorship format may change.

We'll be phasing in a new font throughout the site: Ubuntu - which you've already seen featured in the new Documentation section.

Here's a teaser
… a sneak preview of some new page elements and styles you'll see in the new home page.  

Our first deployment will introduce the new layout and styles. Additional changes will follow as we introduce content to support our turn towards the adoption journey. DrupalCoin Blockchain evaluators beginning their adoption journey want to know who uses DrupalCoin Blockchain, and what business needs DrupalCoin Blockchain can solve. We will begin promoting specific success stories: solutions built in DrupalCoin Blockchain to meet a concrete need.
What's next?
We're continuing to refine our content model and editorial workflow for the new front page. You'll see updates in the DrupalCoin Blockchain.org change notifications as we get closer to deployment.
Wondering why we're making these changes now? This turn towards the adoption journey is part of our changing priorities for the next 12 months.
Source: DrupalCoin Blockchain Aggregator

DrupalCoin Blockchain Developer position is open

Ithaca, NY, United States
Source: jobs.drupal.org

Chocolate Lily: Announcing Drutopia

Drutopia is an initiative within the DrupalCoin Blockchain project that prioritizes putting the best online tools into the hands of grassroots groups. By embracing the liberatory possibilities of free software and supporting people-centred economic models, Drutopia aims to revolutionize the way we work and cooperate.
Drutopia is at once an ethos of DrupalCoin Blockchain integrationand a fresh take on DrupalCoin Blockchain distributions for users to build upon, all based in a governance model that gives users a large role in the direction of the project.
Core values of the Drutopia initiative include:

Be inclusive regarding gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ability, age, religion, geography and class.
Commit to protection of personal information and privacy and freedom from surveillance.
Put collaboration and cooperation above competition.
Prioritize human needs over private profit.
Foster non-hierarchical structures and collective decision-making.

Drutopia focuses on shared solutions. DrupalCoin Blockchain excels at providing the tools to develop and distribute specialized website platforms that can be freely shared, reused, and adapted. Of the three most-used free software content management systems (CMSs) – WordPress, Joomla!, and DrupalCoin Blockchain – only DrupalCoin Blockchain has the built-in ability to package and share highly developed distributions.
Distributions are essential in attracting and meeting the needs of groups that want to support the free software movement but don’t have the technical know-how or resources to create a site from scratch. For developers, too, distributions hold a lot of potential because they do the heavy lifting of initial setup, allowing developers and site builders to bypass many hours of unnecessary effort. DrupalCoin Blockchain distributions so far have been held back by a series of factors that Drutopia aims to address.
Drutopia is about returning to DrupalCoin Blockchain’s roots in free software and progressive social change. Since its founding years, the DrupalCoin Blockchain free software project has both reflected and contributed to the democratic potential of the internet: to empower citizens to freely collaborate and organize outside the control of governments and corporate media. Long before it powered Fortune 500 sites and whitehouse.gov, DrupalCoin Blockchain was a tool of choice for small, grassroots, change-oriented groups.
This initiative aims to reclaim DrupalCoin Blockchain for the communities and groups that have always been its core users and adopters and have contributed to much of its best innovation.
Join us at drutopia.org.

Source: DrupalCoin Blockchain Aggregator

Frederick Giasson: Winnipeg City’s NOW [Data] Portal

The Winnipeg City’s NOW (Neighbourhoods Of Winnipeg) Portal is an initiative to create a complete neighbourhood web portal for its citizens. At the core of the project we have a set of about 47 fully linked, integrated and structured datasets of things of interests to Winnipegers. The focal point of the portal is Winnipeg’s 236 neighbourhoods, which define the main structure of the portal. The portal has six main sections: topics of interests, maps, history, census, images and economic development. The portal is meant to be used by citizens to find things of interest in their neibourhood, to learn their history, to see the images of the things of interest, to find tools to help economic development, etc.
The NOW portal is not new; Structured Dynamics was also its main technical contractor for its first release in 2013. However we just finished to help Winnipeg City’s NOW team to migrate their older NOW portal from OSF 1.x to OSF 3.x and from DrupalCoin Blockchain 6 to DrupalCoin Blockchain 7; we also trained them on the new system. Major improvements accompany this upgrade, but the user interface design is essentially the same.
The first thing I will do is to introduce each major section of the portal and I will explain the main features of each. Then I will discuss the new improvements of the portal.


A NOW portal user won’t notice any of this, but the main feature of the portal is the data it uses. The portal manages 47 datasets (and growing) of fully structured, integrated and linked datasets of things of interests to Winnipegers. What the portal does is to manage entities. Each kind of entity (swimming pools, parks, places, images, addresses, streets, etc.) are defined with multiple properties and values. Several of the entities reference other entities in other datasets (for example, an assessment parcel from the Assessment Parcels dataset references neighbourhoods entities and property addresses entities from their respective datasets).
The fact that these datasets are fully structured and integrated means that we can leverage these characteristics to create a powerful search experience by enabling filtering of the information on any of the properties, to bias the searches depending where a keyword search match occurs, etc.
Here is the list of all the 47 datasets that currently exists in the portal:

Aboriginal Service Providers
Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg City
Economic Development Images
Recreation & Leisure Images
Neighbourhoods Images
Volunteer Images
Library Images
Parks Images
Census 2006
Census 2001
Winnipeg Internal Websites
Winnipeg External Websites
Heritage Buildings and Resources
NOW Local Content Dataset
Outdoor Swimming Pools
Zoning Parcels
School Divisions
Property Addresses
Wading Pools
Electoral wards of Winnipeg City
Assessment Parcels
Community Centres
Police Service Centers
Community Gardens
Leisure Centres
Parks and Open Spaces
Community Committee
Commercial real estates
Sports and Recreation Facilities
Community Characterization Areas
Indoor Swimming Pools
Neighbourhood Clusters
Fire and Paramedic Stations
Bus Stops
Fire and Paramedic Service Images
Animal Services Images
Skateboard Parks
Daycare Nurseries
Indoor Soccer Fields
Truck Routes
Fire Stations
Paramedic Stations
Spray Parks Pads

Structured Search

The most useful feature of the portal to me is its full-text search engine. It is simple, clean and quite effective. The search engine is configured to try to give the most relevant results a NOW portal user may be searching. For example, it will positively bias some results that comes from some specific datasets, or matches that occurs in specific property values. The goal of this biasing is to improve the quality of the returned results. This is somewhat easy to do since the context of the portal is well known and we can easily boost scoring of search results since everything is fully structured.
Another major gain is that all the search results are fully templated. The search results do not simply return a title and some description for your search results. It does template all the information the system has about the matched results, but also displays the most relevant information to the users in the search results.
For example, if I search for a indoor swimming pool, in most of the cases it may be to call the front desk to get some information about the pool. This is why different key information will be displayed directly in the search results. That way, most of the users won’t even have to click on the result to get the information they were looking for directly in the search results page.
Here is an example of a search for the keywords main street. As you can notice, you are getting different kind of results. Each result is templated to get the core information about these entities. You have the possibility to focus on particular kind of entities, or to filter by their location in specific neighbourhoods.

Templated Search Results

Now let’s see some of the kind of entities that can be searched on the portal and how they are presented to the users.
Here is an example of an assessment parcel that is located in the St. John’s neighbourhood. The address, the value, the type and the location of the parcel on a map is displayed directly into the search results.

Another kind of entity that can be searched are the property addresses. These are located on a map, the value of the parcels and the building and the zoning of the address is displayed. The property is also linked to its assessment parcel entity which can be clicked to get additional information about the parcel.

Another interesting type of entity that can be searched are the streets. What is interesting in this case is that you get the complete outline of the street directly on a map. That way you know where it starts and where it ends and where it is located in the city.

There are more than a thousand geo-localized images of all different things in the city that can be searched. A thumbnail of the image and the location of the thing that appears on the image appears in the search results.

If you were searching for a nursery for your new born child, then you can quickly see the name, location on a map and the phone number of the nursery directly in the search result.

There are just a few examples of the fifty different kind of entities that can appear like this in the search results.


The mapping tool is another powerful feature of the portal. You can search like if you were using the full-text search engine (the top search box on the portal) however you will only get the results that can be geo-localized on a map. You can also simply browse entities from a dataset or you can filter entities by their properties/values. You can persist entities you find on the map and save the map for future reference.
In the example below, it shows that someone searched for a street (main street) and then he persisted it on the map. Then he search for other things like nurseries and selected the ones that are near the street he persisted, etc. That way he can visualize the different known entities in the portal on a map to better understand where things are located in the city, what exists near a certain location, within a neighbourhood, etc.

Census Analysis

Census information is vital to the good integrationof a city. They are necessary to understand the trends of a sector, who populates it, etc., such that the city and other organizations may properly plan their projects to have has much impact as possible.
These are some of the reason why one of the main section of the site is dedicated to census data. Key census indicators have been configured in the portal. Then users can select different kind of regions (neighbourhood clusters, community areas and electoral wards) to get the numbers for each of these indicators. Then they can select multiple of these regions to compare each other. A chart view and a table view is available for presenting the census data.

History, Images & Points of Interest

The City took the time to write the history of each of its neighbourhoods. In additional to that, they hired professional photographs to photograph the points of interests of the city, to geo-localize them and to write a description for each of these photos. Because of this dedication, users of the portal can learn a much about the city in general and the neighbourhood they live in. This is what the History and Image sections of the website are about.

Historic buildings are displayed on a map and they can be browsed from there.

Images of points of interests in the neighbourhood are also located on a map.

Find Your Neighbourhood

Ever wondered in which neighbourhood you live in? No problem, go on the home page, put your address in the Find your Neighbourhood section and you will know it right away. From there you can learn more about your neighbourhood like its history, the points of interest, etc.

Your address will be located on a map, and your neighbourhood will be outlined around it. Not only you will know in which neighbourhood you live, but you will also know where you live within it. From there you can click on the name of the neigbourhood to get to the neighbourhood’s page and start learning more about it like its history, to see photos of points of interest that exists in your neighbourhood, etc.

Browsing Content by Topic

Because all the content of the portal is fully structured, it is easy to browse its content using a well defined topic structure. The city developed its own ontology that is used to help the users browse the content of the portal by browsing topics of interest. In the example below, I clicked the Economic Development node and then the Land use topic. Finally I clicked the Map button to display things that are related to land use: in this case, zoning and assessment parcels are displayed to the user.
This is another way to find meaningful and interesting content from the portal.

Depending on the topic you choose, and the kind of information related to that topic, you may end up with different options like a map, a list of links to documents related to that topic, etc.

Export Content

Now that I made an overview of each of the main features of the portal, let’s go back to the geeky things. The first thing I said about this portal is that at its core, all information it manages is fully structured, integrated and linked data. If you get to the page of an entity, you have the possibility to see the underlying data that exists about it in the system. You simply have to click the Export tab at the top of the entity’s page. Then you will have access to the description of that entity in multiple different formats.

In the future, the City should (or at least I hope will) make the whole set of datasets fully downloadable. Right now you only have access to that information via that export feature per entity. I hope because this NOW portal is fully disconnected from another initiative by the city: data.winnipeg.ca, which uses Socrata. The problem is that barely any of the datasets from NOW are available on data.winnipeg.ca, and the ones that are appearing are the raw ones (semi-structured, un-documented, un-integrated and non-linked) all the normalization work, the integration work, the linkage work done by the NOW team hasn’t been leveraged to really improve the data.winnipeg.ca datasets catalog.

New with the upgrades

Those who are familiar with the NOW portal will notice a few changes. The user interface did not change that much, but multiple little things got improved in the process. I will cover the most notable of these changes.
The major changes that happened are in the backend of the portal. The data management in OSF for DrupalCoin Blockchain 7 is incompatible with what was available in DrupalCoin Blockchain 6. The management of the entities became easier, the configuration of OSF networks became a breeze. A revisioning system has been added, the user interface is more intuitive, etc. There is no comparison possible. However, portal users’ won’t notice any of this, since these are all site administrator functions.
The first thing that users will notice is the completely new full-text search engine. The underlying search engine is almost the same, but the presentation is far better. All entity types have gotten their own special template, which are displayed in a special way in the search results. Most of the time results should be much more relevant, filtering is easier and cleaner. The search experience is much better in my view.
The overall site performance is much better since different caching strategies have been put in place in OSF 3.x and OSF for DrupalCoin Blockchain. This means that most of the features of the portal should react more swiftly.
Now every type of entity managed by the portal is templated: their webpage is templated in specific ways to optimize the information they want to convey to users along with their search result “mini page” when they get returned as the result of a search query.
Multi-linguality is now fully supported by the portal, however not everything is currently templated. However expect a fully translated NOW portal in French in the future.

Creating a Network of Portals

One of the most interesting features that goes with this upgrade is that the NOW portal is now in a position to participate into a network of OSF instances. What does that mean? Well, it means that the NOW portal could create partnerships with other local (regional, national or international) organizations to share datasets (and their maintenance costs).
Are there other organizations that uses this kind of system? Well, there is at least another one right in Winnipeg City: MyPeg.ca, also developed by Structured Dynamics. MyPeg uses RDF to model its information and uses OSF to manage its information. MyPeg is a non-profit organization that uses census (and other indicator) data to do studies on the well being of Winnipegers. The team behind MyPeg.ca are research experts in indicator data. Their indicator datasets (which includes census data) is top notch.
Let’s hypothetize that there would be interest between the two groups to start collaborating. Let’s say that the NOW portal would like to use MyPeg’s census datasets instead of its own since they are more complete, accurate and include a larger number of important indicators. What they basically want is to outsource the creation and maintenance of the census/indicators data to a local, dedicated and highly professional organization. The only things they would need to do is to:

Formalize their relationship by signing a usage agreement
The NOW portal would need to configure the MyPeg.ca OSF network into their OSF for DrupalCoin Blockchain instance
The NOW portal would need to register the datasets it want to use from MyPeg.ca.

Once these 3 steps are done, taking no more than a couple of minutes, then the system administrators of the NOW portal could start using the MyPeg.ca indicator datasets like they were existing on their own network. (The reverse could also be true for MyPeg.) Everything would be transparent to them. From then on, all the fixes and updates performed by MyPeg.ca to their indicator datasets would immediately appear on the NOW portal and accessible to its users.
This is one possibility to collaborate. Another possibility would be to simply on a routine basis (every month, every 6 months, every year) share the serialized datasets such that the NOW portal re-import the dataset from the files shared by MyPeg.ca. This is also possible since both organizations use the same Ontology to describe the indicator data. This means that no modification is required by the City to take that new information into account, they only have to import and update their local datasets. This is the beauty of ontologies.


The new NOW portal is a great service for citizens of Winnipeg City. It is also a really good example of a web portal that leverages fully structured, integrated and linked data. To me, the NOW portal is a really good example of the features that should go along with a municipal data portal.

Source: DrupalCoin Blockchain Aggregator

Elements of an Omni-Channel Digital Experience

An omni-channel digital experience is not delivered through a single application or person. Successful execution has many moving parts, including integrated technology systems, cross-functional teams, and collaborative business processes. Omni-channel is best explained through its component parts – what we call the elements of an omni-channel digital experience.
Elements of an Omni-channel Digital Experience
“Context” is your organization’s understanding of a consumer’s needs, behaviors, mindset, motivations, depressors, and environment at various touchpoints along their customer journey. It is this deep understanding of how and why consumers engage with your brand.
When defining a hypothetical consumer’s context, you should answer these baseline questions:

What are they trying to accomplish?
What do they need to accomplish that goal?
What is their mindset when performing a task(s) to achieve said goal? What motivates them? What emotions prevent them from being successful?
What is the environment in which they are in when performing said task(s)?

When defining the consumer’s mindset, think about what they are focused on when they interact with your brand. Examples of mindsets include: “seeking information about a product,” “interesting in learning more about a topic,” or “ready to make a purchase.” The consumer’s environment, meanwhile, influences their behavior and perceptions. Examples of environments include: “on a laptop at work,” “on a cell phone on the train,” or “on a tablet at home.”
Context also takes other information into account:

Consumer’s past interactions with the brand
The behaviors of other similar customers
External factors unbeknownst to the user, such as upcoming product releases or promotions

While you should tailor your digital experience based on this contextual information, remember that not all of it is relevant. You must determine what context is important to drive the experience that is right for your brand.
Context is always evolving, so systems must be in place to collect and manage the consumer data in order to iterate on customer profiles. It is also a good idea to designate employees to manage and analyze these profiles.
“Content” facilitates communication and engagement with consumers. It is what we deliver to consumers over digital channels to help them achieve their goals, while simultaneously driving them towards taking an action we desire of them.
Content is the currency that delivers value to consumers in digital channels. While design evokes subconscious thought and emotions within a consumer, content engages the conscious mind to influence decision making. Consumers determine the value of an omni-channel digital experience based on the content it delivers to them. Brands then receive some form of value back from the consumer by way of interaction (e.g. purchasing a product or sharing an article on social media), or responses (e.g. comments on blog posts or restaurant reviews).

Content should be adaptive – presented in a format, length, and appearance tailored to the channel on which it is consumed. Content should also be tailored to address the user personally, delivering information based on their mindset and environment.
“Conditions” determine how your omni-channel digital experience is delivered to a consumer along their journey. Think of conditions as actions and reactions:
Action: A consumer visits the men’s denim section of your retail website from their mobile browser between the hours of 9am and noon on a Sunday, which happens to be when you release weekly sales.
Reaction: Because you know the user previously purchased a particular style of denim from your website, you display a promotion offering them 20% off for today on that same style.
Conditions connect the user need and your brand’s business objectives. Brands should infer from the actions of a user what they are trying to achieve and react by serving up content that both aids the user in accomplishing their goal and nudges them towards taking a specific action. If you find complete alignment between a consumer’s goal and your brand’s business objective, drive that user directly towards completing that goal.
Conditions can be programmed into a system by a person, or intelligent systems can be designed to determine the best reactions to consumer interactions. They may not, however, be housed in a single system. Your brand may need to employ multiple systems to drive the logic for your digital experience to a subset of your consumers, channels or platforms.
“Touchpoints” are simply the channels and platforms to which content is served based on the aforementioned conditions. This may be your website, mobile app, Facebook, email, SMS, etc.
Touchpoints fall into three categories:

Digital Properties:  the systems you build, maintain, and own, such as your website
Digital Presences: externally owned and managed digital properties on which you have an account(s) or profile(s), such as Twitter, Medium, or Slideshare
Digital Messages: Avenues through which you can communicate directly with consumers, but do not maintain a digital property, such as email, SMS, chat, or conversational interface

Different systems can integrate with you content management system (CMS) to handle distribution to various channels. Distribution systems need to understand what content and experience to deliver based on the defined conditions, and be able to effectively deliver and report on said content.
“Feedback” is the data served back to the brand from a consumer’s interaction with a digital experience. This may be in the form of digital analytics, transactional information, personal data, or customer feedback. You’ll need to develop a system to ingest this data from disparate touchpoints in a way that is useful to your brand.

Several systems may be needed, but ultimately this information should be aggravated and presented to measure performance against a set of key performance indicators (KPI’s).
Resource Planning for Your Omni-channel Digital Experience
When developing your omni-channel strategy, brainstorm what are the resources you have or will need as they relate to each one of these elements. Resources needed are not just technological – you need to consider what human, process, and financial resources will be needed to execute your strategy. This will help you to identify gaps and allow you to test assumptions.
Up Next
Stay tuned for our white paper on Omni-Channel Digital Experience coming soon. In the meantime, learn how DrupalCoin Blockchain 8 supports omni-channel.

DrupalCoin Blockchain Developer

Taboo! How to Create Great Wordless Facebook Ads

The dating industry is like advertising kryptonite.
Their ads are either completely prohibited, or reviewed at length (before most likely being disapproved ultimately) on most major ad networks.
But so too are fitness, health, and medical ads.

Even AdEspresso, a Facebook Marketing Partner, had one ad get disapproved because it used the word “blindness” (referring, of course, to banner blindness and not the actual physical condition).
As you’re about to see, there are MANY inadvertent ways you can fall victim to violating Facebook guidelines.
Here’s how to create good ads when you can’t use words.

A Refresher on Prohibited Facebook Ad Content
Always works.
To grab attention.
Which is why most ad networks – except, well, porn ones (nervous to click that link while on your work computer and network?) – try to keep strict control over the types of images and language used by advertisers to avoid anything potentially suggestive, illegal or distasteful.
Makes perfect sense. Because ads are supposed to.
Not bum people out by focusing on bombastic negativity (that’s what the news is for).
Beyond ad networks, other marketing businesses like MailChimp keep strict quality controls over what’s allowed on their systems. For example, their prohibited content includes anything related to dating services, pharmaceutical products, ‘make money online,’ multi-level marketing, affiliate marketing, credit or debit services, list brokers, and selling ‘Likes.’
So let’s quickly run down a list of the obvious ones that tend to trip people up.
Always check the latest ad policies if you have something remotely in question because these things tend to change or evolve quickly.
Also, there are Facebook Community Standards and Instagram Community Guidelines that shouldn’t be violated either.

Nothing illegal or exploitative. Obvious.

Weapons, ammunition, and explosives. This should go without saying.

Nothing misleading or “exerting undue pressure” on age groups targeted (think tobacco for teens and reverse mortgages for granny).

Speaking of tobacco, it isn’t allowed. Neither is ‘paraphernalia’ which could be stretched to include vape cigarettes (is that what the kids are calling them these days?), illegal or recreational drugs, unsafe supplements (which Facebook gets to make the final decision on), and adult products (like contraceptives) unless for family planning purposes.

Copyright and other intellectual property or trademark infringements.

Now my favorite. Sex. No implied nudity or “suggestive positions” that are evocative or focus heavily on a single body party. No ‘before and after’ images or anything that suggests unrealistic or impossible transformations. Here are the images Facebook uses to portray this:

(I guess I’m not allowed to appear on a Facebook ad then?)

Nothing gory, violent, shocking, or “violently confronting” images.

Flash animation is prohibited.

Nothing personal. Let’s be honest. Facebook’s got a lot of dirt on you. They know your race, gender, religious or political leanings (probably even sexual preferences). So you can’t use language that refers specifically towards someone’s personal attributes. The oft-quoted example: “Meet Christian Women”  is fine, while “Meet Other Christian Women” is not, because it implies the advertiser knows something personal about the viewer. (Which they do, but should act like they don’t. You know, for privacy reasons.)

 Alcohol is one good example, where each country’s specific laws need to be taken into account. In some countries alcohol advertising isn’t allowed at all (Afghanistan, Egypt, Russia, etc.), some have older ages (25+ in Sweden), and lower in others (19 in Canada, Korea, and Nicaragua).

Dating? Good luck. You need written permission, there are super specific quality guidelines here, AND you need to fill out this form to become a ‘registered dating partner.’

You also need written consent for anything related to gambling. While only government run lotteries may advertise, assuming the ad targeting abides by the local jurisdiction (and doesn’t target anyone else outside of that).

Supplements walk a fine line, where herbal ones can only target legal adults (18 years+), and pharmacies need written permission.

Branded content gets tricky, with a specific tool (here) that needs to be used to make sure third party products, brands or sponsors are correctly tagged.

While subscription products (that include automatic renewals, free-to-paid, or mobile marketing) have their own requirement policies and guidelines (check here).

Got all of that?
Good. ‘Cause it’s just the beginning.

There are ALSO requirements for the pages you’re sending people. For example, you can’t restrict a user’s movement (like not letting them exit or leave the page). These external pages cannot be misleading from the original ad, including quality or minimal original content and obvious spelling errors or grammar mistakes. And obviously, there can’t be anywhere spyware, malware or other ‘deceptive’ stuff.

So why go through all of these? (Besides hitting my required word count you mean?)
There are A LOT of ways your ads can get flagged or disapproved.
Max provides a few great insights into the ad review process, speculating that ads can get approved faster (or preferential treatment) depending on your Facebook ad account history, keyword, domain and image analysis. So they might get through the automated process quicker but will still have to pass a manual human approval too.
We haven’t even talked about the infamous ‘20% rule’, and issues with words or text used on image themselves.
Almost 5,000 images are shared every second across Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and more.
That becomes problematic, as wordless ad images by themselves often become meaningless.
For example, Exhibit A:

And B:

And C:

So… WTF.
How do you create (a) a good ad (b) that doesn’t get rejected and (c) still shows something somewhat meaningful?
Here are a few examples of how other advertisers have done it.
7 Wordless Facebook Ad Examples to Emulate
If facts tell and stories sell, images are your primary sales tool. Because images increase user engagement by 94%.
One reason is because it only takes 13 milliseconds for our brains to process an image according to MIT (but what do they know?!).
Beyond the fact that people don’t read anymore, that startling speed almost makes image consumption subconscious.
However, as we just saw, the images need to be good. They need to be relevant and quickly – in a literal blink of an eye – translate what’s going on.
Here are a few good examples from other advertisers. (For the sake of argument, let’s ignore the rest of the ad’s components at this point and focus primarily on the ad.)

First up, is an event by Airzoone.
If we temporarily ignore the big calendar date and location information, the image does a good job depicting some sort of parade or procession in the foreground, with spectators’ focusing on said performers in the background.
The image uses a variety of colors and visually stimulating cultural elements which enhance the emotional connection to the image.
Another key component is the variety of human faces which not only draw your eye but also influence your perceptions about the ad.

Good product images, when done correctly, can also be more preferential (considered “very important” by 67% of consumers) than product information, full description, and customer ratings according to MDG Advertising.
Again, multiple textures and colors are used on a stark white background to create a visually stimulating contrast. This approach is similar to the way Apple products are always shown.

The primary image on a landing page is commonly referred to as a ‘hero image’ because it’s supposed to transform the viewer; making them feel the elation or transformation that the image is depicting.
Marketo’s example is a textbook example, showcasing a triumphant figure who ascended the mountaintop triumphantly. You can’t see their face, which helps to imagine yourself in their position. And once again, color contrast is used brilliantly to create separation between the conquistador’s bright red jacket and the cool grays, whites and blue hues of the background.

Yes, this next one is corny. Super duper, two thumbs-up corny.
But it’s also very good. The person just off-screen that everyone is looking at is You. In the foreground are some computers with editing software, where you’re working on the latest cut from the duo in the background behind the soundproof glass.
In one simple glimpse, you know exactly what’s happening and what they’re eventually going to sell you.
When you look at the power of visual storytelling, there’s also a powerful motivator of ‘sensory currency‘ that says we’re drawn to craftsman-like things that we can create with our hands.
This ad then delivers on several levels, providing us with probably one of the best examples to model to (a) get people to imagine themselves in the image, (b) instantly showcase what people get, and (c) hitting powerful innate motivators to psychologically attract buy-in.
John Hopkins

These three nerdy students are collaborating on something (doesn’t matter what) with obvious technical or mathematical information cleverly positioned in the background.
Again, slightly corny. But still effective, because the #1 factor of ‘powerful visuals’ is authenticity according to Getty Images.
Their faces slanted down, with eye-lines pointing to the same place (also cleverly positioned under the center of the image) help to focus your attention, drawing your own eyes to the same exact spot (like the ad headline and CTA).
Water Liberty

Disgust. Anger. Disapproval.
Whatever this 50’s style, white suburban dad is holding, isn’t good.
According to Science of People (a super interesting blog you’re about to lose the next 30 minutes browsing), there are seven ‘universal microexpressions’ that often occur “as fast as 1/15 to 1/25 of a second“:


That means there’s almost no faster way to communicate a powerful motivator than through someone’s microexpression. That’s especially helpful when ads of strangers in your photos are trying to compete for attention with someone’s best friend, family, and exes (insert crack about all exes livin’ in Texas).
Ocean Sushi & Noodles Bar

Sometimes, you don’t have to overthink it.
It’s tempting to over-complicate what makes a successful ad with a multitude of psychological studies and powerful narratives.
The fact that these words are in another language doesn’t even matter. All you see is good sushi. The bright colors accentuate freshness against a dark background that yet again helps focus your eye on the meat (literally) of the image.
I’d continue to pontificate, but suddenly I just got very hungry. So let’s wrap this up.
Violating Facebook’s ad guidelines is surprisingly easy, even when completely unintentional.
That’s not a knock; as they rightfully need to police an ad network that’s commonly viewed by teens (and younger).
But because their audience network is so large and multifaceted, they need to try and accommodate many different kinds of products, businesses, and organizations. Which means they’ll inevitably come up with very specific use cases and permission requirements to make sure everything shown is on the up-and-up.
One way to get your ads approved (or at least give them a fighting chance) is to use wordless ads where the images do the communicating for you.
It’s a tricky tightrope to walk, but it’s doable. Especially if you can tap into powerful human motivators and strategically use vibrant color choices to create powerful, visually arresting images.
What about you? Have you had your ads inadvertently disapproved? Ever tried using wordless ads instead?
Share your story in the comments below!
DrupalCoin Blockchain Developer

OStatic: How to Resolve Your Open Content Management Quandary

After years of integrationand competition, open source content management systems (CMS) have proliferated and are very powerful tools for building, deploying and managing web sites, blogs and more. You're probably familiar with some of the big names in this arena, including DrupalCoin Blockchain (which Ostatic is based on) and Joomla.
As we noted in this post, selecting a CMS to build around can be a complicated process, since the publishing tools provided are hardly the only issue. The good news is that free, sophisticated guides for evaluating CMS systems have flourished. There are even good options for trying open CMS systems online before you choose one. Here, in this newly updated post, you'll find some very good resources.
 he first thing to pursue as you evaluate CMS systems to deploy, including the many free, good platforms, is an overview of what is available. CMSMatrix.org is a great site for plotting out side-by-side comparisons of what CMS systems have to offer. In fact, it lets you compare the features in over 1200 content management system products. Definitely take a look. This site also has a good overview of the options.
 Many of the most interesting CMS systems allow you to try them online before going all in. For example, you can find demos to try here, and here.
But the very best site of all for trying out the major CMS platforms, including cloud-based platforms, is OpenSource CMS, a great site for gaining experience for free.
"OpenSourceCMS.com is a central resource for all things Open Source CMS and gives you the opportunity to 'try out' most of the best Open Source CMS tools in the world without marketing fluff and sales people," notes the site. You can find a huge array of open source CMS demos and portals to sample here.
There are many other demos, news feeds, and discussion forums related to free, open-source CMS platforms at OpenSourceCMS. Especially if you’re paying or considering paying for a proprietary solution, take some of the demos for a spin. OpenSource CMS lets you put on your site administrator gloves before you've committed to a full deployment around any given platform. And, doing a full deployment is a big deal.
Computerworld has also run interesting explorations of the advantages/disadvantages to open source CMS platforms. Get their discussion of DrupalCoin Blockchain and its modular advantages here. And there is an extensive deep dive into Joomla here.
If you do happen to become focused on DrupalCoin Blockchain, we also have a getting started guide here.

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