Small group meetings on new technologies for social change groups

Bill Bumpus's picture

from OCTech E-mail Digest 2004, #3 ---- May 21, 2004
Published by
Organizers' Collaborative, Inc. (

Small group meetings on new technologies for social change groups

this past week OC held a small meeting in our office attended by
7 local tech
consultants / web developers interesting in sharing
their knowledge with
others. It was a great opportunity for the
consultants to learn from one
another, and it was a chance for our
staff to learn from the consultants.
The topic of the month was
affordable Content Management Systems

This meeting featured two presenters: Caroline Meeks and
Hopp. Caroline focused on BCMS, which is a content management
running on top of Open ACS. Erik focused on Drupal, the
CMS of choice for
the Howard Dean Campaign. Out of this meeting
we learned some practical and
affordable ways to make the OC
web site much more flexible, useful, and
accessible than it is now. The
CMS designers have done the heavy lifting
needed to make any web
site powerful. It does not make sense to have a
consultant spend 50
hours designing an interactive feature for your group's
web site when
the feature has already been implemented as part of one of
open source packages. Some of the CMS systems have hundreds
software designers working on them, resulting in very well tested
that were designed by software experts.

Some relevant links: (Open ACS) (Drupal's home page) (Plone, an easy to use CMS we did
not cover) (Mambo,
another CMS that just reached version 1.0)

OC is planning to revisit the
CMS issue next month in more depth, and
then explore additional tech topics
relevant to social change groups in
subsequent meetings. These meetings will
be designed for tech or
web consultants, technically oriented volunteers, or
"accidental techies"
who work at nonprofits. Let us know if you want more
information on
these events in Boston.