Web technology with resilience in mind

The Transition movement has grown in a large part due to the tools and connectedness made possible through the web. Its important for us to think about our dependence on the web in the work that we do and find ways to make our technology resilient just as we would think of other aspects of our community.

Ed Mitchell, Web Co-ordinator with the Transition Network provides an excellent overview of the recent developments with the Ning social networking platform and options for transition initiatives going forward. Also, check out a previous post about just how much energy it takes to browse all of those interesting websites.

You can also join the discussion about options for current Ning site users following Les Squire's 'Open Message to all Transitioners' on the US Transition Ning social networking site.

There are many comparisons that could be made between the collaborative nature of the Transition movement and the similarly collective effort behind the Open Source software movement. Well, now the two have combined through the launch of the Transition Drupal project. Here's an update from Andre Angelantoni for the scoop how that is shaping up...


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Announcing Transition Drupal

At the April DrupalCon San Francisco conference the open-source Transition Drupal project was kicked off. Drupal is a popular website management system that specializes in creating social networks (its tag line is "community plumbing"). Many popular sites are being run on Drupal, WhiteHouse.gov recently becoming one of them.

Drupal by itself takes significant technical know-how to set up so the Transition Drupal project is creating a "website in a box" package that a modestly skilled person can set up on an inexpensive hosting account. It will have the essential features already configured — just add content.

Work has begun identifying the features version 1.0 will have. You can find the the draft 1.0 specification at the Transition Drupal site (pardon the spare look; though under construction it's usable). Most of the conversation about the project itself is taking place at groups.drupal.org/transition-towns (anyone can register for an account).

You'll also find discussion of the first draft of a fabulous theme Chris Wells from Transition Kensal & Kilburn has put together.


There will be plenty of ways throughout the project to help. Right now a few specific skills are needed:

  • Information Architect: This person would design one or more site maps that would be appropriate for different sizes and types of Transition Towns. A large town may need different features, content and layout than a small one, for instance, and we need someone to study needs and put together one or more site structures.
  • Drupal developers: if you are a Drupal developer, please consider joining the core development team! With help, some of the long list of features currently slated for Version 2.0 may make it into Version 1.
  • Graphic designer: we have lots of graphic needs throughout the project
  • Drupal Themer: This is a specific skill that converts graphic designs into theming code

In a few months we will need:

  • Documentation: We'll need people to create setup tutorials and other documentation, including video tutorials
  • Installation support: we'll need people who know how to set up Drupal to answer questions on the forums

If you are interested in participating, get an account on groups.drupal.org/transition-towns and introduce yourself!

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Thanks to Andre Angelantoni for this update!

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