higher ed summit

Panel, no one in a communications or marketing unit — mostly folks who do contract sites for college departments, units, including chargeback models.

Interesting: discussion about how they decide whether to use WP or Drupal for any given project.

It’s so weird being here as a person from higher ed, but with no departments.

Stanford has ~1800+ sites. Business school does Acquia hosting. Most everything else uses their locally-hosted Stanford Sites service. There’s about 100 “special unique snowflakes.” [note also: Behat?] And then also Blackmesh & Pantheon hosting?

Monster Menus module (something with permissions? is it any better than Workbench Access?) But they (Amherst) actually even use Drupal, same one as their site, for LMS-type stuff.

People talking about Word editing issues. “We train people” but it doesn’t work. :\

Interesting thoughts about Features and upgrade paths — I really should reset all the “Features”, redo the ones I exported from my sandbox from scratch in my dev site. Because I’ve probly broken all of those.

Do most colleges have a SaaS or agency model of web development? So much site building in this discussion.

Nice mention of lynda.com. I really should see what’s available there for Drupal.

Migrating from another CMS

I wonder if I should talk to the UC Davis guy about Cascade? Because that was the best presentation at the Cascade conference.

So what ABOUT Migrate? It honestly looks way overkill for what I want/need to be doing. “It is important to recognize that the Migrate module is a developer’s tool — if you do not have object-oriented programming skills in PHP, this module is not for you.” So, yeah. Not for me.

Oh, I need to do a separate migration for the news stories, especially with the newer Cascade content type.

But I guess maybe I could try it? I recognize that I’m a bit fussy about my tech, and maybe I’m ruling it out in an overly arbitrary way. At least see what’s involved on the sandbox site.

Obvs, what I’m hearing is that it’s important to really understand your content types and workflow.

Migrate, per Ken Rickard: Easy to roll back and reimport, declare dependencies, do things in a phased way. And that sounds lovely. CAN MIGRATE IN PARALLEL TO EDITING IN THE OLD SYSTEM. “highwaters” and “stubs”

Getting a dev up to speed with Migrate – he’s selling it from the POV of having a programmer get up to speed with Drupal, but for me it might be finally getting my head around OOP.

I guess I’m also glad that we don’t have this “wild west” situation that a lot of folks do. I can give credit to Luke and past-Susan for that much, at least, whatever I happen to think of Cascade specifically.

Spreadsheets for field mapping. (Resources will be in the notes!)

I also need to go look at the OTHER Cascade content types (etc) for that mapping, which gets me back into the dreadful world of ye olde triple-nav pages.

Relatedly: is there ANY way to get enough RAM (or something) for Cascade to do an index block at full depth? Because ugh.

Got to mention my guinea pig process. 🙂

Oh, go back to that earlier CMS Users survey for what they wish they had. (was it contact forms?)

A little bit of ethnographic research, or even just ask Susan what she’s seen in the field, since she does so much user support.

“I like, I wish, I wonder” (maybe a second survey?)

The rest of the day

I went to the table to discuss user training, and first of all — it was over lunch. I’m pretty sure it’s a terrible idea to have a formal program over lunch. And then at the actual discussion I didn’t get much out of it. So TBQH I bailed pretty early, once I’d finished my food, and then I ran into someone I knew and met some new people and had some good discussions, and now it’s well into another session. I think there’s one more after that, and then “happy hour” (and again TBH I don’t much care about getting free drinks).

Was it worth it? I don’t know. Seems like it needed to be either a lot more structured or a lot less structured, one or the other. And the room was loud, hard to hear conversations very well. And and…the big schools in particular are set up so much differently that we are. :shrug: Dunno if I’d do it again, unfortunately. (Altho it’s nice to have a pre-day to get orientated to everything.)