John Sheridan, Australian Government CTO

John Sheridan, Australian Government CTO, is pushing for the adoption of Drupal as the standard Content Management System of choice for the Government of Australia.

In fact, and, are set to be re-launched on Drupal in September 2014.

In February 2014, Mr. Sheridan was a keynote speaker at a Drupal conference where he spoke about Drupal and open source application in business.

So many organizations have yet to catch up and adopt modern web technology practices internally. We've all seen the power of social media, social networking, and user-generated content on the Internet, but how many organizations can say they are leveraging this power to bolster their bottom line?

The Internet is a beautiful place. It's so easy to meet new people, find like-minded people to collaborate with, to learn from others, to ask for help, and to get things done. Organizational leaders are coming around to the idea that web technology can help, but have they yet realized that they can create this same experience within their own organizations too?

Business person on a beach relaxing in a suit.

I am very proud and excited to have recently launched the newly designed U7 Solutions website! This new look much better represents what we are about and what we offer. Not only is the site modernized, but the messaging and information structure has been overhauled as well.

New site

This change was not easy and took us several months to complete. There was lots we had to learn and many tough questions about our business model that we needed to answer, but it was all worth it in the end!

If you've ever created a panel for multiple languages and found yourself wanting to create a URL path for your panel that looks something like this (/en/myenglishpage-mapagefrancaise and /fr/myenglishpage-mapagefrancaise), then these instructions are for you! A URL like that is NOT localized, it's bilingual.

This process was quite tricky to figure out because I kept thinking that Panels was going to let me do it, that i18n's Path Translation would work, or that using two panels was the solution. After exhausting these solutions, URL aliases was the last resort. It turns out that was very easy!

Here's how:

Drupal 8 or Backdrop?

I’m not a programmer or a computer science grad but I’ve been in the software development scene for about 15 years now, mostly as a web developer and project manager.

Drupal fell on my lap in 2005, it was version 4.7. Being a website hobbyist and enthusiast at the time, I took to it immediately and became a very good Drupal site builder. A Drupal site builder is commonly referred to as someone who builds websites by leveraging the contributed modules in clever ways to create great websites without almost ever writing one line of PHP code.

The digital media manager - the web's new essential middleman

They call themselves "digital marketing managers" but also pose as "social media specialists", "internet marketers", and "digital strategists". There may be a few others, but we're not name-calling here.

Although I am not one of them, I do regularly pose as one. I have learned a lot about writing decent copy, organizing information to guide the user's focus, and to optimize content for a better search engine rank. I've also learned a thing or two about branding, marketing, and advertising... but I am by no means an expert at any of this.

Digital marketing managers are experts.

The U7 platform

When you're in the business of building websites - whether large or small - after building a few, you inevitably start to see patterns that you wish you could automate.

After all, any techie hates doing the same thing twice - that's the beauty of computers - they let us automate repeatitous activities. However, as web designers, we must make sure that we meet the needs of our clients.

I have found in my experience that as time goes on, technology standardizes and people tend to become quite satisfied with the common "best practice", as long as their unique needs are also met.

A roadmap to collaboration

Just posted my first deck on :) This presentation provides a roadmap for implementing social networking capabilities inside your corporate Intranet and makes the case that this will lead to increased collaboration within your organization.

Many people in leadership positions running web modernization projects inside their organizations are struggling with this. If you find this presentation useful and would like to learn more, please contact me

Keep your ears open

Gathering testimonials is something very important to any business, especially these days because the world is highly social now. More than ever before, people base their purchasing decisions on recommendations from people they know and trust, and on public opinion. But this blog is not about convincing you of the benefit of testimonials, rather on explaining how easy it can be to gather them!

Basically, here's how you do it:

Overcome your fear of blogging

Many business owners are reluctant to start their own blog. I certainly do appreciate how intimidating it can be, after all you are putting yourself out there, but that is the same feeling you must have had when you first started your business. Starting something of your own and going public about it definitely sets expectations and can feel a little daunting at first, but once you get started it gets easier and easier.

The reality is that you know something your clients don't and that makes you an expert in your field. This is what you should be blogging about and the following seven reasons will explain why blogging is good for your business.

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