Archive for the ‘CMS’ Category

Three open source CMSes walk into a bar…

Joomla, Drupal, and PloneI remember one of the first conversations I had with Laura Quinn of Idealware a few years ago regarding her great idea for an online resource and clearinghouse of high-level technology information, and told her that I thought it would be a hit. Little did I know that I’d get the chance to play a recurring role of supporting actor in the open source content management systems (CMS) webinars, which seem to be quite popular.

On Thursday, June 21, from 1-2:30pm ET, I’ll be showcasing Joomla alongside my fellow open source CMS friends David Geilhufe (of the Drupal community) and Patrick Shaw (of the Plone community). All of our past Webinars have been very well attended, and actually helped some organizations choose Joomla! in the past.

This time, Laura’s asked us to focus a little more on the differences that users can find out of the box between these three systems, so I’ll likely be focusing on Joomla’s administrative UI, large community, and some other thoughts I have up my sleeve. Interested in attending? Register here, and learn more here.


PICnet CEO Ryan Ozimek gives CMS/CRM talk to OneWorld members

OneWorldIn an effort to help spread the word of open source content management systems (CMS) and constituent relationship management systems (CRM), I was asked to give a talk at OneWorld on March 28, 2007 to the OneWorld Peer Learning Exchange. Roshani Kothari from OneWorld was gracious enough to write up some great notes on it (see below) as well as post a podcast of this.

Listen to the MP3 of the talk

Thanks to Roshani for her hard work to make these OneWorld Peer Learning Exchanges occur, and to my co-presenters Alan Rosenblatt and Guy Stevens for their contributions.

Read more »


Best on the Hill – PICnet client wins Golden Mouse Award

Golden Mouse WinnerWhen you do great work, and put your full effort and heart into your clients’ projects, it’s nice to be recognized for those efforts. Today, the Congressional Management Foundation awarded Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Web site the coveted Golden Mouse award, the highest honor a congressional office can receive for outstanding Web communications.

Incredible hard work went into the effort, especially by Congresswoman Maloney’s lead Web site manager Anna Cielinski, who provided countless days and long nights into making the site a success.

From the Congressional Management Foundation:

“Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s Web site exemplifies how to use advances in technology and the Internet to better serve the growing number of constituents that are online. The content is comprehensive and cross-referenced. The wealth of features provides users with a sense of the work the Representative does, her accomplishments, and the services she provides.”

In addition to this, another PICnet client, Congressman Ed Markey, won a Bronze Mouse award, placing it in the top 30 congressional Web sites.

Congratulations to both offices, and their PICnetters, on a job well done!

You can read the 2006 Gold Mouse Report: Recognizing the Best Web Sites on Capitol Hill (PDF – 5MB) in its entirety to learn more about best practices for offices on the Hill.


Islands and bridges, the building has begun

Not too long ago, I wrote a piece called Islands and bridges: why Soapbox will lead the way to CRM and CMS integration for non-profits, where I detailed our vision on breaking down the walls between important technology silos in the non-profit community.

At that time, we spoke only about content management systems (CMSes) and constituent relationship management (CRMs), and while feedback on the blog was quiet, offline we got an earful.

A full three months have passed since then, and I think it’s about time to open the lid on how our bridge engineers are laying down the first strong links between these islands. Especially with postings like that of Allan Benamer from the Non-Profit Tech Blog, where he writes about his favorite stack of stacks, it made me think a response to his post might be in order.

Read more »


Site architecture 2.0, making site mapping fun

Bubbl.usDuring the Web development process, one of the most important phases of work is the information architecture. In laymen’s terms, the outline of the site. Of course, this phase doesn’t get the glory of the more glamorous work, like design mockups and development iterations.

One reason why this phase is often lower on organization’s radars is that it’s just not that much fun. It seems, however, that we might have a contender that could make this process a lot more, well, bubbly. is a new Web based mind-mapping tool that we think might have some traction in the Web development world. The goal is to make it easy to develop bubble-like outlines of systems, with an easy to use interface. The system is still a little buggy, but it’s just in beta, as is everything else these days. Lots of Flash makes me worry a little bit about its extendability (would like it if you could export these mind-maps into text documents).

Example using

Definitely worth a look.


Basecamp and Joomla integration anyone?

Basecamp LogoWe PICnetters use Basecamp for project management and when we learned they had released an API and saw the interesting things people were doing with it, we thought, “hey let’s integrate”. Not because it’s cool (though the closer we get to Web 2.0 tools, the cooler we all seem here around the office), but because we saw a need, at least internally, for some extended functionality: easy time tracking and reporting.

Basecamp allows time tracking and it is very nice when checking off a task to record how many hours you spent getting it done. But sometimes we get so engrossed in our work we forget when we started. So, we built a sort of stop-watch application which allows us to punch-in, punch-out, write up a description then send it off to Basecamp.

Another pet peeve of ours is when we run over the number of hours we’ve dedicated to a project, and with several people contributing time to a project that can happen easily if the time isn’t closely monitored. So next up on the integration effort is to develop a warning system which will alert project managers when we’re nearing that limit.

Read more »


Convio buys GetActive

Convio buys GetActiveIn what will likely be the email heard round the NPO tech world, we just received a partner email from GetActive that states the following announcement:  Convio is buying GetActive.

While it’s too early to understand the ramifications of this for the companies’ clients and the sector as a whole, I’m rather confident that this will likely be just the beginning of a year of mergers and acquisitions in the sector.

From the letter:

I’m writing to share the exciting news that GetActive is to be acquired by Convio, Inc. This is a significant milestone for the nonprofit sector, our company, and our product. But most important of all, this is great news for our partners and clients.

I predicted the consolidation of the marketplace last year, but I didn’t think these two big hitters would be the happy couple we see today.

See the full letter after the jump.

Read more »


Joomla 1.5 and MVC Extension Tutorial

Gotta love the community. A group of developers are putting their heads together to create an excellent tutorial on the new Joomla 1.5 MVC (model, view, controller) structure and how to build a component using MVC and the new Joomla libraries. This is a great resource for all you developers out there. Hope to see some good components come out in the future because of this.


Paying a visit to Google with the Joomla team

GoogleSometimes your schedule changes, and you’ve got to rearrange a meeting. Then sometimes you get invited to have lunch and go to Joomla presentations by core team members to a Google developer audience and your day completely changes.

Tomorrow I’ll be attending a few sessions at the Googleplex, led by Joomla team members including Louis Landry, Wilco Jansen, Hannes Papenberg and Laurens Vandeput. Their Google guide for the trip, Leslie Hawthorn, is a wonderful mix of open source developer mom and supporter of everything that leads to happy developers. She’s even talked about the great open source speakers series that they’re having a Google these days, including our Joomla devs.

Throughout tomorrow I’ll do my best to post updates to the blog, including some video and photos of the talks. I’ll also make sure to provide fully detailed reports on the Google cafeteria food, which I promise to eat until fully stuffed.

(Photos and video after the page flip…)

Read more »


Getting connected with the community

J!SalesforceIn our efforts to go beyond just the nuts and bolts of bridging the gap between CRM and CMS applications, PICnet has kicked off our community building effort for Joomla and users. We’re a bunch of regular matchmakers.

Yesterday I had great meeting with Meghan Nesbit of the Foundation at their offices in downtown SF. We chatted about a variety of items, including the impact that Salesforce is having in the non-profit community, with well more than 1,000 licenses of their non-profit version of Salesforce distributed for free to organizations across the US. Even better, these non-profit users get the same standard support paying Salesforce corporate users receive.

I also learned about a vibrant non-profit Salesforce user community that bubbles up in three different places:

When I had a chance to demo what we’ve already put together for J!Salesforce, Meghan seemed pretty happy with the results, and seemed especially in tune with some of the trickiness to the integration on items such as multi-select boxes. Her comments were a nice pat on the back of Kevin’s tireless work over the past few weeks, and sparked a fire under our feet to keep the ball rolling.

Read more »