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Axelerant Blog: Women at Axelerant: Chapter Three

Planet Drupal - 8 June 2018 - 6:12am


I sat down to speak with the amazing women of Axelerant, and they each shared their unique perspectives about what it's like being professionals in their field. In this chapter, Swati, Hetal, Priyasha, and Aliya expound on this—and in their own words.

Categories: Drupal

Fantasy Flight Previews Lando’s Falcon For X-Wing

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 June 2018 - 6:00am
For many of you out there, I’m sure you’ve gone to see the new Solo movie (whether you saw it with other people or not). In it, we get a bunch of background on Star Wars‘ most famous smuggler, along with how he got the iconic ship, The Millennium Falcon. Well, back when Lando had […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Hybris Integration

New Drupal Modules - 8 June 2018 - 5:38am

Initial works on the Hybris + Drupal Integration

Categories: Drupal

OpenSense Labs: How To Devise Your Content Strategy With Drupal

Planet Drupal - 8 June 2018 - 5:01am
How To Devise Your Content Strategy With Drupal Shankar Fri, 06/08/2018 - 17:31

Content is the fulcrum of any enterprise that gives them the tensile strength to build a robust online presence. Having the right approach towards delivering astounding content involves plenty of effectual content strategies in place. Drupal 8 is your one-stop destination for building an efficacious content strategy with its out-of-the-box capabilities.

Source: Getty Images

According to a research by LinkedIn, 72 percent of the digital marketers have a content strategy in place of which 30 percent are the documented and the rest non-documented.

Before we look at the ways of forming a blueprint for content distribution, let’s see what are the various models of disseminating content.

Content dissemination

Every organisation has a different need for content distribution plan and requires different kind of content dissemination. An organisation may have a primary global site that contains the most of the content. This might have to be distributed to different secondary sites if it is a large organisation with a global presence. Even some external sites might be receiving the content from the primary site. It is also possible that these secondary sites would be sharing the content with each other through a peer-to-peer network.

Primarily, organisations adopt either of the top content distribution models namely, centralized and decentralized models.

Centralization

This involves a primary site that acts as the main activity hub when it comes to content production. Large enterprises would have the dire need of such a website which would pass on the content to its global sites or product sites. Thus, this helps in maintaining the brand consistency during cross-channel marketing campaigns.

Source: Acquia

It is possible that one of the secondary sites may have a relevant information on the subject. Primary site may need to import important information from its sub-sites so that it can then distribute it to the other secondary sites. In any case, in the centralized model of content dissemination, content is propagated through a primary site to the global sites.

For instance, the website of United Nations is powered by Drupal. It has a global presence with member nations from across the globe. To meet their needs, it has dedicated country sites that comprises of unique digital marketing teams. So, if a new agreement has been signed on by influential nations on combating climate change, a digital marketer can push the information out to the secondary sites via a primary site thereby publishing the content to both primary site and its secondary sites spread across the nations.

Another very good example is the Planet Drupal, which displays the aggregated list of feeds about Drupal posted around the globe. Drupal.org, Groups.Drupal.org and several other sub-sites may find several absorbing contents fit into its topical sections. Planet Drupal provides the platform to share interesting, relevant and highly useful Drupal-related informative blogs.

Decentralization

It is not always the case where a primary site would be distributing content to additional sites. What if there is no such main site to propagate the information to the secondary sites? Independently run sites can share content with each other through a peer-to-peer model of content dissemination.

Source: Acquia

For instance, an organisation from media and publishing industry can have several regional sites. So, in a country like India, with a diverse and multi-linguistic culture, a digital media might have independently run regional sites. If a regional site in Chennai, a metropolitan city in India, is running a cover story of the citywide celebration of a festival, their national television channel can reuse that coverage of festival to be posted on its site.

It is doubly important to choose the right model of content distribution for your organisation’s needs and its success. It is also significant to have the best content strategies in place in addition to the continuous flow of wonderful content.

Constructing effectual content strategies Source: Contently

A question on Quora reads, “How do I develop content strategy?”. It involves identification of roles and workflow to find out who does what, formulation of standard guidelines to be followed by content producers, repurposing available content on your site, and using the best tools and technology available.

Source: ContentlyHammer out the finer details of your objectives

Before you commence with the proceedings involving content production, you need to be smart and have the right set of goals and plans for the creation of superabundance of content.

  • Being succinct: Make sure that what you plan is precise, specific and succinct.
  • Relevancy: Your objectives should be relevant to your business. So, if you are a Drupal agency, in addition to Drupal related content, you can explore many other technologies that can work together with Drupal.
  • Being realistic: Setting goals that are attainable would serve you the purpose better. If your Drupal agency has been churning out 30 blogs per month, setting 100 blogs per month would be too drastic.
  • Trackable: Your objectives should be measurable. So, if you want to boost your social media presence, formulate a goal that focuses on increasing it by X percentage so that you can measure your achievement rate.
  • Time constraints: You should have a goal that is time-bound. You should be able to adhere to the timeline set for the particular task.
Define your target audience

A proper persona research would help immensely to build content that is ideal for your users. For the creation of optimal content, you should know who your customers and prospects are, what are their interests and concerns, and what sort of content do they want to consume.

Source: Online Marketing Institute

Start off by developing the persona research for existing user base. Pen down user profiles like their name, job role, industry information and demographic details. Once you do so, try to gauge what information are they searching for, their needs and challenges.

Assess your content

Performing a content audit would help you in re-organising your existing content. Always review your existing content to see what can be repurposed or reused.

Instead of spending a lot of your time in creating or recreating something, content assessment can help in identifying gaps in the existing ones.

Choose the right Content Management System

Selecting the best CMS to power your website can pay dividends. Drupal 8 should be your goto CMS when it comes to choosing the best content-friendly framework.

Source: Bluehost

Its amazing themes offer the best UX to the content editors. A plethora of custom and contributed modules assist in customization of your site as per your needs and help hugely in content publication. It can of great use for content analytics. For instance, Real-time SEO for Drupal recommends automatic alterations that can boost the SEO of the content that is going to be published.

Prepare a super list of topic buckets

Brainstorming on content ideas can be effectively done through tools like Buzzsumo, Feedly, Semrush and many more. Once done, start preparing a topic cluster to construct a super list of relevant content based on the parameters like search volume and long tail keywords.

Rummage through the content types

A plenitude of content types can be derived, after the super list has been prepared, to work upon. Determining the sort of content you should be using would depend on different stages of buying cycle of the prospects.

  • Brand awareness: The prospects would rummage through your products and services, understand your brand value and try to gauge whether they have the need for your product.
  • Identification of problem: Prospect might figure out the problems and start researching about the possible solutions thereby coming across your products.
  • Comparing available options: Prospect can compile the list of vendors and validates these options.
  • Decision-making: After the comparison of different options, the prospect can start deciding which one to choose from.

Once the different stages of buying cycle are figured out, it is time for mapping what sort of content type would suit best for each of the stages. An illustration below shows the types of content that can be identified with different stages.

Source: Hubspot

Drupal can be of great use to build these content formats. Let’s see some of them.

Posting blogs: Posting blogs on your website on a regular basis is of utmost importance. Blog posts should provide valuable information to your readers ranging from long form to short form blog types. Drupal provides options for posting different types of content on your website. Whether it is business-centric article or an interview of a CEO from a renowned company, Drupal has the provision for posting different sorts of content.

Developing infographics: Another great way of producing content is the infographics that provide graphical information to convey an information clearly and quickly. Drupal offers a lot of modules that can help in embedding images with infographics in your blog posts. For instance, colorbox, a Drupal module, can help in displaying an image by overlaying it above the current page.

Embedding videos:  A research by Hubspot, as can be seen in the stats below, shows that video is increasingly becoming the most influential and preferred medium of content. Drupal has plenty of modules that can be used for producing videos and embedding them in the blog posts. For instance, CKeditor Media embed module can help in embedding videos, images, tweets that are hosted by other services.

Creating Podcasts: Edison research, in one of their studies, reports that 57 million people listen to podcasts every month.  If you have interesting presentations, want to share the latest information on your products and services, or have some amazing conversation with industry leaders, podcasts are the way to go. Drupal 8 module, RSS SimplePodcast, lets you create simple podcast RSS.

Content Governance

Governing the publishing of content is one of the foremost things that content editors need to take care. Having the provision for publishing the content should be hassle-free. You should not only be able to publish your blogs posts but also be able to schedule it as per your organisation’s workflow and your convenience. Scheduler, Drupal 8 module, helps in publishing or unpublishing a content at a particular date and time.

Content editors should also have to administer the publishing of content other than their own sites. Creating original content for an online content portal like Medium would be really helpful in spreading the content to bigger and relevant audience. Also, publishing the content on social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn etc. can help in targeting more eyeballs.

Conquering challenges

Strategizing the content flow can be rewarding but it does have its fair share of hurdles.

  • Construction of right content for the audience can be hassling.
  • Churning out the right amount of content can be tricky.
  • Looking up for a specific content from the wealth of content on website can be strenuous.
Source: HubspotDrupal 8: Ultimate choice for content strategy

It is of paramount importance that you choose the right CMS for your business when it comes to producing a great content efficaciously. Drupal offers the belligerent support needed for content-heavy websites.

APIs as a core feature

Business enterprises can choose Drupal as the central content repository getting the best out of its rich content structuring, content creation, and administration provisions. Drupal provides the best way to curate, build, and publish content through APIs as its core feature. It makes multi-channel content distribution much easier.

Web personalization

Drupal has the means for enabling web personalization that helps in understanding the interests of the users, tailoring the website to accommodate their profile and, offer them the best content that is relevant to them.

Source: WhiskData

Acquia Lift Connector, Drupal module, helps in the unification of content and the insight collected from several sources about the customers for delivering in-context and personalized experiences across multiple platforms.

Intelligent content tool module, supported by Opensense Labs, helps in auto-tagging, text summarization and finding content duplication.

Multilingual capabilities

Drupal 8 has out-of-the-box multilingual capabilities that help in building websites in more than 90 languages. With in-built modules for language handling, interface translation, configuration management, content translation, Drupal 8 can of great help in building multilingual sites easily. This helps in tailoring user experiences by translating the content in their own language.

Mobile-first approach

Drupal 8 is responsive out-of-the-box. That means the mobile-first approach is a core part of the Drupal framework. It comes with a plethora of fully responsive themes that enables it to work efficiently across platforms. Your content would look exactly the way you want on computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Content strategy project for Drupal.org

Drupal.org Content Working Group met for a two-day workshop in 2014 to get the team from Forum One, content strategists and user experience designers, to build a content strategy for the official Drupal website.

Why is content strategy formulation needed?

Drupal.org is the hub of Drupal and its community. It is the main source of code, Drupal-related information and collaboration among the community members. From project managers to web developers, everyone contributes towards its development and betterment. Organisations from a wide array of industries like governments, nonprofits, and Fortune 500 companies have been using Drupal for their business needs.

What were the objectives of this initiative?

One of the first things that they wanted to improve was the quality and the relevancy of the content available on the Drupal.org website. They also planned to reframe it around all the user roles and proficiencies to address all the audiences. Moreover, their objective was to develop a content governance for the site and improve user engagement within the Drupal community.

What were the steps taken to improve content strategy?

Content Working Group and Documentation Working Group of Drupal identified some gaps and put forth some fixes as part of their content strategy for the site.

  • With over a dozen content types, more than a million pieces of content, much more taxonomy terms and views that represent displays of data, thousands of forum topics, projects (including modules, themes and distributions) and issues associated with these projects, Drupal.org had a lot of content.
  • They took steps to break down these content types into more meaningful content types. For instance, a book page content type can be anything ranging from documentation to resource guides. Thus, this had to be broken down into relevant content types so that the new users can find information more easily.
  • Moreover, a dearth of marketing materials was noticed. They pledged to create content to promote Drupal 8 among the likes of CIOs, CTOs, managers, and business decision-makers.
  • A content audit was needed to be performed regularly. They zeroed in on what sort of content could be archived, what can be removed, and what can be updated. Content mapping was done as well to figure what content they have on the site and what sort of content would they need that would assist in building better information architecture for the new users.
  • They analysed and tested the user experience for creating and maintaining the content on the site.
Tools and technology for content strategy

Understanding the significance of formulating a master plan for producing content on your website can have dramatic metamorphosis for your business. Now, that we have understood the importance, we need to look for the right technology stack that can help out attain our goals.

Integration of CMS and DAM

Content Management System (CMS) like Drupal is primarily designed to build, publish and handle the content on your website. A Digital Asset Management (DAM), in contrast, is highly useful for governing the digital rights and the storage of media content like photos and videos. Integrating DAM capabilities into the CMS can be a big boost for your content endeavours. For instance, integration of Drupal with Acquia DAM, a cloud-based DAM, cam improve brand consistency with the usage of rich media content.

Project management

Usage of project management tools like JIRA, Workbench or InMotionNow can help in imbibing an agile approach to your content workflow, incorporate editorial calendar for effective content management and also help in the proper planning of content production.

Content analysis

Integrating business intelligence and analytics tools like Tableau and Google Analytics would help in compiling reports on your content marketing efforts and assist in the assessment and measurement of your website content.

Future of content strategy

With an enormous presence of disrupting technologies promising to streamline the way existing technologies manage our workflow, curating and distributing content on your website can benefit from some of the future technological advancements.

Virtual reality

A Statista report states that by the year of 2022, the market size of virtual reality would amount to 209.2 billion US dollars. Virtual reality can be a great option to produce immersive content for your content marketing campaigns. For instance, IKEA introduced their customers a way of virtually exploring the living room rather than just looking at their products at the store.

A fictional site of Massachusetts State University was built on Drupal 8 that would help students to take a virtual tour of the University from their website.

 

Artificial intelligence

To make your content production more predictive, personalised and relevant, AI can be of great help. For instance, Amazon Rekognition helps in integrating photo and video analysis in your application and lets you identify which influencers are generating more user engagement vis-à-vis various product categories.

Native advertising

You might have noticed some form of paid advertisement while reading e-newspaper where the content seems similar to the native content of the platform. Native advertising can play a big role in the content marketing tactics in the future. Almost 60 percent of US digital display ad spending would be done through native advertising.

Live streaming

Another form of content dissemination is the live streaming which will grow immensely in the coming years. It is more like a real-life conversation where audience can pose questions and get responses in real-time thereby increasing user engagement. Viewers spend 8 times longer on a live streaming video content than the on-demand videos.

Conclusion

Creating cornucopia of content is a great deal of work. Producing content smartly by devising right strategy to disseminate content across channels is the way to go. Drupal has been pioneering in the effective distribution of content and can be a great option to embed your website with the best of content.

Ping us at hello@opensenselabs.com to implement the best content strategies for your Drupal site.

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Categories: Drupal

Troy’s Crock Pot: NPC aspirations

Gnome Stew - 8 June 2018 - 5:01am

Part of a GM’s job is to provide NPCs and to breathe life into them.

A lot of time is often spent figuring out their distinguishing characteristics. What color hair do they have? Do they wear it short, down or up?  Do they walk with a limp? Do they speak with a certain dialect?

Don’t forget their clothes. Or their makeup. And hey, everyone notices the shoes. Don’t they?

Some setting books have tools to help with this. The 5E Dungeon Master’s Guide, for example, has a d20 chart listing identifying features that can set an NPC apart. It’s a useful tool, insofar as it goes.

But …

Unless your party is tracking down a fugitive NPC, though, a lot of that description goes for naught. It might even be important in the moment — how did you know she’s a silver dragon in disguise? Maybe it has to do with that shimmering evening wear, eh?

But for the long term, what makes an NPC carry a scene or stick with the players is how it expresses its goals, motivations or ambitions.

The NPC, like anyone, wants something out of this world. The PCs aren’t going to remember if Sally wore red socks, or were they blue? But if Sally puts in long hours as a barista to earn enough money to study at the technical college — there’s a better chance of that information sticking.

Moreover, Sally has “utility” from the the PCs’ perspective. Coffee. Education. Relating to customers. Local info.

Such goals inform roleplaying. Is Sally too busy to help the PCs with their mission because there is a line of customers? Will Sally cheerfully help because the player character’s career is related to what Sally wants to study? Does Sally remember the PC fondly/poorly from their high school association, and does she appreciate/resent her current situation because of it?

Motivations and goals roll into how a GM presents information, and makes it fun for the GM too. The GM gets to put on their own roleplay hat and interact with the PCs beyond tracking attack bonuses, hit points and creature damage.

So, as you organize and plan for games this summer, consider spending more time on how your NPC sees the world than what the PCs want from it. When those perspectives meet within the context of your scenario or encounter, you are more likely to have memorable interaction and an NPC whom the players will remember by name.

 

Categories: Game Theory & Design

sweetalert2

New Drupal Modules - 8 June 2018 - 4:13am

Integrates the SweetAlert2 plugin to act as a modern replacement for JavaScript's alert.

Usage

In a custom theme or module, you can trigger a Sweet Alert within your javascript by invoking it directly and providing it whatever options you want to use:

swal(
'Good job!',
'You clicked the button!',
'success'
);

Categories: Drupal

Communications

New Drupal Modules - 7 June 2018 - 6:20pm
Categories: Drupal

Facebook launches new program for gaming streamers just starting out

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 7 June 2018 - 2:42pm

Facebook announced the launch of its Level Up program today, designed to help new and aspiring streamers foster a community using its platform. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Five New Books For Legacy: Life Among the Ruins Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 2:00pm
Modiphius is not sitting back and just waiting to get you some books for Legacy: Life Among the Ruins. They’ve got a quintet of new ones available in their webshop. If you’ve been wanting to expand your collection, this is definitely the time to do so. Let’s take a look at what they’ve got. Your […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

James Oakley: Security and Performance: Remove old Modules

Planet Drupal - 7 June 2018 - 1:49pm

Yesterday, the Drupal Security team issued a Security Advisory for the Mollom module, SA-CONTRIB-2018-038. The module is now marked as "unsupported".

The security team is marking this project unsupported. There is a known security issue with the project that has not been fixed by the maintainer.

Blog Category: Drupal Planet
Categories: Drupal

Forbidden Games Posts New Raccoon Tycoon Preview

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 1:00pm
In just 12 days, Forbidden Games will be rolling out their Kickstarter campaign for Raccoon Tycoon. The game puts players in charge of building and maintaining trade networks of goods. It’s a boom time in the kingdom of Astoria, and everyone wants to get a piece for themselves. But, in the end, only one will […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Austrian court ruling could hold YouTube liable for copyright infringing content

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 7 June 2018 - 12:46pm

The preliminary decision means that, if upheld, YouTube, and potentially other major platforms, are legally accountable for the content posted by users on its platform. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Announces Heroes of Terrinoth Card Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 12:00pm
Those dungeons aren’t going to delve themselves. Those goblins aren’t going to just stop raiding the local towns. Those monsters aren’t just going to decide they don’t want to smash everything in existence. Those evil wizards aren’t going to suddenly decide to not take over the world. That’s why Terrinoth needs heroes. And that’s just […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Thursday Terrain Corner

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 11:00am
The work week continues along. We’ve made it to Thursday. We can make it the rest of the way. I’ve been realizing the last couple days that I have absolutely nothing planned for this weekend. Which, after several that were pretty busy, might be just up my alley. I’m sure I’ll fill the time up […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Steamforged Previews Veteran Sakana For Guild Ball

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 10:00am
So, we had the Exiles, the various Union members that left for other Guilds. The next set coming for Guild Ball is The Faithful. They’re players who stuck with their teams (for the most part, there’s Spigot in there). In this case, it’s Sakana. A pirate’s life is for him (yarr arr yarr. I loddie […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Free Nations Live Launch Weekend Starts Tomorrow

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 9:00am
Time Zones are a funny thing. When it’s an hour or two, it’s just kinda like, “yeah, whatever.” But then you hit that point where there’s people already in tomorrow when you’re still in today. As Battlefront is over in New Zealand, they’re well ahead of those of us in the US and UK, and […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Heroes and Mini Boss Coming For Super Dungeon

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 8:00am
Next week, a pair of new heroes and a new mini-boss will go on sale for Super Dungeon from Soda Pop Miniatures/Ninja Division. The first hero is the Celestial Healer, great for making sure that your other heroes don’t die. Though it’s a little too late for the Gloomborn Champion. He’s already dead, but he’s […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Acro Media: Drupal with WebSockets for Real-Time Synced Displays

Planet Drupal - 7 June 2018 - 7:45am

The situation: I'm the primary maintainer of the Commerce Point of Sale module and have been building a customer facing display feature for the Commerce 2 version. So, I have two separate pages, one is a cashier interface where a cashier enters products, the second is a customer facing screen where the customer can watch what products have been scanned, review pricing, and make sure everything is correct.

The problem: Since products can be scanned through quite quickly, it was imperative that the customer facing display update very quickly. The display needs to match wha's happening in near real-time so that there is no lag. Unfortunately, AJAX is just too slow and so I needed a new solution.

The solution: WebSockets seem like a great fit.

Design

AJAX - Too slow!


WebSocket - Fast!


The socket server can either not bootstrap Drupal at all, or bootstrap it only once upon load, making it able to relay traffic very quickly.

Dependencies

I only needed one dependency for this, Ratchet, which is a PHP library for handling WebSockets and is easily installed via Composer.

Setup

The WebSocket server is actually very simple, it finds and loads up the autoload script for Drupal, similar to how Drush does it.

We bootstrap Drupal, just so we can load a few config settings.

We terminate the Drupal kernel, since we don’t need it just for ferrying traffic back and forth and it will probably leak memory or something over a long time if we use it a bunch, since Drupal isn’t really meant to run for ages. I did try it with Drupal running the whole time and it did work fine, although this wasn’t under any real load and only for a couple days.

Now all that we have to do is setup the service.

All the details of our service come from the class we pass in, which basically hooks in the different server events. I’ll leave the details of that outside of this article as none of it is Drupal specific and there are lots of tutorials on Rachet’s site: http://socketo.me/docs/hello-world

Javascript

On the JavaScript end, we connect to the WebSocket using the standard interface.

I used a few mutation observers to monitor for changes and then passed the changes to the WebSocket to relay. You could do this however you want and probably some nicely integrated JS or even a React frontend would be a lot cleaner.

Resources

Related module issue: https://www.drupal.org/project/commerce_pos/issues/2950980
Ratchet PHP Library: http://socketo.me/

Categories: Drupal

The Structured Path to Making an Online Game - by Charlotte Walker

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 7 June 2018 - 7:13am
From simulation to adventure games, making an online game can be a lot harder than it seems. With the right process, you'll be able to break the entire project into small, incremental steps, reducing the amount of redundant work that needs to be done.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Plaid Hat Games Previews Shadow Clan For Crystal Clans

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 June 2018 - 7:00am
I… I’m attacking the darkness! In this case, that’s not such a silly saying, as Plaid Hat Games is looking to expand your options in Crystal Clans with the Shadow (The Shadow! The Shadow!) Clan. But what do these sneaky rogues bring to the battlefield? In this preview, we get an in-depth look at just […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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