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Repetition vs. Repetitiveness. - by arne neumann

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 18 December 2018 - 6:36am
A look into what it takes for a video game activity to be accepted by the player as part of the fun, even though it in itself might be an extremely monotonous activity.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Game Characters - by Brandon Franklin

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 18 December 2018 - 6:35am
This post explored the ideal game character that leverages interactivity to its fullest. I explore the recent history, the current state, and some reasons populating game worlds can lead to better player experiences.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

OpenSense Labs: Content driven Commerce with Drupal 8: Another Feather in the Hat

Planet Drupal - 18 December 2018 - 5:53am
Content driven Commerce with Drupal 8: Another Feather in the Hat Akshita Tue, 12/18/2018 - 19:23 “Sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more."  — Carrie Bradshaw from The Sex and the City

Consumer instincts have changed with time and so have market tactics. Today, the global brands not only selling the product, but they are also building a journey with the shopper, an impression that stays longer than the product (no pun intended). 

When shopping online it’s about knowing every little detail, almost like visiting the market and buying the product. Shopping is no more just about checking out the product and adding it to cart.

It is here that the commerce meets content.

And that is why everything has a story. This author, the perfume she wears, the website, images, rock, paper, scissors… everything.

Can Drupal provide the commerce organization the storyboard that they are looking for? And what about the conversational UI that is booming in the commerce industry? Can Drupal stand up to the expectations of its customers?

 

The Content-Driven Commerce. What is the Concept About?

Despite the fact that we have been experiencing content and commerce together since the start of marketing, content-commerce has never, until now, existed as a concept in itself. 

The best example of content-driven commerce are print magazines and that is what the retailers and business corporations have been trying to imitate online, today. 

An advertisement does that. Why aren’t we focussing there?

In 2013, Lab24 - an American market research firm - carried out a study that revealed that people had some serious trust issues with advertising. 

  • 76% of people believe that ads are “very exaggerated” or “somewhat exaggerated”.
  • 87% think half or more cleaning ads are photoshopped.
  • 96% think half or more weight loss ads are photoshopped.

Building a personal repo is more important than just throwing content in the form of ads. Meaningful content puts a filter on such garbage advertising also bringing rewarding results!

The fact that businesses can no longer ignore customers’ desire for content, purpose, is what has been changed in the market.

And yet, more often than not, online shops still resemble soulless product catalogs.

The story of Coco Chanel and her perfume No 5 is very beautifully presented in the series of 5. 


With the help of blogs, user-generated content, and rich multimedia, brands are not only able to stand out from the crowd, but also provide a curated commerce experience to their customers. 

However, product-centric their content may be, it still establishes an emotional connection with customers through inspirational stories that pave the road to successful commerce.

Understanding the Concept with Timex

The famous American watchmaker Timex and its 22 sites are built on Drupal. The iconic brand offers intuitive navigation and engaging mix of product, social, and editorial content. This website infuses content in the entire shopping experience, doing an amazing job of featuring useful imageries and text that is relatable to customers.


Timex needed to ensure a unified brand experience on all its sites while also delivering digital content relevant to local markets - allowing the addition of new product content when and where needed.

Drupal ensures that the content generated in the U.S. is localised as per the location and published to local markets according to their needs. 

Not only does it enable the team to deploy content across regional websites rapidly while remaining on-brand, but it also supplements them with an ability in fueling the company’s international growth.

Why Opt For Drupal When Building Content and Commerce?

Helpful content, and not discounts, should be the centerpiece of awareness. And that’s exactly the role that content is meant to play in commerce.

With the Lab24 statistics, it is clear that - while all the e-commerce platforms aim to serve their users with a better experience, without leveraging the power of storytelling it is not possible. 

As the admin to an online store, you need to select and add the various content types that you are looking for. Be it blogs, testimonials, customer reviews, or product description, Drupal has it all for you. 

Drupal is unique in its ability to easily integrate into ambitious commerce architectures in precisely the manner the brand prefers. Drupal can be integrated with other e-commerce platforms giving rise to a hybrid solution. The third-party platforms can typically interact with the users either through the glass as in the case of a headless commerce solution or it can work side by side. 

In any case, Drupal can cover the need for the content driven user experiences with the homepage, marketing-driven landing pages, blog content while commerce features such as the product detail, category landing pages, and the cart and checkout flow can be handled by the e-commerce platform. 

Whatever the case maybe content types are at the core of Drupal. 

  1. Easy Content Authoring: Intuitive tools for content creation, workflow and publishing make it easy for content creators. User permissions, authentication help manage the editorial workflows efficiently. Previews help the editors access how the content will look on any device before the users approve and publish.
     
  2. Mobile Editing: Team members can review, edit and approve content from mobile devices, to keep content and campaigns flowing, regardless of where they are and what device they’re on.
     
  3. In-place Authoring: The WYSIWYG editor in Drupal to create and edit content in-place. 
     
  4. Content Revisioning and Workflows: For a distributed team Drupal enables a quick and easy way to track changes, revisions, and stage. It tells you who did what, when, out of the box. Also, it lets you manage custom, editorial workflows for all your content processes. Content staging allows you to track the status of the content - from creation to review to publication - while managing user roles and actions, automatically. 
     
  5. Content Tagging and Taxonomy: Beyond creating content, Drupal’s strength lies in creating structured content. This comes when you define content elements, tag content based on their attributes, create relevant taxonomy so it can be searched, found, used, and reused in ways that satisfy the visitors.
     
  6. Modules for Multimedia Content: Entity browser, paragraphs, pathauto, admin toolbar, linkit, blog, meta tag, and other content editing modules give the extra lease of life by extending and customizing content features and capabilities. They allow you to choose what features you want for your site. 

With multimedia content, your commerce-based site better serves the need for integrated, unified and hiccup-free user experience. In addition, you can also push content outside from your website to other channels.

As marketing horizons are expanding to social media it is important to deliver highly relevant and personal content via video (YouTube), stores, TV, etc. Brands no more can afford to continue to deliver disconnected and uncoordinated across a variety of different channels.

 

But Trust the Case Studies
  • Benefit


The new content-centric website is an integrated, robust online store managed with SAP Hybris and Drupal. As the marketing department’s needs became more sophisticated, the content management system offered by Hybris was no longer able to adequately manage the store’s front end and content experience. 

Benefit Cosmetics is known for their colorful personality, irreverent voice, and unique dilemma based shopping experience. And so is the content that mirrors the seamless provide a seamless shopping experience. Benefit’s marketing and content teams are now able to maintain the brand’s unique design aesthetic while customizing content for users’ needs. 

The new platform leveraged commerce for over thirty countries. To ensure the sanity of the translations workflow, with Translations.com.
 

  • Strand of Silk


Strand of Silk website required a smart blend of commerce and content, such that the content generated by the editor and user can be easily linked to the products on the website. 

Various other e-commerce only solutions were evaluated, but Drupal was selected because of the ability to easily combine e-commerce and content - a trend that was seen as the de-facto requirement in the near future for e-commerce sites. 

The Rise of Content, Commerce, and Conversation

Content and commerce were coming together for a long time. But conversational commerce is catching up really fast. For consumers, a conversational experience is a way for them to learn about the product and services.

Informal exchange of ideas by the spoken words. 

Shoppers are looking for easy interactions like conversations, which are also casual and convenient. Conversational commerce as it catches up will be the guiding experience moving forward. 

The idea of conversational UI, shouldn’t be limited to a chatbot. The old trick still works. Content still rules. Although the new techniques and technologies can change the way we are doing things we can’t abandon the channels.  

As messaging platforms have become so universal and common, they are also easy to build. 


There can be many ways the model works. It can be one-to-one and one-to-many. Sending messages to the customer who has applauded their service on Facebook, comes under the one-to-one approach. 

But if a new shopping store sends a custom message to a targeted audience segment living in the area it comes under the one-to-many approach.

Add to the scene, the boom of voice assistants. Amazon Alexa and Google Home do actually assist the consumer in finding products, stores, events and much more. 

The Drupal community has been focusing on the bot frameworks and other cognitive services that can be used to develop bots for different use cases.  it all started with a framework called Open Source Bot Builder SDK for Node.js which is used for building bots. 

Further several bot frameworks like Facebook Messenger (wit.ai), Google Dialogflow, IBM Watson, Microsoft Bot Framework and open source conversational AI like Rasa are considered for the integration. 

The main idea was that the bots will enable search and explore the products by incorporating Drupal Commerce APIs. On the basis of message-based interaction, bots can also enable simple Add To Cart and Review Cart functionality among others and can offer relevant actions while looking for a product.
 

Whatever perspective you acquire, integrating content into commerce is easier said than done. The product has to be worthy, content authentic, and the transaction without a breach. Providing a seamless experience to both retailers and publishers, Drupal is the bridge you need. 

Connect with us to build a seamless, content-commerce experience. Drop a mail at hello@opensenselabs.com.

blog banner blog image Commerce E-Commerce Content and Commerce User Experience Drupal 8 Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? On
Categories: Drupal

Improv for Gamers Review

Gnome Stew - 18 December 2018 - 5:00am

No matter how well planned out an RPG session might be, it’s hard to argue the need for improvisation. Some of the most prevalent jokes about running games deal with the degree to which the players do the unexpected.

But even considering that game moderators often have to roll with the changes offered to them by their players, players utilize improvisation even more frequently than game moderators. Many game sessions are predicated on the GM introducing situations for which the players cannot plan.

Because of this, it seems that improvisation is a skill that almost any gamer would benefit from sharpening. While modern games often contain more advice and tools for improvisation than older games, there aren’t many books aimed at creating actionable practice models to create a broad base of improvisational skills, with an eye towards tabletop gaming.

A recent release that has game-focused improvisational exercises is the book we are looking at today, Improv for Gamers, published by Evil Hat.

An Object In Space

This review is based on the PDF release of Improv for Gamers. The PDF is 112 pages, with two pages of ads at the end of the product. The PDF is black and white with line illustrations demonstrating several of the exercises introduced in the book.

The various sections include bolded headers, bullet points to explain procedures and call-out boxes to provide more information and context on the various exercises.

What This Book Is 

The opening section of the book is an explanation of how the product came to be, why it might be useful to gamers, and best practices in utilizing the material. Originally developed as a one day workshop for incorporating improv techniques into roleplaying games, it grew into a program presented at conventions, and eventually into a stand-alone guide for running the workshops.

The advice on how to use the book includes a description of the various types of exercises, which include the following:

  • Warmers
  • Yes, And
  • Character
  • Relationships
  • Status
  • Space Objects
  • Timing
  • Scenework

The section then discusses how to pick exercises to use, the procedure to follow after exercises, best practices for making the individual exercises work, and the importance of being kind, positive, and authentic.

Chapter Structure

All of the chapters have a similar structure. They introduce the general goals of the type of exercise, explain the specific details of an exercise, present a bullet-pointed list explaining the process for performing the exercise and may include call-out boxes for tips, and a section for expansion where you may wish to add or change elements of the previously presented exercise.

The explanation for the goals of the exercise often include examples of how the exercises relate back to different situations in roleplaying, so you don’t feel as if you are broadly increasing skills that may come into play at the table, but you can actually evaluate what a particular exercise may help you improve.

Warmers

Warmers are exercises designed to “break the ice” and get a group ready for doing more detailed exercises later on. Compared with later chapters, this one (understandably) has the least advice on specific table ready applications learned in the exercises.

The exercises in this section include:

  • Pass the Movement
  • Sound Ball
  • Throwing Swords
  • Three Things
  • Hey Fred Schneider!
  • Convergence
  • Go
Yes, and 

These exercises are all centered around participants adding details to a scene, and other participants interacting with those details while adding their own. There is a nice introductory section that discusses the concepts of “yes, and” as well as “yes, but,” “no, but,” and “no, and.” There is also discussion on how to turn down offers that cross lines that you personally have, and that “Yes, and” often exists within an agreed upon setting, which helps establish boundaries.

The sections in this chapter include:

  • The Sliding Scale of “Yes”
  • Yes! Character Building
  • Yes, Because
  • Fortunately/Unfortunately
  • I’m a Tree
  • Tableau
Character

The character chapter is about developing traits and details for a character that make them into a unique person. The focus is more on coming up with small details to build on, rather than deep backstories that don’t address what that person is like in more mundane circumstances. It develops mannerisms and answers questions about how being a certain thing informs reactions to other characters and events.

The sections in this chapter include:

  • Lead with Your Body
  • Been Waiting Long?
  • Conversation Trio
  • Golden Goose
Relationships 

The relationships chapter is about establishing connections with other characters, and finding ways for those relationships to manifest that goes beyond the relationship just being a fact between the two characters. It deals with how characters feel about one another because of those facts, and how that feeling is conveyed to others outside of the relationship.

The sections in this chapter include:

  • You Make Me Feel
  • Classic Cast
  • Work/Home/Play
Status

Status, in the context of this chapter, deals with characters and the state they are in. How do they deal with complications or ongoing troubles, and how can they bring to bear aspects to resolve those troubles or challenges? It also discusses status as an aspect of who has the advantage or the upper hand in a scene, and how that can shift.

The sections in this chapter include:

  • Encouragement Ball
  • Status Numbers
  • Animal Secrets
  • Death in Sixty Seconds
  • Status Shifts
Space Objects

The Space Objects chapter is all about relating to objects in a manner that is compelling for the narrative that is being portrayed. This includes dealing with physical props as if they were the objects that they stand in for, or reacting to objects that do not exist as if they do exist.

The sections in this chapter include:

  • Comparing Objects
  • Giving a Present
  • Yes, Let’s!
  • Touch Three Things
Timing

The Timing chapter deals with learning the proper amount of time to spend in a scene, or with particular elements in a scene. It also deals with reaching a pivotal moment in one scene before cutting to another scene, and then back to the original scene.

The sections in this chapter include:

  • Color and Advance
  • Half-Life
  • Clap Clap, Snap Snap
  • Split Screen
  • Coffee Shop
Scenework

The Scenework chapter deals with longer scenes, where the action in the scene lies, and what to include in the scene. It addresses broadly the concept of “what do you do?” that is the key driving component in roleplaying games.

This chapter is comprised of the following sections:

  • Three-Line Scenes
  • Backstory Scenes
  • Growing and Shrinking
  • Montage
Glossary 

The glossary is a section that is referred to in several of the other chapters, as it describes the terms used throughout the rest of the book. While some of the terms have fairly obvious meaning, there are often specific meanings in the context of improv scenes.

Appendix A through D

Appendix A discusses physical boundaries, emotional well-being, and different hand signals and words that have specific meanings in the context of the improv exercises presented in the book. It also discusses the importance of setting expectations before an exercise and checking in with everyone after the exercise.

Appendix B has page references to some of the call-out boxes that appear throughout the text, as well as assembling lists related to some of the exercises, for things like locations and relationships, to review between exercises, so that people have ideas fresh in their minds when they need random ideas.

Appendix C includes a list of recommended reading materials, broken up into sections that deal with improv in roleplaying games, improv in theatre, and improv in life in general.

Appendix D is a series of recommended games, games that specifically utilize improv elements and may have specific suggestions about using improv in play as well. These include suggestions for tabletop games and live-action games.

Yes, and . . . While many games give specific advice on how to use elements of improv in that specific game, this book has a wide range of exercises that can help build improvisational reflexes, regardless of system. Share17Tweet1+11Reddit1Email

There are a growing number of RPGs that stress improvisational elements, and it is clear that some degree of improvisational skill enhances even the most traditional RPG at times. While many games give specific advice on how to use elements of improv in that specific game, this book has a wide range of exercises that can help build improvisational reflexes, regardless of system. Unlike general advice, the exercises are specifically actionable and have some great insight into how these improvisational skills relate back to gaming.

Yes, but . . .

While I think many gamers will gain some useful insights just from reading this book, the most utility is going to be found by actually working through the exercises. Some gamers may not be comfortable with that, and others may not want to spend the time away from their actual games to develop broader skills. That’s not the fault of the book, but it does make it slightly less of a broad recommendation. There will also be a time investment for the facilitator to determine how many of these exercises to run, which ones to run, and how much time to allot for them.

It is also a minor point, but the Space Objects chapter feels less applicable to most tabletop games that aren’t going to employ props but may still be useful for games that do, as well as for LARPs that may require object interaction.

Qualified Recommendation — A product with lots of positive aspects, but buyers may want to understand the context of the product and what it contains before moving it ahead of other purchases.

If gamers have the time to devote to the exercises, and the willingness to participate in them, I think this book provides a lot of useful content for developing skills that will improve overall RPG enjoyment. Time, coordination, and a willingness to fully engage with the exercises are going to be the most important determining factors.

Do you have a story of a roleplaying session that was better for the improvisation that took place? Do you have any particular techniques or best practices that have helped your gaming group? We would love to hear about them below. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

ComputerMinds.co.uk: Custom AJAX loading icon

Planet Drupal - 18 December 2018 - 2:48am

There's nothing like Drupal's stock AJAX spinner (this:    Drupal's default blue loading throbber graphic) to make you notice that a site's design hasn't been fully customised. The code from my previous article showing how to fetch a link over AJAX to open in a Foundation reveal popup would suffer from this without some further customisation. After clicking the 'Enquire' button, a loading icon of some kind is needed whilst the linked content is fetched. By default, Drupal just sticks that blue 'throbber' next to the link, but that looks totally out of place. Our client's site uses a loading graphic that feels much more appropriate in style and placement, but my point is that you can set up your own bespoke version. Since it's Christmas, let's add some festive fun! Here's a quick video showing what I'll take you through making:

A few things are needed:

  1. Create a javascript method that will add a custom progress indicator
  2. Ensure the javascript file containing the method is included on the page
  3. Set a custom attribute on the link that will trigger the AJAX
  4. Override Drupal core's javascript method that adds the standard progress throbber, to respect that custom attribute

There are many ways to achieve points 1 and 2. Usually, you would define a library and add it with #attached. But I decided I wanted to treat my work as if it were part of Drupal's core AJAX library itself, rather than something to add separately. So I implemented hook_library_info_alter() in my theme's main .theme file:

/** * Implements hook_library_info_alter(). */ function MYTHEME_library_info_alter(&$libraries, $extension) { // Add our own extension to drupal.ajax, which is aware of the page markup so // can add AJAX progress loaders in the page. if ($extension == 'core' && isset($libraries['drupal.ajax'])) { $libraries['drupal.ajax']['js']['/' . drupal_get_path('theme', 'MYTHEME') . '/js/ajax-overrides.js'] = []; } }

My ajax-overrides.js file contains this:

(function ($, window, Drupal, drupalSettings) { /** * Creates a new Snowman progress indicator, which really is full screen. */ Drupal.Ajax.prototype.setProgressIndicatorSnowman = function () { this.progress.element = $(' '); // My theme has a wrapping element that will match #main. $('#main').append(this.progress.element); }; })(jQuery, window, Drupal, drupalSettings);

My theme happens to then style .ajax-progress-snowman appropriately, to show a lovely snowman in the middle of the page, rather than a tiny blue spinner next to the link that triggered the AJAX. Given that the styling of the default spinner happens to make links & lines jump around, I've got the ajax-progress-fullscreen class in there, to be more like the 'full screen' graphic that the Views UI uses, and avoid the need to add too much more styling myself.

Part 3, adding a custom attribute to specify that our AJAX link should use a Snowman animation, is easily achieved. I've already added the 'data-dialog-type' attribute to my link, so now I just add a 'data-progress-type' attribute, with a value of 'snowman'. I want this to work similarly to the $element[#ajax]['progress']['type'] property that can be set on form elements that use AJAX. Since that only gets applied to form elements, not arbitrary links using the 'use-ajax' class, we have to do the work to pick this up ourselves.

So this is the last part. Back in my ajax-overrides.js file, I've added this snippet to override the standard 'throbber' progress type that AJAX links would otherwise always use. It falls back to Drupal's original method when the progress type isn't specified in a 'data-progress-type' attribute.

// Override the progress throbber, to actually use a different progress style // if the element had something specified. var originalThrobber = Drupal.Ajax.prototype.setProgressIndicatorThrobber; Drupal.Ajax.prototype.setProgressIndicatorThrobber = function () { var $target = $(this.element); var progress = $target.data('progressType') || 'throbber'; if (progress === 'throbber') { originalThrobber.call(this); } else { var progressIndicatorMethod = 'setProgressIndicator' + progress.slice(0, 1).toUpperCase() + progress.slice(1).toLowerCase(); if (progressIndicatorMethod in this && typeof this[progressIndicatorMethod] === 'function') { this[progressIndicatorMethod].call(this); } } };

So there you have it - not only can you launch beautiful Foundation Reveal popups from links that fetch content via AJAX, you can now avoid Drupal's little blue throbber animation. If it's an excuse to spread some cheer at Christmas, I'll take it.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon News: Community Connection - Mario Hernandez

Planet Drupal - 18 December 2018 - 12:11am

We’re featuring some of the people in the Drupalverse! This Q&A series highlights some of the individuals you could meet at DrupalCon.

Every year, DrupalCon is the largest gathering of people who belong to this community. To celebrate and take note of what DrupalCon means to them, we’re featuring an array of perspectives and some fun facts to help you get to know your community.

Categories: Drupal

Observations From A Gamer's Chair: Sometimes I Panic with My World Building

RPGNet - 18 December 2018 - 12:00am
When creating a campaign setting gets stressful.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Relentlessly eliminating barriers to growth

Dries Buytaert - 17 December 2018 - 7:11pm

In my last blog post, I shared that when Acquia was a small startup, we were simultaneously focused on finding product-market fit and eliminating barriers to future growth.

In that light, I loved reading Eugene Wie's blog post called, Invisible asymptotes. Wie was a product leader at Amazon. In his blog post he explains how Amazon looks far into the future, identifies blockers for long-term growth, and turns eliminating these growth barriers into multi-decade efforts. As Amazon shows, eliminating barriers to growth remains very important long after you have outgrown the startup phase.

For example, Amazon considered shipping costs to be a growth blocker, or as Wie describes it, an invisible asymptote for growth. People hate paying for shipping costs, so Amazon decided to get rid of them. At first, solving this looked prohibitively expensive. How can you offer free shipping to millions of customers? Solving for this limitation became a multi-year effort. First, Amazon tried to appease customers' distaste for shipping fees with "Super Saver Shipping". Amazon introduced Super Saver Shipping in January 2002 for orders over $99. If you placed an order of $99 or more, you received free shipping. In the span of a few months, that number dropped to $49 and then to $25. Eventually this led to the launch of Amazon Prime in 2005, making all shipping "free". Members pay $79 per year for free, unlimited two-day shipping on eligible purchases. While a program like Amazon Prime doesn't actually make shipping free, it feels free to the customer, which effectively eliminates the barrier for growth. The impact on Amazon's growth was tremendous. Today, Amazon Prime provides Amazon an economic moat, or a sustainable competitive advantage – it isn't easy for other retailers to compete from a sheer economic and logistical standpoint.

Another obstacle for Amazon's growth was shipping times. People don't like having to wait for days to receive their Amazon purchase. Several years ago, I was talking to Werner Vogels, Amazon's global CTO, and asked him where most commerce investments were going. He responded that reducing shipping times was more strategic than making improvements to the commerce backend or website. As Wie points out in his blog, Amazon has been working on reducing shipping times for over a decade. First by building a higher density network of distribution centers, and more recently through delivery from local Whole Foods stores, self-service lockers at Whole Foods, predictive or anticipatory shipping, drone delivery, and more. Slowly, but certainly, Amazon is building out its own end-to-end delivery network with one primary objective: reducing shipping times.

Every organization has limitations that stunt long-term growth so there are important lessons that can be learned from how Amazon approached its blockers or invisible asymptotes:

  1. Take the time to correctly identify your long-term blockers for growth.
  2. Removing these long-term blockers for growth may look impossible at first.
  3. Removing these long-term blockers requires creativity, innovation, patience, persistence and aggressive capital allocation. It can take many initiatives and many years to eliminate them.
  4. Overcoming these obstacles can be a powerful strategy that can unlock unbelievable growth.

I spend a lot of time and effort working on eliminating Drupal's and Acquia's growth barriers so I love these kind of lessons. In a future blog post, I'll share my thoughts about Drupal's growth blockers. In the meantime, I'd love to hear what you think is holding Drupal or Acquia back — be it via social media, email or preferably your own blog.

Categories: Drupal

Dries Buytaert: Relentlessly eliminating barriers to growth

Planet Drupal - 17 December 2018 - 7:11pm

In my last blog post, I shared that when Acquia was a small startup, we were simultaneously focused on finding product-market fit and eliminating barriers to future growth.

Today, Acquia is no longer a startup, but eliminating barriers to growth remains very important after you have outgrown the startup phase. In that light, I loved reading Eugene Wie's blog post called, Invisible asymptotes. Wie was a product leader at Amazon. In his blog post he explains how Amazon looks far into the future, identifies blockers for long-term growth, and turns eliminating these stagnation points into multi-decade efforts.

For example, Amazon considered shipping costs to be a growth blocker, or as Wie describes it, an invisible asymptote for growth. People hate paying for shipping costs, so Amazon decided to get rid of them. At first, solving this looked prohibitively expensive. How can you offer free shipping to millions of customers? Solving for this limitation became a multi-year effort. First, Amazon tried to appease customers' distaste for shipping fees with "Super Saver Shipping". Amazon introduced Super Saver Shipping in January 2002 for orders over $99. If you placed an order of $99 or more, you received free shipping. In the span of a few months, that number dropped to $49 and then to $25. Eventually this strategy led to Amazon Prime, making all shipping "free". While a program like Amazon Prime doesn't actually make shipping free, it feels free to the customer, which effectively eliminates the barrier for growth. The impact on Amazon's growth was tremendous. Today, Amazon Prime provides Amazon an economic moat, or a sustainable competitive advantage – it isn't easy for other retailers to compete from a sheer economic and logistical standpoint.

Another obstacle for Amazon's growth was shipping times. People don't like having to wait for days to receive their Amazon purchase. Several years ago, I was talking to Werner Vogels, Amazon's global CTO, and asked him where most commerce investments were going. He responded that reducing shipping times was more strategic than making improvements to the commerce backend or website. As Wie points out in his blog, Amazon has been working on reducing shipping times for over a decade. First by building a higher density network of distribution centers, and more recently through delivery from local Whole Foods stores, self-service lockers at Whole Foods, predictive or anticipatory shipping, drone delivery, and more. Slowly, but certainly, Amazon is building out its own end-to-end delivery network with one primary objective: reducing shipping speeds.

Every organization has limitations that stunt long-term growth so there are a few important lessons that can be learned from how Amazon approached its invisible asymptotes:

  1. Identify your invisible asymptotes or long-term blockers for growth.
  2. Removing these long-term blockers for growth may look impossible at first.
  3. Removing these long-term blockers requires creativity, patience, persistence and aggressive capital allocation. It can take many initiatives and many years to eliminate them.
  4. Overcoming these obstacles can be a powerful strategy that can unlock unbelievable growth.

I spend a lot of time and effort working on eliminating Drupal's and Acquia's growth barriers so I love these kind of lessons. In a future blog post, I'll share my thoughts about Drupal's growth blockers. In the meantime, I'd love to hear what you think is holding Drupal or Acquia back — be it via social media, email or preferably your own blog.

Categories: Drupal

Promet Source: How to Stop SPAM with Drupal 8's Recaptcha module

Planet Drupal - 17 December 2018 - 5:43pm
Have you ever tried logging in or registering to a website and you were asked to identify some distorted numbers and letters and type it into the provided box? That is the CAPTCHA system. The CAPTCHA helps to verify whether your site's visitor is an actual human being or a robot. Not a robot like you see in the Terminator movie but an automated software to generate undesired electronic messages (or content). In short, CAPTCHA protects you from SPAM.  
Categories: Drupal

Flocon de toile | Freelance Drupal: Small sites, large sites, micro sites with Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 17 December 2018 - 5:04pm

Drupal 8 is a tool designed to meet the needs of the most ambitious web projects. We hear a lot about the notions of headless, API first, decoupling, etc. that resolutely allow solid architectures for ambitious projects. But this does not mean that Drupal 8 no longer propels more traditional, and sometimes even much less ambitious sites: simple, small, and even large, websites, but for which we want to benefit from the modularity, flexibility and robustness of Drupal.

Categories: Drupal

Region In Content Template

New Drupal Modules - 17 December 2018 - 3:01pm

If you want to show a block within the content region of your Drupal 8 site, this may be the module for you. Specifically, if you would like to print the secondary menu region mixed in among the fields of your content in your custom full node template, we've got you covered.

Categories: Drupal

Shortcut Menu

New Drupal Modules - 17 December 2018 - 12:58pm

Drupal core shortcuts doesn't provide the ability to nest shortcuts like a traditional menu. This module provide the nesting capability that users are familiar with.

Categories: Drupal

Trisbee Commerce Payments

New Drupal Modules - 17 December 2018 - 12:07pm
Categories: Drupal

PHP PDFTK

New Drupal Modules - 17 December 2018 - 10:48am

This module wraps php-pdftk which is a PDF conversion and form utility based on pdftk.

Brings the power of pdftk to Drupal. Fill forms, split PDFs, add backgrounds or overlays, and more.

Requirements

The pdftk command must be installed on your system.

The php-pdftk library and it's dependencies must be installed in the `sites/all/library` directory.

Categories: Drupal

Steam's 'Top Wishlists' filter ranks recent wishlist numbers for unreleased games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 17 December 2018 - 10:37am

A little-known page on Steam ranks unreleased games according to the number of Wishlists they†™ve garnered so far, though the exact metrics being tracked are still somewhat unclear.  ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Gábor Hojtsy: How to automate testing whether your Drupal 8 module is incompatible with Drupal 9?

Planet Drupal - 17 December 2018 - 10:23am

Drupal 9 is planned to be only 18 months away now, wow! It is already being built in Drupal 8 by marking APIs to be removed in Drupal 9 as deprecated and eventually upgrading some dependency version requirements where needed. Once the Drupal 9 git branch will be open, you will be able to test directly against Drupal 9. That should not stop you from assessing the compatibility of your module with Drupal 9 now. To prepare for compatibility with Drupal 9, you need to keep up with deprecated functionality and watch out for upgraded dependencies (when we know which are those exactly). Of these two, automation can go a long way to help you keep up with deprecated APIs.

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon News: DrupalCon Seattle: Sessions and Strides

Planet Drupal - 17 December 2018 - 10:10am

DrupalCon Seattle is looking different than the DrupalCons of years past.

The overarching goal when planning DrupalCon Seattle 2019 was to expand both outreach and accessibility so that attendees would be representative of the community as a whole. The value of the conference is in the perspectives, energy and diversity of experiences participants share.

DrupalCon began setting goals to overtly increase diversity starting with DrupalCon Baltimore 2017. This continued in the planning of DrupalCon Nashville 2018, and is prioritized for DrupalCon Seattle 2019.

Categories: Drupal

MidCamp - Midwest Drupal Camp: Summits: What to Expect?

Planet Drupal - 17 December 2018 - 9:37am
Summits: What to Expect?

This year MidCamp will be including summits in addition to the regular programming that we have provided in the future. Here are some things we think you should know in order to prepare yourself:

A summit is a one-day topic-intensive meeting where people who share an industry or interest can come together to collaborate, share pain points and solutions, and meet like-minded individuals in a structured, safe environment.

Summits focus a full day unconference around a singular topic, in which different groups of interested parties collaborate, gather information and learn together. This programming is for focused discussion, planning, hacking and learning about the topic. 

We believe in facilitating like an unconference. On the day of, each summit group led by a facilitator will compile an agenda and create breakout groups on various subtopics of the overall summit topic.

Unlike training, attendees are generally still planning and information gathering. There won’t be any required deliverable, like code or documentation. Instead, summits focus on conversation and dialog. During a training, the focus is learning a thing, but summits encourage open idea sharing on a broad range of topics related to the overall theme. 
 

Takeaways from the Midcamp Team

Below are some stories from our team as they reflect back on their first summit.

“I felt like I was in a room full of rock stars. Angie Byron, Sam Boyer, Chris Vanderwater... I forget who else, but there were a fair number of big names. We were there to discuss the panels/blocks initiative. There was considerable brainstorming on various problems that were currently being solved in the initiative.”

- Andrea Soper

“I just attended my first summit at BADCamp this year. It was the front end summit and attendees were polled ahead of time to get an overall sense of what front end topics people were interested in discussing. At the summit, we used that list and then added to it via post-its to organize the topics into larger categories. Then throughout the day, we broke into smaller groups to discuss almost every topic that came up. The facilitators were good about keeping the discussion moving along and ensuring we covered everything. The day was also broken up with some fun group icebreakers and a talk from one of the creators of GatsbyJS.”

- Kevin Thull

Categories: Drupal

See Blizzard deconstruct Overwatch's social systems at GDC 2019!

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 17 December 2018 - 9:04am

It's a promising talk for those interested in systems design & curbing disruptive player behavior, as you'll learn how & why Blizzard implemented Overwatch endorsements and "Looking For Group" systems. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

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