Beginners’ DrupalCon sessions, TopNotchThemes, and a new hosting service

It’s been a busy few months for me, so I didn’t get around to submitting my DrupalCon session proposals until today. I’ll be repeating my two beginners’ sessions from BADCamp ’08: “First Drupal Steps: From Download to Launch” and “Second Drupal Steps: Improving Your New Site“. If you want to grow the Drupal community by supporting beginner’s sessions at DrupalCon, please vote for them!

Secondly, I’ve been doing a lot of writing for TopNotchThemes. Working so closely with Steph, Chris, Jay and Jeremy has been a real joy, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount under their leadership. I’ve also come to understand just how great the differences are between well-crafted and run-of-the-mill themes. I hope my work with TNT helps everyone take full advantage of them!

Finally, Roshan Shah of Gloscon says that the company’s just launched its Drupal-based Web site creation and hosting service, “Galaminds”. Since there was a vigorous discussion about such solutions on this blog a few months ago, I’d love to hear what you think about their newly available services — particularly if you’re a customer or potential customer.

Finallyfinally, I’m looking forward to DC’09 already! Aren’t you?

8 replies on “Beginners’ DrupalCon sessions, TopNotchThemes, and a new hosting service”

Curious to know what you are
Curious to know what you are writing for topnotchthemes. Is there a book in the works?

What I’m writing for TopNotchThemes
Hey, Venkat! I was nonspecific because I’ve been meaning to write a longer blog post about my TNT work.

But briefly, there are two things in the works: (1) a white paper based on results from this recent survey, and (2) a general user manual on basic Drupal skills, with an emphasis on getting the most out of their themes. (For example, it includes a section on TNT’s remarkable extended theme settings at admin/build/themes/settings/[theme name].) Both of those are being edited right now. I’ll soon also be doing another similar manual, but with an emphasis on Ubercart.

I’ve also been working with their engineers and themers to build some demo/testing sites. (They do an impressive amount of QA testing.)

Sounds very interesting and
Sounds very interesting and useful, especially the user manuals. I will also be looking forward to the proposed one on Ubercart, having just completed a site. 🙂

I’ll let you know
Oh, believe me, I (and TNT) will announce when it’s ready. 🙂 Thanks for your interest!

Tom – thanks for this. I’m a
Tom – thanks for this. I’m a high school student who’s getting more and more into the Web and building sites, etc. That said, in my family, it’s my older brother who’s in college who is the geeky web head in our family… he’s into all the CMS type systems out there and is especially fond of Drupal. Since he’s so busy with hsi class work, I’ve been helping him out by finding resources online about Drupal. I’m glad I discovered you. This was great information you posted and I’ll be passing your site’s URL along to my brother. Thanks again.
– Sally

Bryght / Galaminds / Drupal Hosted Solution
Hey Tom,

I hope you must have read the announcement about the closure of Bryght. End of Bryght Era To my knowledge Bryght was the only big name in Drupal hosting business. And now I hear about Galaminds from Gloscon and Acquia’s upcoming Drupal hosting code-named as Acquia Fields & Gardens and Lullabot’s un-named upcoming drupal hosting venture. There must be few more in this space.

Do you feel there is market for such services? Bryght has been offering this since Drupal 4.7 yet it failed to continue with it, in such a scenario aren’t these companies throwing away their money?

I do think there’s a market.
Hey, Jaymin — thanks for writing. I actually wrote a longer post about Drupal hosting services back in September 2008. But things change, and I definitely think it’s time to revisit the question — especially since, as you point out, Bryght has ceased operations.

But you know what? I’m still very optimistic about Drupal hosting. Bryght could have given up for any of many reasons unrelated to the market, for example undercapitalization, technical issues, or just the decision that they weren’t enjoying that business. I don’t have any inside information, so I’m not claiming it’s any of these specifically.

Meanwhile, Drupal continues to grow. I *personally* need a place to refer folks who want to run Drupal sites, but don’t have technical skills to install or maintain the server side of things. Is the market big enough? I think so. HOWEVER, it’s far harder to make a business succeed in a new area: It’s much easier to just cater to an existing market. So it should be expected that we’ll see a few failures before someone succeeds. That’s what happened with just about every technology under the sun. (Ford wasn’t the first to sell cars, you know. 🙂 )

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