Marketing 101: How Do I Get People to Change Platforms - Part 2
Last updated: 6/16/2002; 10:20:40 AM
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Marketing 101: How Do I Get People to Change Platforms - Part 2

Changing Platforms: Practice

This article is a follow up piece to the Marketing 101 article: How Do I Get People to Change Platforms?  In this article we are going to illustrate the platform changing process with Drupal.

Drupal is a new Open Source application that is a current passion of mine.  When I first discovered it, I thought:

It's a blogging tool.

Then I realized that it was more and I thought:

It's a blogging tool + Slashdot and Scoop

Then I realized:

It's just Drupal (a quote from Kjartan, a team lead)

In the end I realized that Drupal is a platform for building web sites.  That's all.  You can do lots with it since it's a platform.  Here are some of the standard features:

  • Blogging
  • Discussion forums
  • News Aggregator for RSS Input
  • RSS Output
  • Event log
  • Robust Security Model
  • Distributed Authentication
  • Theme Architecture
  • Multi User Threaded Comments
  • Polls
  • … (I haven't found anything I want that isn't in Drupal, to be very honest)

So, in discussions with Kjartan, I proposed that Drupal use this approach to build awareness and ease the platform change process.

  1. Leave Your Pride at the Door.  Let's face it – creative people are proud.  I know my next suggestions are a bit radical so just put that pride away for now.
  2. Don't Try for 100% Adoption.   It's really hard to get people to change things.  They just hate it.  So why require an all or nothing approach?  Most platforms have lots of features.  Can you look at your platform as something to be adopted bit by bit?
  3. Look at Drupal as an Exportable Engine.  Drupal is a very, very rich product.  It has integral features like polls and comments that, to put it mildly, blow the doors off the other available options (if they even exist).  My suggestions were:
    • Most blogging products lack polls.  Let Drupal be available as a hosted polling system so that polls could be added to blogs.
    • Most blogging products have fairly simple comment implementations.  For example, no threading, no notification, no comments on stories, etc.  Let Drupal be available as a hosted commetn engine so that comments could be added to blogs.

With this approach you coax people into Drupal gradually, not all at once.  And, once people trust you for one element of a system, they are more likely to adopt it at a larger level. 

So, anyone out there want this?  Certainly there is Yaccs for commenting but no polling solutions.  Anyone think I should release webservices called Blog.poll and Blog.comment?

(Oh and just a comment, it's not just me, alone in a room, on all these whacky code things, there are other people associated with me).

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