At long last, the project I’ve been working on for the past two months is about to launch. Concert promoter, nighclub owner and political activist Andrew Rasiej hired me to design and develop a community site called Personal Democracy Forum, which is the offshoot of his identically-named conference that first took place in May of 2004.

The core of the site is built on top of the open-source Drupal content management platform. I initially dismissed this platform a year ago when I was evaluating various solutions for the Clark Community Network, which we ended up building out on top of Scoop (which also powers DailyKos and FromTheRoots), but a second look convinced me it was powerful enough to handle a robust online community. The awesome developer community around Drupal is also a major selling point. There’s no danger of it going away anytime soon. And that it uses PHP instead of Perl is also good.

Personal Democracy Forum is in soft-launch phase while the final bugs are worked out but it’s 100% functional and ready for an audience. Micah Sifry is the editorial manager, Aaron Welch did most of the custom PHP hacking and wunderkid Aaron Swartz wrote the Python code that queries the Technorati database to produce the Hot Pols data that is updated once a day.

I’m off to California to work on my next contract job: the integration of a blogging platform into a company’s brand management and hosted application service solutions. I’ll be happy to get away from the politically-oriented stuff for a while. It burns me out.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at October 24, 2004 02:31 PM

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