Metabolife.com: A Social Business Site

Metabolife, based in San Diego, manufactures and distributes weight-loss dietary supplements throughout the U.S. To stand out in this crowded market, Metabolife needed to transform itself from a simple weight-loss product into a brand that supported people as they tried to make themselves more healthy. They decided to give their site a fresh design and offer a whole new set of interactive tools.

Design and development shop ISL Consulting of San Francisco partnered with ClearMetrics, a New York digital agency, on this project. ISL and ClearMetrics are sister companies, with ISL focused on engineering and theming and ClearMetrics on marketing and campaign management. Together we decided that the best way forward was to create a social business site that promoted Metabolife’s wellness brand by letting customers form a community to support one another in their pursuit of healthy lifestyles.

We chose to re-design Metabolife’s site with Drupal because Drupal offers multiple community features and allows for easy integration of Flash (and other) applications. The new site would support the company’s brand goals by allowing users to access online health-promotion tools and giving them the ability and incentive to interact with the site through Facebook. The site would also integrate an Ubercart e-commerce platform that would tap into users’ social interactions to drive sales.

Support Drupal by voting in the 2010 Open Source Awards

Packt Publishing, the company behind many well-known Drupal books, is also responsible for the Open Source Awards, an annual online event held to distinguish excellence among open source projects. Winners of this competition receive cash awards that go to support their projects. Over the past five years, Drupal has won thousands of dollars in award competitions sponsored by Packt, due in no small part to the strength and passion of our community.

This year, Drupal is up against historic rivals Joomla! and WordPress in the Hall of Fame CMS category. The winning project will receive $2,500.

How can you help make Drupal win? Just go to Packt’s site and cast your vote. But don’t delay, as the competition is only open until November 5.

Packt is also giving away a free Amazon Kindle to a randomly selected voter. Help support Drupal by voting today!

beta.drupal.org is ready to QA!

The drupal.org redesign team is looking for people to help perform Quality Assurance (QA) testing of beta.drupal.org. We have been working on redesigning Drupal.org and are nearing the first launch. Some details still need work, and we need your help to find and fix them.

Major revisions will likely not be included in this first launch; however, drupal.org is a community effort that is continually evolving. We want your feedback, and we want you to help continue to make our home better. There are opportunities for people of all skills to help us identify or fix problems.

Bill O'Connor (csevb10) and Neil Drumm (drumm) are leading the QA effort and can be reached in #drupal-redesign on IRC or in the redesign issue queue.

We need help with functional testing and cross-browser/platform theme testing. We will be periodically pushing changes, so the community will see progress on resolving issues.

Distributed Authentication (the drupal.module) on drupal.org will be turned off November 1st, 2010

Note: If you never used an "@drupal.org" login to a site then you can gleefully ignore this post. It was a feature launched long ago and not widely used.

Hey Everybody,

It's been a long time coming, but we are now approaching the point where the old "distributed authentication" mechanism will be turned off on drupal.org.

For a while, the distributed authentication method was a great idea. Sites like spreadfirefox.com used the distributed authentication and it helped spread awareness of Drupal. It was an early idea for identity and federated websites and distributed social and all those fancy buzzwords.

But while the concept might have been visionary the implementation was not. It is not a super secure architecture, as perhaps the biggest complaint.

So, we will turn it off on drupal.org on November 1st, 2010.

Case Study: WePlaygroup – Find. Meet. Play!

WePlaygroup was designed to be a social networking site for parents, with a focus on finding and creating playgroups. A playgroup is simply a gathering of similarly aged children, with one or more accompanying parents, that meet in social settings, which helps build interpersonal skills for the children. The site revolves around a user’s ZIP code, and provide location based information with regards to "near-by" content. I wanted parents to easily locate local playgroups, activity centers and kid-friendly restaurants.

To help maintain a member’s interest, I wanted to offer a host of other ancillary services: playgroup activities, parenting tips, articles and news feeds, family coupons and a general classifieds section - all of which can be contributed from and rated by other members. My goal was to provide as many opportunities as possible for the community to interact with each other, and the relevant content.

I also wanted to establish a sense of connectedness between content types. No matter where the user might end up, they would always have a chance to find some other resource that might be of interest (near-by restaurants to the playgroup they are considering joining; recent parenting tips on the playgroup activity page they’re replying to, etc.).

Drupal 7.0 beta 1 Released

Update: Drupal 7.0 Beta 2 is available now!

Our final Drupal 7 alpha version was released about three weeks ago. Today, we're proud to announce the first beta version of Drupal 7.x for your further testing and feedback!

The jump between alpha to beta means the following:

  • We think that we have resolved all critical data loss and security bugs in Drupal 7.
  • We think that our APIs are now frozen enough so that contributed module and theme authors can start (or pick up again) their #D7CX pledges.
  • We think that we have caught and fixed most of the problems with the upgrade path. We were able to successfully upgrade a copy of the Drupal.org database to Drupal 7.

That said, we definitely still have some bugs to shake out, and we need your help to find them! Especially new folks who haven't taken Drupal 7 for a spin yet. So please, do so, and let us know what bugs you find in the "Drupal core" issue queue (Please search incoming issues before filing).

What's new?

Tons of stuff! A revamped user interface, a new admin and default core theme, image handling in core, fields (CCK!) in core, module and theme upgrades from within the browser, an automated testing framework with over 24,000 tests, improved security and scalability, revamped database, AJAX, and file systems, jQuery 1.4, jQuery UI 1.8, RDFa, and literally gazillions of other things! Please see CHANGELOG.txt for a comprehensive list of all improvements in Drupal 7.

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