When I first started Drupal Radar I was primarily a journalist, but with a strong interest in Drupal, having been building sites on Drupal since 2004. I decided that one contribution I could make back to the community was to set this blog up to help with the information flow around the community.
I also felt it could be an independent voice, asking questions without fear or favour, and helping to maintain that open, transparent and frank community spirit that Drupal definitely had whilst small, and many feared could be in danger of being lost as the project grew. In my vision it was going to cover Drupal in the same way the BBC would cover the wider news.
That was the vision. However, a year ago I merged my small Drupal business with another company, and the combined business - called Code Enigma - began work on a plan to become a more serious player - focusing on the enterprise market, and the media sector in particular. We’ve been in private beta for a year, and are about to come out of our cocoon.
In this time the company has been far more successful than we ever imagined, with 14 people already, some great clients, and beating all our targets by quite a distance. That’s great - but I’ve found that it seriously limits what I can write on Drupal Radar in its original format.
As my company grew, so did my potential conflicts of interest. I found that in the last few months there were some important stories that I couldn’t write because we were collaborating with the companies involved, so I couldn’t be independent - and also some important stories I couldn’t write because they concerned companies that my company was competing against on specific tenders at the time, so again, I couldn’t be independent.
At the same time I’ve been getting more involved in other aspects of the community. The Drupal Association asked me to be both a judge of scholarship applications, and a track chair for Drupalcon London. Work like that of course makes me less independent when writing about the Drupal Association or Drupalcon.
Therefore, because of all of these factors, I have had to spend some time questioning whether I can continue Drupal Radar and, if so, what needs to change.
After much thought, and asking the opinions of many others, I’ve decided that Drupal Radar can still make a valuable contribution, but that its editorial voice needs to change.
It can’t be the independent, questioning voice I’d originally wanted it to be, but it can still help the information flow in our rapidly growing community. We can curate news and information - rather than seek to break stories.
I’ll still avoid plugging my company and our work, as I have always done (except above, where it was important to explain my situation). I won’t be plugging any other commercial entities either! We’ll write about news that’s genuinely of interest to people in Drupal.
I’m also inviting other writers to join the team, to bring different voices from different parts of the community. If you’re a good, clear writer, and you’d like to write an article or two a month for Drupal Radar (there’s no pay or perks - just pride) - then please email editor [at] drupalradar [dot] com - or come and find me at Drupalcon.
And one of the key things we can do is continue our coverage of events - such as Drupalcon - because not everyone from the community can attend, but so much happens. We’ve had a great response to our TV coverage from previous conferences, so will be doing that in an even bigger way from now on.
So, from now on, the vision for Drupal Radar is to be ‘the trade magazine for Drupal’. Rather than seek to be like a newspaper, or the BBC for Drupal, we’ll seek to cover the project, its community and its commercial ecosystem in the same way that any trade magazine would. We’ll cover key announcements, trends, new projects, and major events.
We still won’t be a developer blog/magazine - that’s covered by others already, including Drupal Watchdog magazine. We’ll focus more on the community and the business of Drupal.
It’ll take a bit of time to settle into this new format, and I welcome any feedback or ideas to help make Drupal Radar the trade magazine that you want.
And if you want you, your company or your projects featured, then send a press release, or just a quick email, to editor [at] drupalradar [dot] com.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy our Drupalcon coverage.