Drupal and the Digital EcoSystem

One of the aims we have at Rouge Media for the rest of 2016 is to ensure that the UK knows just how good we are at getting the very best out of Drupal for our customers. In this we are helped by the fact that the new version of Drupal, version 8, provides yet more opportunities to provide the very best digital experience, which is what it is all about today.

A Drupal Website
Example of a Drupal Website

 

Of course, we won’t use Drupal if it is not the best solution, after all WordPress can be all that it is needed in some cases, and it, being easier to use is thus sometimes is the best. However, if the website is to provide ecommerce, or is likely to be heavily used, WordPress is not the best choice, simply because it’s coding is not efficient enough to run fast enough (unless a lot of server power is devoted to it at least).

As the article we found (click the link for the full story) tells, today it is important to be able to provide what is called the ‘full digital experience’, and a Drupal powered site allows just that in ways that WordPress simply cannot.

Please do contact us and allow us to demonstrate just why Drupal is the best choice and also, just as importantantly, just how well we understand Drupal and can thus configure it to ‘be just what you need it to be’.

Click the link for the full article on Drupal and the Digital Ecosystem

API-first Drupal: Innovating from Digital Experiences to Digital Ecosystems
Recently, Acquia CTO and Drupal project lead Dries Buytaert touted Drupal as the optimal solution for “ambitious digital experiences.” But what constitutes an ambitious digital experience these days? Many of the digital experiences we encounter on a daily basis are no longer web-based, nor do they rely solely on web technologies at all.

Indeed, content touchpoints are multiplying at a fast clip as consumers seek increasingly diverse and distinctive means of interacting with content, like the Internet of Things (IoT), digital signage, conversational interfaces, and devices that employ machine learning to adapt to our characteristics. This calls into question: Is Drupal truly ready for our expanding milieu of devices, interactions, and experiences that we must contend with?

Luckily, last year’s release of Drupal 8 introduced a variety of capabilities allowing you to use the ever-powerful content management system (CMS) as an API-first content repository. Simply put, this means that Drupal is resolutely no longer for standalone digital experiences. In short, Drupal is well-positioned — and becoming even better — for entire digital ecosystems.

From digital experiences to digital ecosystems

Here’s a bit of a thought experiment. Think of the very first website you ever visited in your life. How was the experience of using that website? Now think of a contemporary website today. How has the experience changed over the years? When we do a comparison across decades like this one, the colossal diversification of digital experiences becomes more perceptible.

If we scrutinize digital experiences more incrementally over time, we can illuminate where touchpoints have entered the picture. The quadrennial Summer Olympics provide excellent temporal reference points to examine what exactly defines a digital experience. For instance, what were digital experiences for content like in 2008 during the Beijing Olympics?

Chances are that more likely than not, your content was delivered to your consumers through a single site in a single browser. Touchscreen smartphones were still a novelty, and many of the devices which we take for granted today were as yet prototypes in a subterranean research lab. But in 2012 in London, we begin to see a gradual proliferation of devices, each equipped with its own browser. Meanwhile, on smartphones, native mobile applications begin to partition walled gardens for consuming content.

In 2016 for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, we witnessed an explosion of touchpoints and devices. Spectators in Rio and beyond relied on a bevy of applications and devices which all enabled more personalized and intimate interactions with content. For instance, the Olympics website of the American broadcaster NBC, built in Drupal, achieved over a billion minutes of video streaming over the course of the Games.

This is no small feat. But what about Tokyo in 2020? The Japanese government has already confirmed its plans to stage the most futuristic Olympics of all time, including robotic ushers, instantaneous translation between languages, and autonomous taxis to ferry spectators between events. All of these discard the foregoing model of consumption of content in favor of rich interaction with content.

In short, we are witnessing nothing short of a wholesale paradigm shift in how organizations think about content. The digital experiences we are accustomed to are no longer disparate touchpoints built by siloed teams, united solely by brand. Today, digital experiences constitute digital ecosystems which increasingly require centralization and orchestration.

From consumption of content to interaction with content

Consider for a moment how your personal experience of the Olympics might shift in the coming years as devices continue to enter the market at a blistering pace. What might a typical day look like during the Tokyo Olympics?

When you wake up in the morning to your smartwatch’s alarm, you peer sleepily at the screen and see various news notifications about the previous day’s swimming races, preemptively requested the night before. Then, when you rise to begin your day, you ask the Amazon Echo perched on your nightstand what happened the previous day in cycling, and Alexa responds with a curated list of news catered to your athletic interests.

As you eat breakfast, a small screen on your refrigerator depicts yesterday’s American medal winners and the overall medal standings across all participants in the Games. And as you walk to your car, bus, or train, your Google Glass pushes some notifications about the women’s gymnastics team into the corner of your lens. Finally, during your grocery shopping at the end of the day, you receive a notification on your smartphone about a sports drink on sale in the adjacent aisle based not on your browsing habits but rather how you’ve interacted directly with your content.

Of course, upon imagining this “typical” day four years from now, you may conclude that these possibilities are still remote and as yet unachievable. You might contend that realizing and articulating these myriad digital experiences requires a complicated and unwieldy architecture that current technologies are underprepared for.

In fact, all of this is possible and achievable in the short term with Drupal’s help.