Last year we asked readers to donate to help up upgrade the site from an ancient Drupal 5 installation to the more-current Drupal 6. Last fall and spring, you donated $800 to this cause. It took longer to get started than we had hoped, but our own Jason Baker has been working hard on the upgrade since this summer.
Tonight at OP's 10th birthday party you can see the fruits of our labor as Jason will be demonstrating a beta version of the new site, which is actually on Drupal 7! (I know this means very little to most of you, but it's really excellent news for those of us who administer the site.) We are planning to launch the new site shortly after the election.
Although it may be down the totem pole in your interest list given the number of interesting political happenings of late, I just wanted to give everyone a quick update about the OP upgrade currently underway. I have been working with Ruby over the past several months to implement a much-needed upgrade of this site from Drupal 5 to Drupal 7.
OrangePolitics is a community resource established in 2003, which includes community blogs, election information, and live online candidate forums. The site has been using Drupal 5 since 2008 and is sorely in need of an update to Drupal 6 or 7. (Learn more about what is involved at drupal.org/documentation/upgrade/5/6.)
Drupal is a powerful, open source community content platform based on PHP and MySQL. It is growing dramatically in popularity and is currently used by thousands of enterprise web sites from Whitehouse.gov to PopSugar.com. Drupal developers are in high demand, so this is an opportunity to develop an extremely marketable skill. The project will be supervised by OP’s founder, who is a professional Drupal administrator and is well-connected in the nonprofit tech community.
In addition to migrating the MySQL database from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 and moving the site to a new web host, there may also be other opportunities including Drupal theming, developing additional features, or proposing new page layouts for the site.
As I wrote three months ago, OrangePolitics is overdue for a software upgrade. 5 years ago, you donated $1,000 to help move the site from WordPress to Drupal, and I think it was well worth the effort! Unfortunately, the software of the site has not seen a major update since that time. We need professional help again to upgrade the site from Drupal 5 to version 6 or 7, which will also allow us to move to cheaper web hosting. (I currently pay $35/month, but it could be a low as $10/month if we move the site.)
With the state of our local media ecosystem, OrangePolitics will only become more essential. And as Jeff wrote, we have added some great features such as live tweeting local government meetings and our own online candidate forums along with the always-informative blogging of your fellow community activists.
We're very grateful to the 15 people who already donated $500 last fall, and hope that a few more people can step up and get us the rest of the way to $800.
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