Eric Magnuson

My unique intersection of cooperation, sustainable business and local living economies.

Until I re-prioritize blog publishing, all my contributions to the noise can be found on Twitter.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Idealware compares Drupal, Plone, Wordpress and Joomla

Nonprofit software info source Idealware has published what might be the best objective review of the top open source CMS solutions available today. Having read the report and having worked extensively with all four systems for many years I can definitely recommend it for anyone considering the content management software options.

The report reinforces many of the messages I use to differenciate the options with people I talk to. Here are what I believe each of the four systems are good for:
  • Wordpress - good for blogging (of course!) and for small groups of people who want to publish simple content.
  • Joomla - good for small nonprofits/companies who need a simple and cost effective way to upgrade their web presence.
  • Drupal - good when you want site visitors to create content, functionality that is flexibile and scalability to support lots of traffic.
  • Plone - good when you have lots of content, lots of people working with that content within your nonprofit/business, and have unique functionality requirements.
You should read the report and draw your own conclusions. Each CMS has is place in the open source CMS ecosystem. At Web Collective, we've found that offering Wordpress and Plone covers all our client's CMS needs. When they need custom web functionality that isn't very CMS-like we are super happy with Django.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Top 6 Productivity Applications for 2008

At the end of the year I get to thinking about all the fine applications that helped me get where I am today... December 28th. Now, I don't spend a ton of time researching, testing and thinking about software for my MacBook, however I use it just about every damn day. It is an indispensable tool in my daily pursuit of success. Good thing I hang out with many people who spend more time than I looking for useful software. Keep in mind, my perspective on what software is useful is tinged by what I do. Mostly I communicate with clients and my team and track things for a living. Here is my top 6 list for 2008!

6. 1Password - It's simple. I use 1Password to save all my passwords. Piece-o-cake. And even better it has an iPhone application... but I haven't used it yet.

5. Google Calendar w/ CalDAV support - Very recently Google added CalDAV support to their calendar application. I've been able to move from very rarely using Google Calendar to using it ALL THE TIME. All my calendars are now shared on Google. I use Apple's iCal to do all the interfacing and now I very easily share with others.

4. Yammer - The entire Web Collective team very quickly moved to using Yammer for daily internal messaging. We had been using an IRC channel for all real-time messaging, but it had plenty of drawbacks. Great for quick conversations with specific people, but Yammer is killer for just about everything else. We've been making great use of tagging in our messages so we have have historical reference.

3. Evernote - Evernote replaced the various other text-based note taking applications I had been using. It's been a winner for me because of tagging support and server-synching with my iPhone. The iPhone app has the wonderful feature of allowing me to archive whiteboard/flip-chart work very easily and make those photos available on my laptop moments later. Ever better, the photos are sent through OCR software on the server resulting in photos with text that is searchable!

2. iGTD - I had been using iCal's to-dos to manage most of my daily tasks. iGTD was a serious shot of adrenelin to that system. What I love about iGTD is that I didn't sacrefice being able to keep track of tasks through iCal since the tasks are sync'd. iGTD gives me much more latitude to categorize my tasks. Oh, and it support recurring to-dos which has always pissed me off about iCal.

1. - This web application well deserves the #1 spot. It is possibly the most amazing free web application I have ever seen. Everyone I have told about it started using it and loves it. If you are like me and have always wanted to keep a budget but didn't want to work very hard to do it, Mint is for you. It has totally taken the pain out of keeping track of my money on a daily, if not hourly basis. It even has a decent email and SMS alert system to let me know when the money is running low.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

What is a Kitten Money Klatch?

This is a fair question. For one, it's something my wife Sarah and I invented. It's also a new form of financial exploration and empowerment for a community of interested individuals in Seattle. Earlier this month we held the first gathering of KmK where over 20 people took three hours out of their Thursday night to participate in the experiment. The experiment is to build resiliency into my community by getting as many people as possible out of crushing debt. To do this, we must all wade into uncommon territory. We must share our money issues with each other.

Sarah and I've committed to facilitating three of these KmK gatherings over the next couple months to see if something comes of it. The first gathering was successful by attendee accounts. People really benefited from hearing others tell their money stories. They found that no one is alone in their fears around the stuff. We also figured out what the group wants to get out of the gatherings. Seems like a reasonable first start.

Here is a sample of the list the group told me they want to cover:
  • Matching up of needs and means (help each other get out of debt, like with
  • Pool money within the group to fund things
  • Leanding list
  • Sharing of helpful financial resources
  • Assisting each other build personal financial tracking skills
  • Sharing of rituals or experiences that don't require money
  • Creating more moments where people share their deeply held assumptions and stories around money
  • Discussion of the political side of finance and the economy
Over the next two gatherings Sarah and I will help the group navigate these topics. I look forward to it!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My first Green Business Conference

Here I am pressing the flesh with greenie business people at Co-Op America's Green Business Conference in San Francisco. This is the first time Web Collective has sent a representative out into the world to network and market. This, of course, means the company has very little more than some good looking web sites and a friendly rep in a green shirt to make a pitch. Because we've been in stealth, word-of-mouth mode for so long I feel out of practice with high-speed networking. Fortunately, I seem to share core values with just about everyone one I have met here so the conversations have been authentic and rewarding.

I'm very impressed with the caliber of vision and ambition in the green businesses represented here. I really am excited to experience Greenfest this weekend.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Green October

Many wise people advancing many great ideas are pooling their resources and giving us something called Green October. It's not just a month, it's also a collection of events having a connection to community building and sustainability. Seeing all the groups and events being offered in a single month is absolutely amazing. I love having a service like this to reflect back to us the magnitude of our collective efforts.

Web Collective is involved in making sure the Puget Sound Community Change program launches.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm featured in Sustainable Industries Journal

I am pleasantly surprised to learn that Sustainable Industries Journal's September issue has a feature story on 5 entrepreneurs under 35 including me and Web Collective. This qualifies as our first major bit of press! Considering we don't really have a website yet and have only really been in business since May, I think this is fantastic. Unfortunately, I haven't seen the article yet, but I've been assured the picture of me is sexy. Can't ask for more than that! Thanks Wanda.

This is as good a time as any to report that Web Collective is coming along very well. There is plenty of fantastic work coming to us and we are making considerable headway into the process of defining ourselves as a team and as a company. We are continuing to live into being the sort of business we want to see in the world. It's pretty cool to build a shared vision with a group of dedicated, talented people. Oh, and I just bought! It cost way too much but http://webcollective.COOP alone just isn't going to cut it.

UPDATE: SIJ has published the article.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Food and energy stats to music

I love this! So much information in such a nice little animation.