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A strategic approach to building participation with Drupal

Social Signal has a strong record of building successful, engaged communities on the Drupal platform, including ChangeEverything.ca, NetSquared.org, and telecentre.org.

Drupal is an open source content management system that is particularly good at building user-driven web sites. Here's what that means:

  • a content management system is software that makes it easy to create and edit web sites. If your web site is built in a content management system you can add new pages or edit existing pages any time you want, even if you don't know any HTML or programming languages.
  • user-driven means the content comes not only from you, the organization behind the web site, but from anyone visiting the site. It's the visitors who make your web sites come alive! MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia and Flickr all all examples of user-driven sites – what some people call "Web 2.0". We think user-driven sites are the most powerful and engaging places on web today, which is why we love how Drupal makes them easy to build.
  • open source means its code is shared, so anyone can use or improve on it. That means it's free (yippee!) and better yet, has a huge community of software developers who are continually expanding its features and making the platform stronger. And with all those developers working with the Drupal platform, you always have a wide selection of professionals who can help you build or improve your Drupal site.

With such a large Drupal community, why should you choose Social Signal to develop your Drupal site?

Mobilize your users

The thing about a user-driven site is that it needs lots of users to drive it. Sounds straightforward, doesn't it? The challenge comes in driving all those users to your site rather than any of the hundreds – if not thousands – of online communities springing up across the web.

Social Signal's experience and expertise will help you master that challenge. Nobody has a better understanding of what turns passive surfers into active online participants. And we use that understanding to help you build a site that turns Drupal's flexible set of community tools into an active, engaged community.

Meet the public

If your organization speaks to, advocates for, markets to or works with the general public, you know that capturing public attention and loyalty is crucial to your success. A user-driven web site helps you build your relationship with the public by bringing people into your web site and making them part of your mission.

We use Drupal to build public-facing web sites that balance your desire to engage users with the realities of message control. We blend conversational tone with well-crafted text that conveys your key points. We mix invitations to participation with moderation structures that limit conflict. We combine powerful aggregation of relevant offsite content with careful selection of valuable highlights. And we set up Drupal so that your administrators' mastery of the site provides your team with the confidence to engage openly with an ever-growing community of users.

Innovate online

Online community is the hottest concept on the web today. And with more and more organizations getting into the community game, it takes something special to help set your site apart.

Drupal provides a great starting place for your online community-building efforts, and a remarkably wide range of features to bring your community to life. But if you're looking to break out of the pack, you may want something more than you can get from an off-the-shelf Drupal installation. That's why we're proud to work with some of the most skilled developers and themers in the Drupal community, including Bryght, Affinity Bridge, floatleft and 2bits.

We've partnered with 2bits to create custom Drupal modules that take our clients' online communities into uncharted territories. We've worked with floatleft to create Drupal sites that look like anything but. We've partnered with Affinity Bridget to create web communities capable of redeploying to support multiple organizations' online efforts. And we've hosted almost every one of our Drupal projects with Vancouver-based Bryght, one of the world's leading Drupal hosting specialists.

Our vision can help you find the feature that will take your online community to the next level. Our technical skills and partnerships will make that feature a reality.

Deliver on a winning strategy

Our strategic perspective carries through our approach to Drupal implementation. We're experts at setting up and configuring Drupal web sites, which means we're current with the ever-growing range of features available in Drupal and conversant with the strengths and weaknesses of each expansion in the platform.

But we also bring a unique wisdom about the communications and engagement value of those features, so that our configuration choices reflect the realities of public relations and outreach as much as the technical requirements for site set-up. When we set up your blog to receive user comments, we've weighed the value of openness against the risk of criticism; when we set up an event calendar we've considered the merits of highlighting group events over one-to-one conversation.

Whether you're looking for strategy or implementation we can help. And if you're looking for strategic implementation we can be uniquely helpful.

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