“So what will it mean to bear witness in the future?”

They say that history is written by the victors. But now, before the victors win, there is a chance to scream out with a text message that will not vanish. What would we know about what passed between Turks and Armenians, between Germans and Jews, if every one of them had had the chance, before the darkness, to declare for all time: “I was here, and this is what happened to me”?

– Anand Giridharadas in the NYTimes in “Africa’s Gift to Silicon Valley: How to Track a Crisis”.

Ushahidi sounds inspiring.

The project is on Github.

Whitehouse.gov moves to Drupal

Dries Buytaert: Whitehouse.gov using Drupal

Tim O’Reilly: Thoughts on the Whitehouse.gov switch to Drupal

PDF: WhiteHouse.gov Goes Drupal

Content Here: Is Drupal the right platform for whitehouse.gov?

I think you can trace this way back to 2004 and Howard Dean’s run for the presidency. Their team chose Drupal as the framework to leverage for their web efforts and it paid off as part of what was the most Internet-savvy campaign by that time. Inspired by that campaign and their use of technology, I had relaunched Philly Future in fact.

Dries Buytaert says of the choice:

First of all, I think Drupal is a perfect match for President Barack Obama’s push for an open and transparent government — Drupal provides a great mix of traditional web content management features and social features that enable open communication and participation. This combination is what we refer to as social publishing and is why so many people use Drupal. Furthermore, I think Drupal is a great fit in terms of President Barack Obama’s desire to reduce cost and to act quickly. Drupal’s flexibility and modularity enables organizations to build sites quickly at lower cost than most other systems. In other words, Drupal is a great match for the U.S. government.

I can’t help but agree.

Accessing the Newsgator API within PHP

Shelley Powers published a short tutorial on accessing Newsgator via its API and PHP. I’m working with the code and fleshing out a wrapper library I hope to release shortly. I’m fairly sure using Newsgator judiciously will help alleviate the hosting problems I’ve been facing as Philly Future grows, and allow me to add some interesting new features. We shall see.