Friday, June 27, 2008

Help Build Printcasting in Drupal!

Ever since we won a Knight News Challenge grant for Printcasting, we've had our heads down looking into different programming languages, frameworks and architectures that could help us achieve two goals.
  • Goal 1: Build something quickly by March that we can improve over time, without the need to reinvent the wheel for common features like registration, feed aggregation and user-contributed content.

  • Goal 2: Since this project will ultimately be open-sourced, we want to start engaging an open source community early on so that a number of talented, motivated people are already working on the next version by the time our Knight Foundation grant ends (two years from now). We don't just want to build software. We want to kick-start a movement that outlives us all.
Well, I'm happy to report we've finally settled on the obvious choice: Drupal. So to that end, we're now officially looking for Drupal contractors who can help us inject Web 2.0 juju into the print world. It's an exciting opportunity to democratize and, to quote MediaNews Group's Peter Vandevanter, "individuate" the print experience.

Please feel free to spread the following posting far and wide. And let me know if you know of anyone who would be good! Inquiries can also be sent to


Drupal developers needed to democratize magazine publishing

The Bakersfield Californian is looking for experienced Drupal developers for an exciting new social media project. Using funds from a Knight News Challenge project, we're going to make it possible for anyone to be a local media mogul. Sound interesting? Read on for details!

The Californian is an independent, family-owned newspaper in central California that has a reputation for innovation. We're leaders in our industry in applying "Web 2.0" concepts locally, and among the first newspapers in the United States to adopt social networking and citizen journalism as part of our core offerings.

We focus not just on our newspaper, but on growing local audiences through 11 niche brands. All of them have participatory Web sites, and 6 also have print magazines or newspapers that feature users' content. We are the leaders in our industry when it come to fresh ideas that others are eager to adopt, and we have been covered widely, including in a front page story on The Wall Street Journal.

As one of 16 winners of the 2008 Knight News Challenge, we have the support of Knight Foundation ( to develop a revolutionary set of tools that will allow anyone to create a local newspaper, magazine or newsletter. Everyday people will be able to publish printable magazines (in PDF form) that self-update with fresh content they've created themselves, as well as content from participating local blogs and news providers. Money, technical skills and design skills are not required -- only passion about a niche interest. The end result will be hundreds of magazines which are also full of local ads that local businesses submit using self-serve tools.

The Knight News Challenge is a five-year program, now in its second year, that will award at least $20 million for digital innovations for transform community news in specific geographic communities. Since its creation in 1950, the Knight Foundation has invested nearly $315 million to advance journalism quality and freedom of expression. Learn more at

Under the terms of our Knight Foundation grant, we're developing these tools under an open-source license in order to start a new movement around personal print publishing.

What better place to look than the Drupal community? We want top developers to provide their knowledge and expertise to this project. We know that the Drupal community can develop a reliable, feature-rich application that can then be used by thousands of other Drupal sites.

Our project requires multiple skill sets. Please review our needs below, and let us know if you can contribute.
  • Drupal - Ability to create modules correctly within the Drupal framework

  • PDF Generation - PDF generation with advance layouts and functionality. Do you have ideas on how to generate PDFs within PHP? We want to talk to you!

  • RSS/Atom - Key content is derived from RSS and Atom feeds. Knowledge of these standards and how they can be used is invaluable.

  • MySQL - You should know how to effectively design a scalable database which will work well with Drupal.

  • UI (Javascript/Ajax/DHTML) - We'll need a rich interface to control content. Anyone who likes a challenge needs to work with us.
Send inquiries to and include a resume of jobs and/or Drupal projects you have worked on. Links are always appreciated.