To nonprofit tech geeks: I bring glad tidings. There is going to be more to love at the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conrerence this year. First, for nptechies who are also Drupal dorks, below is a quick rundown of the Drupal content planned to date for the 2012 NTC in San Francisco. After that, I will give you some background on changes in the NTC that aim to improve it for those of us who are seasoned nptechies.
- Pre-Conference NTC Drupal Day for Nonprofit IT Professionals, Tuesday April 3rd, 9:30am - 3pm: This new event is in the conference hotel, right before the conference kicks off. Sean Larkin and ThinkShout are lead facilitators, along with the Drupal Association, Civic Actions, OpenSourcery, and Jackson River. Read more on ThinkShout's blog. You can register for Drupal Day as part of your conference registration.
- Drupal Breakout sessions:
- Building & Supporting Drupal Websites: In-House, Outhouse, or Both? Wednesday, April 4th, 10:30am - 12pm.
- Drupal Best Practices for Empowering Non-Profits, Wednesday, April 4th, 1:30pm - 3pm.
- Advanced Drupal Users Salon, Thursday, April 5th, 1:30pm - 3pm.
- Find other members of the Drupal Community of Practice online affinity group in person.
This Drupal content is the result of a larger effort to create more opportunities for expert nptechies to get what they want and need out of the conference. Last year, some of us NTC repeat attenders, olde tymers, and non-beginners expressed a desire for more from the NTC. The NTEN staff and agenda steering committees took this very seriously. The NTC must always be a welcoming place for newbies who are taking their first taste of nptech kool-aid. The goal for the 2012 NTC is to try some experiments to see if we can facilitate creativity, flexibility, and richer content for those of us who consider ourselves journey-level nptechies and platform-specific cat herders. One of these experiments is the new breakout session format called the Salon:
NTC Salons are not your typical presentation but a peer-sharing session. Come prepared to circle the chairs, rock the flip charts, and meet your community, and remember: Real Techies Talk to Each Other. Salons are moderated by someone with topical knowledge with a set description and takeaways.
There will be salons on topics like advocacy and server virtualization, and for advanced users of platforms like Joomla! and Salesforce. There will be open salon slots (moderated by the rock star of non-boring moderators, Gunner), where those of us who want to grab a group of colleagues and dig deeper into an topic can set up an impromptu session on the fly.
I am really excited about these changes. Like all good nptech experiments, I expect we will make mistakes that we can learn from for 2013. Bring it on, I say.
You will find me, in some capacity, at most of the NTC Drupal events. I hope to meet you there!
Image credit: Scott Lamb, BuzzFeed