I am opening this topic to discuss a blog post I just published. I'd love some feedback on how the Backdrop CMS community can be more effective in our Outreach efforts. 

As you will see in the blog post, I think we know the kinds of things we need to be doing, I think that what we reallly need is better strategies and more effective follow thru. Do you have ideas or skills to help us with these challenges?

https://backdropcms.org/news/how-visible-is-backdrop-cms-and-what-can-we...

I look forward to your ideas and strategies. 

Most helpful answers

@Irina_Zaks and I just had an excellent exchange in the chat room about empowering and encouraging folks to take action on outreach issues. In my personal opinion, I think folks overestimate the leadership structure in the Backdrop community and their/our role in setting an Outreach agenda. Most of what happens, happens because someone steps up and says I'd like to do this and then starts working on it. Often others in the group offer feedback or support. 

Maybe, we should be more organized and take a more structured approach. I'd be in favor of that. There is no organized opposition to this idea, as far as I know, we just need more folks willing to bring their leadership, marketing, and organization skills to our group and to our meetings. We really need more volunteers and we need help managing the volunteers we already have. 

Many of the ideas in this discussion thread are things that folks can work on without permission or endorsement by the Backdrop community. If you want to work on something and need support, just ask us. The best place to ask for support is during one of our meetings, but the Forum or Zulip can work as well. 

Some of the ideas - including changes to BackdropCMS itself, our name, or our website do require a little coalition building. But, often the coalition is already there just waiting for someone with the time or skills to do the work or at least lead the charge. 

I think we all know that we should improve the presentation of contrib projects on BackdropCMS.org, we just need someone to chair the committee or initiate the work. There will be many opinions on how to best accomplish this task, but there will also be much gratitude for those who get us started.

Many of us would love to help you, we just don't have time to take charge, because we are already working on a half dozen other Backdrop CMS projects already.

Tomorrow (Thursday, Feb 3 - 8PM UTC) is our next Outreach meeting. I look forward to seeing some of you there. Please, bring your energy and skills to help us implement some of the great ideas that were put forward in this discussion thread. 

Thursday, Feb 3

8:00PM UTC
(Check here for the time in your local time zone)
 

At first glance, this is off topic, but it is actually is something important

What we can learn from that is, how not to treat contributors, or the community in general.

Although the handling of abandoned modules with a known security problem is pretty similar in Backdrop - which makes sense, because security is important - the communication with potential new maintainers is pretty different.

The Drupal security team seems to expect some humility. I'm pretty sure the Backdrop team would offer help instead of nagging.

Sure, the end-user (customer) may not be aware of how potential contributors get treated in a project, but who would volunteer to do promotion for a project with bad vibes?

Backdrop (framework for front end) goes well with Bootstrap (framework for front end).   Names seem to have some similarity.

Backdrops allow you to set the stage and enhance the decoration with the visual impact that makes a presentation unforgettable

Comments

Backdrop can take advantage of localization, which was poorly represented in Drupal. Look at the distribution of languages in the world. English is only 5%. Attract bloggers not only English-speaking.

@dmitry - Do you have any ideas on how we can do better with folks who speak different languages? 

Is there something that we can do to better support user groups or content creators in other languages to write about BackdropCMS or create more tutorials in other languages? 

There is a link between support in different languages and the existence of communities of this different language; language comes naturally with this community; in my case, I am in France, the support or the exchange in French will only be able to exist if many creators of French sites use Backdrop and they will create a need for exchange in French; this is something that cannot be decided administratively...

It's like the "What comes first, the chicken or the egg" principle. Without support in French, there will not be a large number of users, and vice versa.

I don't think so; translations langages don't create communities ...and now with google translate i am not sure it is relevant ... 

mazze's picture

Thank you Tim for bringing this up... and sorry for not participating in the meetings for such a long time (seems that I will also miss the next one, early February).

I'd like to add another point we need to be aware about (given my experience in customer communication projects it might be the most important one):

Who are we talking to?

There are a lot of assumptions from our side. But we have not idea how the "onboarding process" for new users worked in the past, and understanding the past helps planning the future;-)

Without knowing that, it's hard to create content and find the appropriate language. So maybe we got a better idea when we ask CURRENT users how they came to Backdrop CMS. Plus (important) what their background, skillset, expecations, environment, motivation etc. was by that time. What triggered them to start exploring a new CMS.

After that, we can create a strategy. And I guess that the methode of Growth Hacking could deliver a great toolset for spreading the word.

Just an example:

Last week, a former employee of an fellow D7 agency called me. She now works for a former customer, but still has some D7 side projects running. Most of those projects will be upgraded to Wordpress in the near future, because she likes the ease of use and the WP ecosystem a lot.

But one of those D7 projects has a lot of structured content, plus a number of very specific content types. It's hard to build this site in Wordpress.

That's why she called me. And the project seems to be a perfect fit for Backdrop CMS.

But before calling me, she called her former Drupal freelancer, and asked for an estimation for migrating the project to D9. It turned out that the price was way too high and even hard to predict.

What I try to say is: in my opinion, this colleague is a very good example for the kind of persons we should address. She's an experienced website creator. She knows pretty well what structured data is about. She had built a number of websites and knows Wordpress well. She's used to create websites on a budget. She's used to tweak some code snippets, but she is not a developer. She knows that some customers simply don't want to edit everything on their website, but are happy with a very specific content type for structured data.

Backdrop is such a great tool for some use cases. But it's not visible enough in our communication, because we have no idea who we should write for.

What about creating one or two "buyer personas" in the weeks to come?

I agree : "Who are we talking to?"

and a related question

What is Backdrop :

Another Drupal 7 only for those who can't migrate to Drupal 9 ?

a competitor of Worldpress ?

a competitor of Joomla ?

Maybe delving into what the creators of Backdrop called philosophy.. You can only answer a question well if the question is the right one.. Take a closer look at the purpose before asking questions means that will depend on the right question..

There are two big use cases for BackdropCMS - new websites and migration of D7 by Nov 2022.  This defines two different "buyer personas".  Currently use case D7 migration is becoming critical because of the timeline.  Here is our list of questions for an owner of a D7 website - the answers determine which  CMS (Wordpress/Backdrop/D9) is the best fit.

  • How large is your site ( 10 pages/50 pages/ more )
  • Does your site have complex structured content with relationships between those?
  • Does your site has workflows (notifications, editorial workflows, custom processes )
  • Is your site a web app?
  • Does your organization has IT department that can support DevOps?
  • What is your budget?

A few ideas from me too.

I have been working with Drupal 5, 6 and 7 since 2006-2007. I am a freelancer, I work alone. Over 200 sites created, I currently maintain 60-70 sites. Small and micro-businesses, foundations, NGOs. I know a little bit about Wordpress - several (3-4) of the sites that have assigned me support are with Wordpress, but I definitely do not like Wordpress and for 5-6 years all the new sites that I develop are with Backdrop CMS (and before that with Drupal). I'm not a developer, I define myself as a graphic and web designer. I do not use ready-made themes, for all sites I develop my own theme with a unique design. I really like Backdrop and thank the community that initiated and maintained it. I live and work in Bulgaria and as far as I know I am the only one who develops backdrop sites in my country. I use Bulgarian (native), English and Russian and very little German.

1. I agree with Dmitry. The lack of support in the native language is an obstacle, an even bigger obstacle is the lack of opportunity to communicate with compatriots in the native language. I offer the following solutions:

1.1 When registering a new user in the Backdrop Forum, information on the location (country, city) of the new user is required, and existing users can add, as well as the native language and what other languages ​​the user uses. The Local settings field does not do this, it only shows the preferred time zone. But I may be in a different time zone, but I want to connect with compatriots or users of languages ​​I speak.

1.2 On the basis of this, create local groups, uniting users on two principles - state and languages ​​used. This will allow new users to post to groups of people from the same country or using languages ​​that the user knows.

1.3 The posts (topics) in the forum can be translated, either by their author or by other users. For this it is necessary to add in the language settings of the forum the languages ​​for which there are registered users.

1.4 Not only in the forum, the main site of Backdrop is good to present not only in English but also in at least some of the major international languages ​​- German, French, Russian, Portuguese and for the translation of content can be used the help of registered users who can both translate and edit and moderate translations. This is especially important for the training content on the site (User Guide), but also for the News section.

1.5 It would be a good idea for the forum to allow the organization of local events according to the city and country of the user, as well as to allow "subscription" for posts by users from the same city, language or country.

2. A big problem for me is the lack of up-to-date books (printed books and in electronic format), which are textbooks, guides or indroductions  for Backdrop. The books available now are very old and from the first years of Backdrop development. Having a User Guide does not eliminate the need for books. The user guide on the site is necessarily one - official point of view. The books can be addressed to different categories of users, from beginners to advanced, to use different didactic. Some introduce the system to consistently build a sample site, others are built as a consistent guide to menus and settings, and still others are essentially directories.

3. Finally, a few more questions that, in my opinion, hinder the widespread use of Backdrop.

3.1 Although I do not use ready-made themes, mass consumer needs more ready-made backdrop themes with a beautiful design and ready to work for a certain type of site. In this regard, Wordpress is a champion and most of his success comes from the availability of ready-made themes for all types of sites, including graphic design tailored to the type of site (car service, beauty salon, law firm, etc.).

For this purpose, it is good to consider how to post already developed Backdrop themes at https://backdropcms.org/themes. To facilitate the process, to be accessible to non-developers. I've done at least 30 different themes for Backdrop, but I don't know how to publish them. It is a problem for me to publish my themes and the fact that I use my own layouts and the theme itself will not work with any of the layouts that are officially published - mine have preferred from me different structure of HTML code, classes and CSS selectors. A possible solution is to be able to submit my theme in its original form and have a community developer bring it in line with official standards.

3.2 As with the themes published on Backdropcms.org, as well as on the module pages, a big problem is the lack of graphic information - screenshots, and why not video or links to external help information, links to the forum topics discussing module, questions and answers or problems of the module.

So far, I'll probably add more notes in the future.

The topic is extremely important and interesting. The real disgrace is that a great content management system like Backdrop CMS is not widespread and I am horrified to be commissioned to work with thoughtless constructed sites with themes with tens of thousands of lines of code made with Wordpress - heavy, slow, user inconvenient, with terrible navigation and mobile design.

I can't understand these "colleagues" - learning to work with HTML / CSS today is much easier (and gives incomparably more freedom to do what you want) than mastering the incredibly complex and floated block editors with which today's Wordpress works and imposes as an insane standard for site development.

mazze's picture

Hi Amilenkov, great ideas...but what I really like is your professional background (very similar to mine, BTW). Backdrop seems to be attractive for people who build websites on a regular basis. It solves problems which beginners are not even aware of.

Unported important modules should be converted. (for example: OneAll Social Login, Organic Groups) If a developer or a site builder becomes interested in Backdrop but does not find the modules that are important to him, he will be disappointed and maybe go away forever.
Some important modules require the most powerful core developers to convert. Why? Because the enthusiastic developers in the community couldn’t convert them either, and I think converting these modules is more important than developing the core before November 2022. (I'm afraid I'm writing this sentence, but I think it's the truth from the developers' and site builders' point of view.)
The important modules are required by another modules!
For example, I couldn’t convert the Organic Groups module, Laryn’s work got stuck, and Irina won’t be able to convert it probably. Laryn wrote: Porting of Organic Groups module is hung up on this core issue.
I would like to hear the views of the next "dev meeting" about this. :)

Thank You! :)

Unported important modules should be converted. (for example: OneAll Social Login, Organic Groups)

Does anyone have any specific ideas on how we (the Backdrop community) can accomplish this better/faster?

Perhaps encourage someone to be an advocate and start a meta issue on the project and encourage (Zulip/forum/linkedIn) people to add use cases that are blocked by the absence of this module.  We should be able to come up with them either from pipeline or from attempting to use for product/projects.  We should make it easy and if people comment in other areas, the advocate should copy over.  This could help the community to understand the extent that the absence of a functioning project is hindering adoption of backdrop and help decide if it should be a priority over new core features.

I do agree particularly with Organic Groups being a key one. Does it feature in the top 100 list of Drupal modules?

I think the first step is to identify the important modules: Community members can delegate the popular and irreplaceable modules.
We could manage the modules and problems in a spreadsheet like this: sample

I think that the best way to port a module is to have a project that needs this module.  Catch 22 is that people do not start projects if a module that is required for that project is not ready. 

 

I am not convinced that adding more and more "important" modules will solve the the problem posed in this post - "How to improve our Outreach efforts?".

And, please, "important" for whom, for someone some module may be especially important, but is this module important for a wide range of users?

OneAll Social Login, for example, is currently used by 998 sites out of a total of 571,129 - using Drupal 7 as of January 16th. That's 0.17 percent! It may be a good module, but converting it to BD will certainly not solve the question of how to expand the influence of Backdrop CMS.

In this regard, I want to point out something I have been thinking for a long time - I think the community is wrong to attach so much importance to the possibility of upgrading from Drupal 7 to Backdrop CMS.

First, despite all the community efforts, this only works for simple sites. With no errors and not requiring an unacceptably long time to fix the converted site from such errors. Which attempts often end in failure and almost always by realizing the fact that the site needs not just to be converted to BD, but also to be rebuild in some or other way. I mean sites with a more complex structure, functions, visitors and users actions, many additional modules, many different types of content, many views, plenty of rules, etc.

Second, Drupal is excellent in that there is always more than one and even plenty of ways than one way to do the same thing as functionality on a site.

At first (in 2016-2017) I tried to upgrade from Drupal 7 to Backdrop SMS, then I gave up, I haven't done that for at least five years. Since  then I do it in a different way, I rebuild the site with Backdrop SMS at the very beginning and this allows me the freedom to do it in a better way, with better modules or a combination of them and with a better design.

And because in five years I am not the same and today I know and can do more and I want to make the new site in a new better way, not simply to convert some old site.

And thirdly, most importantly, people will use Backdrop CMS because they work with a familiar, very powerful and super convenient environment and will not lose knowledge gained through years of work and study, not just because this system will allow them to convert the old D7 site into a BD site.

There are no eternal sites, the Internet is evolving, and so are browsers and devices. Moving a site from 2012 to 2022, even if successful, will cripple the site and make it impossible to use more modern solutions.

And it is pointless to attract consumers (who look for the easy job and do not like challenges) with such a market advantage. Such users would feel more comfortable with Wordpress. Let's them go there and attract new users that really need and can appreciate BD.

Let's think of others who know how to develop creative sites. They will not stop from the fact that one or another module is not in Backdrop SMS, they will just invent another way to achieve the desired goal.

If there is a case of a site that has significant content content built with Drupal 7 - I move it to a subdomain, convert it to static and give a link to the old site in the new site.

Some sites just have to retire and thinking about how to maintain these sites forever and without change is a pointless task.

Do you remember the time when website's designs were made with tables. Or when personal computers were running DOS?

I don't know of anyone who has tried to convert a site with tables-made design to one with a modern design. And if he tried, it was hardly successful. It is much faster and easier, much more useful for users to rebuild such an old site by taking only the useful content from the old one.

Therefore, I think that future users of Backdrop (who are referring to the question "How to improve our Outreach efforts") do not need more and more converted modules, but an effective tool to migrate content from Drupal 7 to Backdrop.

And as I mentioned above, an abundance of educational information in accessible languages for world users of different countries; and local communities.

Maybe it's time to give Backdrop its own personality and stop imitating daddy Drupal; there it is always a teenager who is not yet clear about his desires and needs a well defined project; what niche will the small "backdrop" occupy in the world of the big ones? Afterwards it will be easier to define a marketing strategy. When you know who you are, it is easier to know where you want to go and how..

I found Backdrop at a DrupalCamp.  Initially when I read about the trainings and saw a class on something that wasn't Drupal I did not understand why I would go to a DrupalCamp to learn another CMS.  But then I read what Backdrop was and it sounded interesting.  My thought is perhaps there should be a tagline or tagline that goes with saying Backdrop to say what it is, so it is clear.  Something like Backdrop: Drupal 7 -- modernized.  Yes, Drupal folks might get the name back to drop but that's definitely not everyone.

I believe from a marketing perspective the "elephant in the room" is the name. "Back" doesn't conjure exciting images of forward momentum, and "drop" ... well, who wants to drop something that is good, beneficial, worthwhile?

Technically, backdrop is, in my experience, brilliant. Why not give it a real boost by calling it what it is. If Facebook can do a name-change with a billion plus users, I don't see why 'backdrop' can't.

While writing this just now, I thought, "what would best telegraph the cms' qualities, what would be salient?"

Get people inspired, run a competition for the most salient, succinct name.

Name is certainly very important, but it takes a lot of professional effort and time to make rebranding efficient.    Maybe extending the name would be good.  Maybe unique nickname? My challenge with the name Backdrop is that when I search for "Backdrop" I get too many results unless I put Backdrop CMS.  

There is a great point in this thread that BD is not a teenager imitating it's parent anymore.  It is a mature CMS with it's own advantages and deserves to be treated as such. 

Hi Irina

You say

Name is certainly very important, but it takes a lot of professional effort
and time to make rebranding efficient.

I'm not sure what you mean by "efficient". I suggest a thought experiment, in which the extreme is considered -- think of a really unpleasant name like "dog poo", and say to people "hey, we have this great cms, it's called dog poo. I really like dog poo, I think dog poo is the best cms."

My point is if the name doesn't conjure excitement, zest, etc, no amount of technical brilliance will help people enjoy, or look forward to 'dog poo'.

Consider wordpress. "In the beginning was the word" or some such (biblical stuff), and "press" as in news, or printing press. It's succinct and one immediately gets a sense of what it's about.

Backdrop does the exact opposite, it sounds regressive. That's my opinion, and having been in sales, business, in my experience the name is important, more so than what at first seems a minor issue.

Were you (the collective users, supporters) to consider a name change, it  could simply be something like an amalgamation of the initial and ongoing key developers, say 'Jentim' or similar. It doesn't carry baggage, or any suggestion, so the field is open to define how good it is. Yes, I'm aware there are many key people. Run a draw, and from the names (2 or 3) drawn, then work with that.

 

 

I agree totally on importance of name that creates excitement :) Happy to  connect for a brainstorming session and come up with some names/approach that can be presented for implementation.  I am on slack, zulip, etc. 

I think the first step would be to "win over" the many contributors and users.

If there is a tide of energy behind a name change, then the next step is to energetically imagine the scenario of a future "now" in which the cms has been going gangbusters, and its name is ... (let it come to us, in due course, e.g. on waking tomorrow morning, or while day dreaming in a few days, etc).

But the imagining, or better yet, pre-living of that future (in which the cms has been quickly climbing up the usage charts) is supremely important.

And by 'supremely', I mean pivotal. I doubt there's a professional athlete anywhere in the world who hasn't been schooled in the use and power of "visualization". Actually, pre-living is far more powerful, insofar as it uses all the senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling).

Irina, I don't generally use social media, forums etc, so will be guided by your suggestion -- is Zulip the optimal forum for progressing this?

--update, just sent you a private message on Zulip
 

 

OK, the idea of a name change is out there - and we should certainly talk about that. BUT, that issues deserves an topic or issue of it's own. Let's not take over this discussion completely with that one single suggestion. 

Please, feel free to open a separate discussion topic in the forum - or take that to the community issue queue. 

https://github.com/backdrop-ops/backdrop-community/issues

Any other ideas or resources?

I am spanish speaker (from Argentina). Sorry, the following translation was Google made.

MARKETING
1 - steve2020 is right, the name BACKDROP does not suggest anything attractive in English and in another language, like mine Spanish, it is decidedly unintelligible and untranslatable. To confront it, the WordPress example is valid (the combination of Word and Press has been great, no doubt) but it is also a good example of one of the most harmful points of marketing: without a product that supports it, any genius in the communication is pure smoke. And, as we all know, wordpress, in its early days and for a long time, was a mediocre CMS riddled with security holes whose sole purpose was to build blogs. Therefore, beware of putting all the gunpowder in marketing. Everything in its measure and harmoniously (JDP).

2 - Leaving aside the shortcomings of its name (we share steve2020's opinion in this regard), unlike WordPress Backdrop it is a certified quality product (its close relationship with Drupal 7 confirms this) which paves the way for that advertising and marketing that takes key aspects of the product to position it in the market. In the case of Backdrop, these would be: having the average user at the center of its sights, ease of use, quick response, very safe and free. And here we already have the three magic words of advertising: Easy, Fast, Free. To which we add a keyword on the Internet: Security. Backdrop can be "sold" like this, without deception, as what it is: easy to use, fast and light, very secure and free. Proposed slogan: Easy, Fast and Safe?... Backdrop.

ESTHETIC
1 - Backdrop, at least on a basic installation, is ugly. Black, white and gray. Depressing. Why not give a touch of color to your logo (it is not well understood, moreover, what it symbolizes) and to your basic presentation. Even the bug that serves as its icon would also look a little cuter with a bit of color.

2 - In line with the previous point, a proposal that is perhaps easy to implement is to change the home page of Backdrop (also ugly, boring, poor in images and very schematic) for a more cheerful and dynamic one. Color, smart text layout and image addition can attract many new potential users.

LANGUAGE
1 - Although it is not relevant for the construction of sites and the end user, it is important for developers or simple web makers without programming knowledge the translation of the help texts (how they work and how and why to use them) of modules and themes . Proposal: replicate the Drupal 7 translation site on the Backdrop website, or include a link to that Drupal translation site in the module's introductory information.

DIFFUSION CHANNELS
1 - social media, social media, social media and social media.

2 - social media, social media, social media and social media.
 

Hi Muche, Tim, et al

"Let's not take over this discussion completely with that one single suggestion."
Tim, I'm a little confused by this ... my suggestion was one of many, so I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say, now. Has this discussion been transferred elsewhere?
As to Muche's comment, I have one question: Given the obvious technical benefits of building sites with backdrop, my question is WHY is it not taking off, like a Falcon 9, blasting into orbit and returning to do even more work?

I think it would be ...  working to find the right word here, but 'disingenuous' comes to mind, that if anyone cites any technical issue, that flies in the face of the obvious technical brilliance of backdrop, and I'm NOT being sarcastic. I only recently gave bee a go. Wow, amazing. I mean, after drush, composer on a shared server drama, to simply copy the bee directory (server root), set up a simple bash_alias, and presto, bee cron, bee cc all, wow, who would have thought ...

Look it's an obvious winner. So what the heck is holding it back? Well, beside the proverbial elephant or a big fat Falcon 9 sitting in the room.

btw, if you (collective "you") find a name that is unique, that will propel it to the top of search listings like, ... a day or two, tops.

indigoxela's picture

I'm totally exited about this thread!

The related blog post by Tim already summarizes things I had in mind pretty well, but here in this discussion some good suggestions were made.

This might be an incomplete list, please bear with me:

  • Consider different languages (on the b-org home page, in the forum, blog posts...)
  • Clarify the target audience and create a strategy to better address them
  • Provide more out-of-the-box pretty themes for end users
  • Provide better documentation and help how to contribute themes (GitHub and git can be an obstacle)
  • Improve the presentation of contrib projects on the b-org website
  • Port important missing modules (og seems to be on top of that list)
  • Put more effort in attracting new users, less in trying to convince D7 users to migrate
  • The name Backdrop is a drawback (<- see ;-) ) - maybe rename
  • Provide a more attractive default theme for new Backdrop installs

Many of the suggestions seem feasible, but it might need advocates to get things done. Suggesting something good is one thing, getting it over the finish line is another one. One concern: renaming Backdrop might possibly be overacting, but (sigh!) I totally get the point.

Crazy idea: what if we organize a "New theme for backdropcms.org 2022" competition?

Another idea: create a GitHub-tutor group to better help people with the infrastructure aspects of contrib module and theme development.

Finally: what we all as community members can do: use Backdrop and proudly speak about it.

It seems to me that the name Backdrop in itself is not bad or inappropriate, the downside is that it lacks meaning, especially for people unfamiliar with the history of Drupal and the original idea for the drop. Rebranding would be a colossally difficult task and it is possible to lose already won positions, for many people this name is already familiar.

The idea comes to me that the name doesn't need to be changed, it just needs to be given meaning. The name also has positive connotations - and especially for educated people who by default are users of the system - "back" also means save, support, "give financial, material, or moral support to", and the drop in turn is a symbol of water, life, purity and transparency.

I think that with a little more imagination and collective effort, "Backdrop" can shine like a hidden diamond (another meaning of drop). However, changing the logo is mandatory and should help convey this new and original meaning.

The fact that the name seemed trivial and expressionless can be an advantage. A person may have a simple and expressionless name, but if he wears it proudly and advertises it correctly, it can become a recognizable brand.

I do not have a ready solution or proposal, I just want to point out this possibility.

I love this list of goals that can be reached :) I would like to put my effort into three items for now, and I hope to find 

  1. Provide a more attractive default theme for new Backdrop installs
  2. Clarify the target audience and create a strategy to better address them
  3. Improve the presentation of contrib projects on the b-org website  

Interesting question here about communication - should I open topics in forum or in Github to continue discussion on each point? 

 

@indigoxela

you wrote "less in trying to convince D7 users to migrate"

Given the reluctance of D7 admins upgrading to D9 -- sort of forcing D7 support to go beyond that of D8, again, WHY are they not migrating?

My sense is beside the name, it's seen as a fork that might stall. With a new name, that could bring fresh energy that's not blatantly reminding newcomers it's a fork.

As to the colossal effort  to change the name -- didn't the backdrop fork start out relatively easily?  I'm not a technical person, by choice, but why not fork backdrop to ____________? The heavy lifting has mostly been done. So, in spacex parlance, we're at t minus _________.

Of the 570,000+ sites using D7, only around 16,000 are using OG. Why the immediate concern about 2.8% of the installed D7 sites?

As I alluded to earlier, I don't believe a few technical issues is what is keeping those ~550k (570k-16k) site admins from migrating.

 

indigoxela's picture

WHY are they not migrating?

They might not know Backdrop, they might "poker" - hoping that D7 gets longer support, they might not yet have a budget for any migration (D9 or B1), might wait for a specific module to get ported... We can't know.

But should we really worry much about that? Backdrop is a Drupal fork, but it has its own feature set, its own "personality". It's different. Backdrop is not just a fork to keep old Drupal sites alive, Backdrop is not a project for people not willing to learn new things. Just to mention two most common prejudices in Drupal land.

As to the colossal effort  to change the name ... The heavy lifting has mostly been done

I don't agree re that. The effort is colossal, but the gain is small. Changing the name, domains, overall branding is an overkill. We'd lose all the search engine results we already have. All the mentions and reviews out there would be worthless. Renaming basically means starting from scratch. And I don't think we have enough resources to be able to do that, anyway.

Addendum:

... it's seen as a fork that might stall.

I doubt that. After seven (!) years of constant work that's really no argument anymore.

 

I don't think we should expend energy on changing the name; we're making gradual progress of raising awareness through social media, but as indigoxela says, we would be starting from scratch if we rebranded.

What I do think we should do, following the comment from amilenkov about having the meaning for the name, we should probably make more of the originally conceived tagline: 

We believe Backdrop is a great name for a CMS, because it's always behind the scenes. The tagline "Put your content center stage" was recommended to pair with the name.

https://backdropcms.org/presskit

When used with that, the name makes more sense.

mazze's picture

I agree with @indigoxela about changing the name. We should focus on things where we have the resources, and a rebranding process needs a lot of them.

For me, the elephant in the room is the website.

It's the fact that we have much more search traffic for "drupal alternative" than we had one year ago. But only a tiny fraction seems to start using Backdrop CMS. The landing page does not convert enough (https://backdropcms.org/drupal-alternative, not in the menu). I am allowed to say this because I am the creator;-))

backdropcms.org is a great resource for many things... but it needs to evolve, also visually. Creating trust is a very important step in this process. It's a lot of work, and it's about baby steps. But we do not have enough resources here at the moment.

What follows are notes of a simple guide for the development of a communication strategy by no means definitive.

BACKDROP AS A BRAND
1 - In order to continue with Tim's initial request (propose strategies to make this CMS better known and used by more and more users), I would like to close the discussion, at least in this thread, about whether or not the Backdrop name should be changed. My opinion is that it should NOT be changed (although several of us, as I said in another message, are not totally seduced by him). "It is what it is", we say in our country. Therefore, the suggestions on communication strategies should have as one of their first objectives to re-install the BACKDROP brand. Without a doubt, an stimulating challenge.

HOW, WHERE AND WHEN
Through a "communication strategy". At a minimum, consist of objectives, actions and execution timeframes to achieve the objectives. The steps to develop it can be summarized as follows:

1. Analysis of the current situation: For example, in the case of Backdrop, questions such as How many users does BD have today? What is your profile (freelancers, companies, personal use)? In what order and type of websites is it applied (business, blogs, personal, institutional)? How did you meet him? Why and what are your main competitors (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla...)?, etc.

2. Determine what is the central objective. According to Tim's proposal, it is to make Backdrop more and better known so that more users can access it.

3. Define the recipients (audience) of the communication: The first segment is configured by the users defined in the first point (web developers and designers), to which are added the end users (customers) who can be bloggers, companies, institutions, etc, and that would be defined by the answers to the first point.

4. Establish the message to transmit. The messages summarize the identity of a brand and the product it represents. In the case of the Backdrop brand, and as I specified in another of my postings to this forum, this CMS is characterized by its "ease of use, speed of response and security". Hence, my proposal of the axes (messages) for a hypothetical campaign will be:

Do It Easy!

Do It with Backdrop!

---------------

Do It Fast!

Do It with Backdrop!

---------------

Do It Safe!

Do It with Backdrop!

---------------

Do It with Backdrop!

Is Free!!!

---------------

Of course, these ads can be varied to the extent of the advertiser's creativity and must be completed with images, videos, descriptive texts and even music, which is known as "advertising pieces", and maybe retranslated (the originals are Hacelo Fácil, Hacelo Rápido, Hacelo Seguro, Hacelo Gratis).

5. Communication channels: Flyers, Banners, Twitters, Videos, Jingles... on all Backdrop sites (home, forum, FAQ), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, specialized websites, Twitch, etc. This point requires a more detailed analysis of the means to be used and how to apply them, since communication fundamentally depends on them to achieve the objectives. And always taking into account the lack of human and financial resources.

6. Execution times: For example, reach new XXXX users, or XXXX downloads, or XXX Likes in XX days/months/years. Although sometimes for whatever reason they are not fulfilled, the rule is to put all the energy into achieving the objectives during that period.

7. Measurement and evaluation of results. It allows analyzing whether or not the objectives were met and identifying the problems, if any, to develop a new strategy or extend the current one.

"I would like to close the discussion, at least in this thread, about whether or not the Backdrop name should be changed. My opinion is that it should NOT be changed"

I would like to close the discussion, at least in this thread, to any opinions not related to the Backdrop name change. My opinion is that it should be changed.

There you go, a bit of balance is always nice, don't you think.

As to my earlier "WHY are they not migrating?" and the reply that "They might not know Backdrop"

Half a million website admins haven't bothered to look around, as to what they'll need to do in, at most 10 months? I wouldn't want them to be looking after my sites, were they that lacking in due diligence, planning ability.

Insofar as this is an outreach thread, why don't you simply reach out to that half-million admins, and ask them. Do a survey on the drupal.org site. Ask what they intend to do, and why. Maybe throw in a question, "have you heard of backdropcms, and if so, are you considering it, and if not why?"

Do a survey on the drupal.org site. Ask what they intend to do, and why. Maybe throw in a question, "have you heard of backdropcms, and if so, are you considering it, and if not why?"

In case it's not clear. Backdrop CMS is not officially connected to or endorsed by Drupal, we are a fork of the Drupal project. We don't have access to drupal.org other than as members of the Drupal community. It's not clear to me how we can effectively reach Drupal site owners through drupal.org.

Having said that, we do need ideas for how to reach Drupal 7 site owners. Surveying them would be great, but how do we do that?

Hi Tim

In case it's not clear. Backdrop CMS is not officially connected to or endorsed by Drupal, we are a fork of the Drupal project

Yes, was aware that being the case. Solutions exist. Just haven't been found ... yet

 

I'm not convinced there actually are a half million D7 sites out there needing to upgrade.  Personally I have several sitting out on the interwebs that are no longer used but still reporting data back to Drupal.

"I'm not convinced there actually are a half million D7 sites out there needing to upgrade."

How many are estimated to be valid, current, regularly-updated sites? 10, 50 5000, 100,000? And what data is there in support of that estimate?

Let's assume that of the 570,000 D7 sites, half are regularly updated and looking to upgrade. Wouldn't the home page of backdropcms.org look much more impressive with "over 250,000 sites running backdrop"?

As to the library not migrating to backdrop, did anyone ask WHY they didn't?

I'm struggling to understand the reluctance to doing basic market research.

There was a library near where I used to work.  They also had a D7 site.  They were trying to decide between Drupal and Backdrop and even talked to us a bit about it.  Even thought it was going to cost more for them they chose to stick with Drupal, we didn't.  

That library didn't have any developers.  They weren't going to be seeing how much easier Backdrop was to work with.  They were just going to be entering content, which was going to be a similar experience.

I used to visit a lot of library websites.  Some of those old D7 sites have stuck with Drupal but a lot of them have gone to WordPress.  

I'm struggling to understand the reluctance to doing basic market research

Hi, steve2020

Maybe you can do it?

 

Already in progress -- I've registered druplus.org --> update: just found prior use of 'druplus' on the Drupal website. Will be deleting this site in due course -- site deleted

The other library didn’t choose Backdrop for the same reason I almost wasn’t allowed to use it. There weren’t enough sites using Backdrop. There was a fear that it was new and wouldn’t be around at some point. More people used Drupal so it was safer. 

I highly recommend adding a FAQ as a separate menu entry to the main backdropcms.org menu, with a rang of questions that address all the issues

With each question having its own url (so people can share on social media etc).

And playing devil advocate, to really address some of the (often) unspoken concerns, such as

Q. I hear backdropcms is a relatively new system. I'm concerned it might not progress or be around for long. Why should my team invest time, money and energy migrating our existing D7 sites to this system?

Q. I'm a novice web admin, and was looking around for a good cms. I've seen many reviews that Drupal is hard to learn. Is backdropcms, originally derived from Drupal, any easier to learn?

The answers should be succinct, reassuring, and factual.

I just compiled many of the comments and suggestions that have been outlined in this conversation, so that we can discuss them at an upcoming Outreach meeting. 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DNHDYs2rquFBqg9cG1kNaFOIAXeOV1SEZ8nQ...

Anyone with link can comment on this doc, make suggestions. It's just a quick draft attempt to organize this excellent conversation. 

Some follow-up questions?

1) Do you know of any events, conferences, meetups, or podcasts that we should be reaching out to or engaging with? Specifically, non-Drupal sources.

2) What can we do with BackdropCMS.org to make it a more effective Outreach or Marketing tool?

3) How can we better support geographic or language based user groups

EDIT: YES, please keep making suggestions here.

But, if you have ideas to improve the summary doc, feel free to make comments there as well if that is easier.

Tim

I read through your draft. Would it not be better to make suggestions here?

Primarily, a FAQ on the home page of backdropcms, not hidden away on this this forum).

And the first few questions would best be playing devil's advocate, to capture those sitting on the fence. Followed by a link to the FAQ here https://forum.backdropcms.org/faq

Address the main issues, front and centre.

In business management, sales, marketing circles we used to remind ourselves, "customers don't complain, they just don't come back".

In a similar vein, admins considering migrating won't bother if we don't make it easy for them, by immediately dispelling their concerns.

Reading the comments on this topic, I am extremely happy with how many zealous and loving supporters of the system Backdrop has.

@stpaultim

The list prepared by you is extremely detailed and useful as a summary and work plan. I am confident that the community will deal with those issues as before - steadfastly and with a lot of patience.

It is not urgent, these problems will be solved calmly and naturally when the time comes. One of the major advantages of open source software over commercialism is its consistent and patient, persistent movement forward without revolutions and unexpected innovations.

I would like to make just a few brief additions to the previous discussion.

1.

Backdrop CMS - the name has already been given, the christening has been performed, it is pointless to raise this issue again. If the system lacks the desired number of followers, the reason is not the name. Neither Ford nor Opel's names shine with originality, but they are successful brands.

2.

The real need is not for renaming, but for good marketing and advertising. And without wanting to offend anyone, I will point out that a person can be a perfect and unique programmer, but it is possible that same person does not understand marketing and advertising also well. And vice versa.

3.

Research, surveys and especially marketing research are also difficult professions requiring serious education and years of experience, and if such work is to be done, relevant professionals must be found, including specialists in statistical information processing. Home-made questionnaires only confuse the picture and do not provide useful information, and there are great opportunities to make wrong decisions based on unreliable information.

4.

BD's site is full of useful information, but graphically unconvincing and uninteresting. Today I stumbled upon two sites, another type of open source software, and I was amazed - we don't need to find hot water - here's how:

https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/

https://inkscape.org/

Draw Freely | Inkscape

Attention - the Inkskape logo has no color - it is black and white. The effect comes from the simplicity and beautiful typography.

Short, very expressive and impressive. And I thought of something like that

Freely web design | Backdrop CMS

5.

An Eastern proverb says: one drawing says more than a thousand words.

In the context of this discussion, I thought, the Backdrop site is great as a wealth of information, many thousands of words but aren't they too few to say that there are no drawings at all?

Well, I know that exclude the dragon \in itself an excellent drawing|, but for God's sake, hardly an outside visitor knows what this dragon has to do with the logo and why it's there.

6.

Finally, a very specific and, in my opinion, working proposal, easy to implement and with immediate results:

The BD website has a working section - Showcase:

https://backdropcms.org/showcase

It seems to me that it will not be difficult for everyone who published their site there, if they wish, to attach the theme, templates and layouts they used for the creation of this site - with a simple ZIP archive there is one additional field for uploading such an attachment.

Other registered users of the site will decide for themselves how and whether to use such information, and developers of the system can decide and include it after appropriate processing in accordance with established standards in the official resource of downloads.

Here is an example of a small brochure site I made with my own theme with a completely original design. It can also work for anyone who wants to work with Backdrop, who needs a similar theme.

https://mebelibgplus1.com

I would adjust this theme according to the established standards if someone would guide me how to do it. My attempt to make my own themes comes from Drupal 7 and as such is probably inappropriate in BD times.

If the system lacks the desired number of followers, the reason is not the name.

That is your opinion. What market research data do you have that confirms or even partially supports that opinion?

"it is pointless to ignore this issue again" -- there you go, a bit of balance, again.

Listen ya'll .. I'm the sort of person who asks the awkward questions. People invite me to places twice, second time to apologize.

As to market research ... it's really not that hard. Walk out your front door, walk down the street, ask the first 50 people you meet, "Excuse me (with hand on your heart), do you mind if I ask, what's the first thing you think of, when I say the word 'backdrop'?"

or, "hi there, can I ask  what comes to mind when I say the word 'backdrop'?

[update] - I see by the push-back, changing the name won't happen. But were it ever to become a majority concern, I thought of 'staplecms' (available). It implies/means substance/fundamental, and joining things together. That said, ciao.

Re: the complaint that Backdrop has a name that doesn't have a meaning...

What does "Drupal" mean?

And what are the meanings of the following names...?

  • Apple
  • Chevrolet
  • Xerox

A product name need not be meaningful in and of itself. It's enough for it to be inspiring and/or catchy. 

So the question is, how do we make it meaningful? Suggestions:

  • Your Backdrop for success.
  • Are you using the right Backdrop?
  • We provide the Backdrop; Your content provides the focus.
  • Present your ideas before a Backdrop of functionality.
  • Nice website. What's your Backdrop? 

"the complaint that Backdrop has a name that doesn't have a meaning"

to whom are you referring? I commented that in my opinion backdrop has a negative connotation, despite whatever the detail of the technical merit of its derivation.

As to Drupal, it was new (name) and thus offered the opportunity to define or characterize the cms. Backdrop already has connotations, some beneficial, most, imo, negative.

I just saw that in the last year (Jan, 2021 - Jan 2022) only around 400 sites were added to usage statistics. Seriously? 400 sites per year?

Look, something is obviously not working. Well, that is assuming the cms is competent, useful, etc. Which, in my experience, it most certainly is. So again, what is going on, or more to the point, what is NOT going on.

Why not set some goals.

You've got 550,000+ D7 sites that are prime candidates for migration. And around 10 months for those sites to migrate. Why not set a target of near half that number, say 250,000 in 10 months. With the benefit of simple arithmetic, that's 25,000 sites per month.

Using basic business acumen, that's the S in S.M.A.R.T criteria sorted, along with M and T. (S = specific, M = measurable, T = time scaled).

That only leaves A and R -- A, in project management circles means  "assigned to", which is to say, where does the buck stop. Who's responsible for that goal being met, and if it isn't met, who's going to be held accountable. A is also 'achievable' (depends on the goal, environment etc). R = realistic, relevant. Most here, I expect would say, it isn't realistic.

Well, here's an idea, why not start with imaging that it is achievable. What stands in the way of that achievement?

 

 

BWPanda's picture

I'm not a marketer, so I'll leave the marketing to the marketing people. But as a core committer, I'll speak to the technical aspects of a name change...

When Drupal was first forked, we had ourselves a project called 'Drupal'. The word 'drupal' was all through the codebase. Now, we couldn't keep the name 'Drupal' for obvious reasons, so we came up with our own name: 'Backdrop'. We then changed the word 'drupal' in the codebase to 'backdrop'. But because we value backwards compatibility and want people's experience migrating from Drupal to Backdrop to be as easy as possible, we added a compatibility layer that means all the 'drupal' code/functions still work. And this will stay in place for at least the next 3 years.

Now, if we were to change our name again, we'd have to go through and change all the 'backdrop' references to our new name. And for backwards compatibility, we'd have to add another compatibility layer to make sure all 'backdrop' code/functions still work. I imagine this second compatibility layer would need to stick around for version 2, so it'd likely not be removed until version 3. And who knows when that'll be...

My point is that a name change involves a lot of work, a lot of extra code, and references to the old name will stick around for a long time (a reference to Drupal was found in core in 2020, 6 years after the name change).

So if we were to aim for migrating 250,000 sites over the next 10 months, I think the time and effort involved in just changing the name throughout core would be wasted.

(I'm also against a name change for sentimental reasons.)

"So if we were to aim for migrating 250,000 sites over the next 10 month"

Well, that was a suggestion. What goal would you like to set, so that we can agree to remove the "if"?

As to the name change, let's for the moment accept it's not helping admins get excited about migrating to BD. Keeping in mind there's a whole stack of government sites that are still D7, the management of gov. IT being, as a general rule, conservative. What could motivate a conservative gov. IT manager to shift to BD? I'd expect they're looking for stability (so they can keep their job). They might not be ideal candidates, given their need for such.

As to small business IT admins, what comfort, safety, certainty can be offered?

This, I think, would need to heavily emphasize the heritage of Drupal's security, and the relatively less secure alternatives. This, could be the key for gov. sites, but I'm not sure.

Also, why not address concerns about (a perceived) lack of future with BD. How hard would it be to migrate a BD site to Wordpress (as a fail-safe). If that were an option, you've immediately taken a lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) out of the equation. We know that D7 sites are going to Wordpress, so if that alternative (BD to Wordpress) was similarly available, that might offer sufficient comfort for many to migrate to BD, given the many technical benefits of doing so, with the option, should things not work out, of bailing out to Wordpress. In other words, all upsides, little to no down-side going with BD.

There is one concern that I've just realized -- how much of BD security alerts echo D7 security alerts? What happens after Nov. 2022? Are there sufficient 'hands on' to fill the void?

I used the word "complaint" in the most generic or legal sense, not meaning to infer that anyone was "complaining" in the vernacular sense. I hope my clinical choice of words is not interpreted as vitriolic in any way. I think someone, somewhere, commented as to the lack of meaning in the name. It was this to which I was responding...

steve2020, I am somewhat in agreement with you that perhaps "Backdrop" was not the best choice of a name, due to some possibly negative connotations that might be drawn. I think the community would do well, however, to simply take it with all of its associated psychological ramifications, deal with it, and GO FORWARD, making it into something great (which we know it is!)—especially given the exorbitant costs, both tangible and intangible, of changing the name at this juncture.

Now, if I may be indulged, I offer the following tongue-in-cheek conciliatory observation. I know that as premier software developers, our culture isn't necessarily in sync with popular punk culture (which seems to seek self-deprecation to the extreme, as a sarcastic commentary to society at large), but consider the following entities who have not let negative connotations of their names bother them.

  • The rock group, Garbage
  • Butthole Surfers (it's not easy for me to be this crass)

Okay, joke-time's over. There are other examples:

This is all just to say that I don't think anyone should get hung up on the name. It is what it is. And it's not as though the name is something really disgusting or bad! We're not trying to promote a CMS called "Waste-O-Time," "Spaghetti-Code CMS," "Old-Tech Junk," or something. It's Backdrop, which is just humble enough to be truly recognized as the best solution out there for the market to which it is targeted.

Like every other brand that is the best in its field, it will become recognized as such, regardless of its name.

ericfoy

"I hope my clinical choice of words is not interpreted as vitriolic in any way."

I am not in the least concerned by any comments, be they vitriolic, or what ever their nature, unless they presume my intent.

You have a great CMS, yet D7 admins are not migrating to it. My intent is simple: I ask why are they not doing so?

I couldn't care less about the name.  My concern is, it is causing hesitancy, or lack of confidence? If it is, then find or create a solution. A fork to 'staplecms.org' might entice some. Who knows.

End state visualization: 100,000 backdrop sites (within a year). Right, go there, work backwards. What got us there?

When I do that exercise, I get a sense the current name doesn't resonate (with that future). That might be my prejudice clouding the path to that future. If enough do the exercise, the path will make itself apparent. Judging by the comments in this thread, it seems to me few, if any, have dwelled in that future, and are thus uninformed about what to do (to create that future).

in business circles (and sports psychology) this stuff if basic, elementary.
In Covey's "7 habits of highly effective people", first rule is "begin with the end in mind."

Well, what end is in the mind of those commenting here? If no end is set, imagined, or planned, not much chance of achieving much of anything, imo.

Again, what does everyone here have in mind, to achieve? And by when? If 100,000 sites is too ambitious, then pick a number, and go for it.

My question here is: what number of "backdrop" sites does everyone here have in mind, that are active (per the stats) on Friday 26 February, 2023?

I should add, that question requires right-hemisphere work, not left-hemisphere analysis and detail. Engaged by 'letting go' what you know, and imagining what you want. It's a creative process. Best results achieved on first waking in the morning.

BWPanda's picture

"Your content needs the perfect backdrop. Find it here!" 😁

"Your content needs the perfect backdrop. Find it here!"

In my business development experience (e.g. NLP), people perceive the world, as a general rule by favoring one of three primary modalities -- V. A. K (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic)

V = visual. Backdrop, per the above, is a visual reference. A's and K's are less likely to grok what you mean.

So, how to appeal to A's -- speak in a language they resonate with (that's part of the process, resonate relates to auditory and kinaesthetic/feeling). I'm not sure backdrop can be given meaning for an auditory person -- it's pretty much purely visual (as in photography). Likewise for feeling-orientated people, there's not much to feel about a backdrop.

I previously intuitively felt the name was a problem -- I'm now thinking more about it, and starting to realise why I felt that (yeah, you guess right, I'm primarily kinaesthetic).

Thing is, those making management decisions about what cms to use, won't necessarily be V's. Often, in management, they're K's, that is they're feeling-orientated (high EQ) people-orientated. So, in that context, "backdrop" means little, if anything to them.

drop's picture

Wow, this topic reached over 50 posts.

That's long enough that we found a bug in the pager. The bug briefly prevented access to comments #51 and #52. We've found a temporary solution. All comments are once again available. 

Thanks to everyone for their participation.

indigoxela's picture

Hey people, before this is getting out of bounds...

@bwpanda wow, that aspect of a name change wasn't even clear to me, but that's correct!

@steve2020 that means for you, that this will and can never happen. Renaming is off the board, the most important reason: it's simply not doable. Please at least try to understand.

Let's stay constructive, let's put effort in something feasible, like giving the name "Backdrop" a positive meaning. Several good suggestions have already been made here.

"Please at least try to understand."

It's not I who needs to understand, it is the customer who may not bother with BD (especially management folk who aren't necessarily visually orientated, and thus do not 'grok' a term that appeals to visually-orientated people).

Question is, how to ameliorate what is likely for some to be initially ignored (by said AK folk). Solution might be to have a tag line that emphasizes comfort, resonance, safety, surety, security, being a sound-choice, etc.

 

A few more topics to think about "how to improve our outreach efforts":

• The Drupal community is very stressed by everything that has happened since Drupal 7 and is therefore extremely skeptical of any new projects - what is the probability that they will not degenerate in the same way? The reliability of Drupal 7, even in the face of the dangers of EOL in November 2022 in this regard, would seem preferable to the possibility of any other Drupal fork at some point trying to cash in on its popularity in the interests of large developers with huge development budgets and maintenance.

• Many are probably waiting for new opportunities to appear as the deadline for the fateful EOL approaches - and there are already - you are probably familiar with YAD7.

• It is also a fact that Drupal 7 itself is a great and powerful system and this is evident from the fact that on the site of drupal.org in its HEAD section is the meta tag:

<meta name = "generator" content = "Drupal 7 (https://www.drupal.org)">

• I administer several small sites with Drupal 6 and so far they have not had any risks or problems at work. But something much more important - the site of Sofia Airport was made with Drupal 6 (I have nothing to do with this site) and still works perfectly, integrated with dozens of custom modules and integration with external systems (the developers shared this in the Bulgarian forum for Drupal, which no longer exists). https://www.sofia-airport.bg/

• The decade we live in today is different, full of tensions and problems that have nothing to do with Drupal or Backdrop. And the fact that people don't perceive or notice Backdrop with the necessary attention and positive evaluation is most likely not a problem of the brand, of this CMS as software or its marketing strategy, or even of the imperfections in the design of the site, but of quite different external causes.

•  I fully support what indigoxela wrote minutes ago:

"Let's stay constructive, let's put effort into something feasible, like giving the name" Backdrop "a positive meaning."

I would add: Backdrop has an excellent philosophy and the right long-term goals and principles. Let us trust them and let the temporary failures in attracting new followers not prevent us from believing in the great future.

New followers will come - when they are convinced of the long-term viability of the project and constant fidelity to the set principles. They are not yet members of the community, but they are certainly closely and constantly monitoring what is happening here.

• I find an indirect but convincing for me reason for this permanently attention to the events in the Backdrop community in the fact that the topic of "Backdrop" is absolutely taboo on the sites of vocal adherents of Drupal 8, 9 and 10). I mean the thousands of publications only last few months (as if coordinated action, even the words, topics and advises are similar as if written under indigo) that warn users of Drupal 7 EOL about the need to update their sites and all there is not a word about Backdrop CMS as an opportunity. It only shows fear, and that fear is encouraging, at least for me.

 

Backdrop (framework for front end) goes well with Bootstrap (framework for front end).   Names seem to have some similarity.

Backdrops allow you to set the stage and enhance the decoration with the visual impact that makes a presentation unforgettable

I know another one:

Russian - https://www.backdrop.ru/

But it is weak and very underdeveloped, it looks more like an intention and a placeholder than a really useful site. The poor state of this site is inexplicable to me, the site is an initiative of Alan Mels - a name that should be known to the community (if it is the same person):

https://www.altagrade.com/blog/altagrade-donates-domain-name-backdroporg...

I have registered the domain:
https://backdropcms.eu/

The site is under construction due to a changed original plan.

It will be a textbook and forum for Backdrop CMS in Bulgarian, and I will translate partly what I can into English as well. Currently the site is blocked due to ongoing work on it, I will open it at the first useful results.

"The only truth is reality" (Aristotle -> Kant -> JDP):

- Backdrop has its own name: BACKDROP
- Backdrop is NOT Drupal
- Backdrop already has 7 years old and a few more of development (and continues to evolve)
- Backdrop is developed by volunteers only
- Backdrop is today the engine of almost 2,000 websites (source: builtwith.com)
- Backdrop traces its own future (does not depend on corporations)
- Backdrop "will always be free" (according to its own developers)
- 1 + 1 = 2 (yet)

 

 

At first glance, this is off topic, but it is actually is something important that should be kept in mind.

I only have 4 sites left with Drupal 7 that I haven't converted to Backdrop yet.

Today I enter for the necessary update of these sites to the latest security version of Drupal 7.

And I see an extremely unpleasant surprise on the page "available updates " - in all these sites works also module Colorbox and the last message is that this module is no longer supported and should be uninstalled and replaced with another. Which other module is unclear and what is the point if Drupal 7 support expires in a few months?

https://www.drupal.org/project/colorbox

At the same time, statistics show that this module is used by 156,972 sites with all versions of Drupal.

https://www.drupal.org/project/usage/colorbox

From a marketing point of view, this should be a huge number of dissatisfied Drupal users. And if we have the task "How to improve our Outreach efforts?"

The discussion here is also indicative:

https://www.drupal.org/project/colorbox/issues/3260933

 

 

 

indigoxela's picture

At first glance, this is off topic, but it is actually is something important

What we can learn from that is, how not to treat contributors, or the community in general.

Although the handling of abandoned modules with a known security problem is pretty similar in Backdrop - which makes sense, because security is important - the communication with potential new maintainers is pretty different.

The Drupal security team seems to expect some humility. I'm pretty sure the Backdrop team would offer help instead of nagging.

Sure, the end-user (customer) may not be aware of how potential contributors get treated in a project, but who would volunteer to do promotion for a project with bad vibes?

The case of the Colorbox module for Drupal has nevertheless received a positive development - the panicked call that it is unsupported yet and needs to be uninstalled immediately (as previously was written in the available updates section) to be a premature alarm, unreasonably arousing fears in a huge number of users.

This confirms your insight that "What we can learn from that is, how not to treat contributors, or the community in general."

https://www.drupal.org/project/colorbox/releases/7.x-2.16

@Irina_Zaks and I just had an excellent exchange in the chat room about empowering and encouraging folks to take action on outreach issues. In my personal opinion, I think folks overestimate the leadership structure in the Backdrop community and their/our role in setting an Outreach agenda. Most of what happens, happens because someone steps up and says I'd like to do this and then starts working on it. Often others in the group offer feedback or support. 

Maybe, we should be more organized and take a more structured approach. I'd be in favor of that. There is no organized opposition to this idea, as far as I know, we just need more folks willing to bring their leadership, marketing, and organization skills to our group and to our meetings. We really need more volunteers and we need help managing the volunteers we already have. 

Many of the ideas in this discussion thread are things that folks can work on without permission or endorsement by the Backdrop community. If you want to work on something and need support, just ask us. The best place to ask for support is during one of our meetings, but the Forum or Zulip can work as well. 

Some of the ideas - including changes to BackdropCMS itself, our name, or our website do require a little coalition building. But, often the coalition is already there just waiting for someone with the time or skills to do the work or at least lead the charge. 

I think we all know that we should improve the presentation of contrib projects on BackdropCMS.org, we just need someone to chair the committee or initiate the work. There will be many opinions on how to best accomplish this task, but there will also be much gratitude for those who get us started.

Many of us would love to help you, we just don't have time to take charge, because we are already working on a half dozen other Backdrop CMS projects already.

Tomorrow (Thursday, Feb 3 - 8PM UTC) is our next Outreach meeting. I look forward to seeing some of you there. Please, bring your energy and skills to help us implement some of the great ideas that were put forward in this discussion thread. 

Thursday, Feb 3

8:00PM UTC
(Check here for the time in your local time zone)
 

Back story...  

I've not been around much over the past 8 weeks due to burnout...  By December I'd run out of steam and accomplished very little in the last three weeks of 2021 (apart from rest and recuperation)...  The first couple of weeks in January I spent finalising our company accounts but since the second week of January work has taken off again.

I've taken on another five websites to create and all will be using Backdrop... 

With that in mind, and with wanting to support Backdrop and the team... I am putting aside a few hours a week to do whatever needs doing and helping out in whatever area needs help, even the mundane stuff.

If everyone who makes money from producing websites with Backdrop or who has a vested interest in Backdrop, you may operate a personal site or site for a non-profit organisation... then why not offer to also put aside a few hours a week to help?

------------------

From my perspective, I don't care that D7 will go end of life in 2022 and I know all, and I do mean ALL of my customers (I look after 217 domains and over 170 websites) don't care either; 99% of them don't even know what CMS I use or care what CMS I use, so long as I get the job done.

Most of the security warnings for D7 over the past x months/years have nearly always been mitigated by the fact that someone needs access to the creation of content for the security "hole" to be a problem... ergo... it's not a problem for the vast majority of site creators or owners.

So, I don't think that focusing on D7 EOL is a worthwhile avenue to pursue.

The reason I chose Backdrop is not because of D7's demise, but because D8/D9 were not as usable for me as a small developer/creator/host and Backdrop fit's the bill nicely.

We do need to decide on the target audience and not just assume because we are looking from our perspective because we all have a bias, it's just the way our minds work... 

What I would like to see is an overhaul of the b-org site, to make it more appealing and to make it look more professional... no disrespect to the site's contributors, it just needs some work.

I've also found the documentation side of the site very frustrating... it assumes (and you shouldn't) that the reader knows what the article is talking about...  yes, It can't be all things to all readers, but I think it needs work.

I'd like to see the newsletters being produced more frequently but I don't know how many readers there are so I can't know if it's worth the effort or not. Does any know the mailing list size and open rates etc...?

Well, that's it for now... time moves on and I've got animals to feed...

Hope this is useful and you should start to see more of me in the forums on github and in the meetings.

Always Backdrop

Steve

Great comment, I read it with real pleasure, thank you DrAlbany! I also agree with all assessments of the situation and suggestions for improvements.

The text made me think and realize that, contrary to what I thought so far, Backdrop is valuable to me not so much as a graphic and web designer, but as an entrepreneur with a small freelance business. And from this point of view, Backdrop is not a product, but a tool for work.

That my clients are important and they don't care what content management system I work with, but whether I do useful work for them. That my attempts to explain to them the technical aspects of the work and the advantages of Backdrop are a waste of time.

And this is very important in the context of the title of the forum topic: How to improve our Outreach efforts?

Namely - it makes little sense to emphasize the systemic advantages of Backdrop as software because it makes us think of it as a product to be advertised.

I think it would be more appropriate to focus on real sites made with Backdrop and demonstrate their functionality, and technical aspects to remain in the background for those who are more interested in and impressed by the real product - our websites.

Finally, I especially liked the finale of this comment - I will print it in large size and frame it in my office:

Always Backdrop!

Just a quick update about our Outreach meeting yesterday. We had at least 9 people there and others that showed up at the wrong time (but we will see them again soon). 

There was some followup discussion about further development of personas, so that we better understand who our audience is and what message we are sending. We have some skilled volunteers with experience in this field that are willing to work on this. 

There was some work on this done years ago that can be used as a starting point. 

We also spent quite a bit of time discussing how to better follow-through with ideas and initiatives. In my view, as I have stated pretty clearly, we need better processes and structures to set goals and implement plans. 

Right now, we spend lots of time generating ideas of things to do, but we are not so good at follow-up and execution of ideas. 

We do get a lot done, but we do it in a very disorganized and inconsistent way. I see lots of room for improvement here.

Another follow-up on this discussion. Every 4 months Backdrop LIVE is a big opportunity for us to welcome new people into our community. We need as much help as possible spreading the word and making sure people know about this opportunity. 

Here is how you can help.

  1. If you plan to attend and have not registered, please do so now. 
    https://events.backdropcms.org/
  2. Login to the site and comment on some of the topic ideas. Ask questions or suggest useful resources. Help us build momentum ahead of the event. 
    https://events.backdropcms.org/schedule
  3. Post something on social media, whichever channels you use. Also, like, share, and retweet our content - but, it will be more effective if you can create your own original post. #backdropcms or #backdroplive
  4. Do you know of any websites, blogs, or podcasts that might be interested in or willing to make an announcement about Backdrop LIVE? If so, let us know.

We hope to break attendance records from our previous 4 Backdrop LIVE events. This week is the time to get folks interested.