GreatHome - Tell the story of a lifetime! https://greatalbum.net/ en Why GreatAlbum is different from photo storage services https://greatalbum.net/blog/why-greatalbum-different-photo-storage-services <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Why GreatAlbum is different from photo storage services</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="photo sharing logos" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e6a32074-b989-48a0-9ac7-bfef67044052" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/photo_sharing_logos-2.png" class="align-right" />I was recently talking with another founder in the Pioneer community. He was questioning the viability of GreatAlbum and pointed me to the 2015 article <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2015/2/2/7964663/why-every-photo-storage-startup-dies-or-gets-acquired">Why every photo storage startup dies or gets acquired</a>. Even though this article is six years old (a lifetime in high tech startup land), the situation is remarkably unchanged since then:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Apple’s Photo Stream is all but incomprehensible to me. Google’s photo product, while very good, is buried inside Google+. Amazon’s photo storage service, tied to Prime, is just getting started. Facebook’s service is designed more for sharing photos than for organizing them. Dropbox’s Carousel seems to exist for the sole purpose of helping people consume their Dropbox storage.</em></p> <p><em>No wonder people keep building superior services: it’s impossible to store your photos with Apple, or Google, or Amazon, and not imagine you could do it better. And the need grows larger every day. Last year, trend forecaster Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins estimated that we upload 1.8 billion photos to the internet a day, up from 500 million the year before.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>With this in mind, GreatAlbum aims not to compete with photo storage services (Apple, Google, Amazon, Flickr) or social media services (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). Instead, our goal is to provide a value-added service on top of them. GreatAlbum assumes that you want to keep your photos in one of the major photo sharing services, where you have more trust in their future preservation. It imports the "metadata" from those photos (date, location, descriptions, etc.) and helps you organize them in ways that make it much easier to browse, share and enjoy your photos and videos. Two of the most common ways we envision this to happen are:</p> <p>1. In an existing Album, for an event you are documenting, members can link their remote photos from Apple/Amazon/Google/etc. to a common structure of Event, with tagged Individuals and Place, and even write their own stories about how they experienced the event. </p> <p>2. You can authorize GreatAlbum to import hundreds or thousands of photos into a private album. GreatAlbum will then go through them all, look for patterns based on date, location and faces. It will then auto-create events, based on those patterns (such as 10 or more photos on a given date and location), and tag date, location and individuals who were present. You can then review/refine those events and share them, with their related media/content, in other albums where they belong, with specific memberships for their common interests.</p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/author/erik" lang="" about="/author/erik" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Erik</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 01/22/2021 - 02:33</span> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class='title comment-form__title'>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=61&amp;2=field_comments&amp;3=comment" token="PwtiYegkXYxzPrxFN2t3RdkYX8LiPWkbixhXYpDDXz8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 22 Jan 2021 02:33:38 +0000 Erik 61 at https://greatalbum.net Presenting Sessions at NERD Summit 2021 https://greatalbum.net/blog/presenting-sessions-nerd-summit-2021 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Presenting Sessions at NERD Summit 2021</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>As part of cultivating a support network on my journey to build GreatAlbum, I've gotten involved with the New England Regional Developers (NERD) group over the past year. I attended <a href="https://2020.nerdsummit.org/">NERD Summit 2020</a>, where I got some great insights on a few topics relevant to GreatAlbum.</p> <p>This year at <a href="https://nerdsummit.org/">NERD Summit 2021</a>, while I expect to continue to learn from others, I also wanted to contribute something back to the community, which of course if it stimulates any interaction will also end up generating further insights for my team as well. I'm actually planning to present one session myself, and then have one of my team members co-present a second session, which will then continue into a Birds of a Feather Session on Day 2. Below are the session proposals, in case you're interested. I'll update this post with presentations once they're available. </p> <h3>Proposed Session #1 - Non-Technical Founder's Approach to Agile Project Mgmt</h3> <p>Are you a non-technical Founder or Project Manager wondering how best to define the requirements and manage the development of a website or app? Attend this session to learn how one such non-technical Founder went about it - mistakes made, lessons learned, approach now being followed. A few highlights of the session:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Started on <a href="http://backlog.com/">Backlog.com</a> - tried to manage requirements &amp; tasks in a simple issue tracker, discovered that didn’t work</p> </li> <li> <p>Adopted Atlassian Confluence and Jira for knowledge and project mgmt</p> </li> <li> <p>Adopted agile project mgmt, generally as described by Atlassian</p> </li> <li> <p>Use Google Sheets to analyze distribution of tasks between team members, components, sprints, etc.</p> </li> <li> <p>Key Take-Aways</p> </li> </ul> <p> </p> <h3>Proposed Session #2 - Advanced Group &amp; Media Functionality on a Drupal8 site</h3> <p>In this session, we’ll demonstrate how we have utilized advanced capabilities of Groups and Media in Drupal8 to build the GreatAlbum site.</p> <p>Some key features we’ll review include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Sending invites to non-site users via email and having them accept/register</p> </li> <li> <p>Making media entities part of group content</p> </li> <li> <p>Group view includes a stream of content/media</p> </li> <li> <p>Group tabs, so show streams for each content type</p> </li> <li> <p>Group Activities document creation and updates of content/media in the group</p> </li> <li> <p>Google Photos integration - create media entities in the group based on Google Photo Albums</p> </li> <li> <p>Enabling content/media to belong to more than one Group</p> </li> <li> <p>View all your content/media across Groups</p> </li> </ul> <p>Features yet to implement</p> <ul> <li> <p>Open and Public Groups, to go along with the Private Groups initially implemented</p> </li> <li> <p>Non Members can request to join a Group and be approved/denied</p> </li> <li> <p>Share an Event and all its related content (Stories, Individuals, Place, Media) to another Group in one bulk operation</p> </li> </ul></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/author/erik" lang="" about="/author/erik" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Erik</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 01/11/2021 - 03:53</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above clearfix"> <h3 class="field__label">Tags</h3> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/tag/nerd-summit" hreflang="en">NERD Summit</a></li> </ul> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class='title comment-form__title'>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=59&amp;2=field_comments&amp;3=comment" token="gnZtDFicOWgCKq097R7lGf5Ui5VqPGrtiwYC9C-VNpE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 11 Jan 2021 03:53:36 +0000 Erik 59 at https://greatalbum.net How to Find a Technical Founder/CTO https://greatalbum.net/blog/how-find-technical-founder-cto <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">How to Find a Technical Founder/CTO</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="TechSpeak for Entrepreneurs" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="3653238a-4f61-417e-a267-2905fb5e86e1" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/TechSpeak_ProductMockup_Horizontal-v3.png" width="50%" class="align-right" />Today I attended a webinar on <a href="https://www.techspeakforentrepreneurs.com/find-tech-founder/">How to find a technical founder/CTO</a>. It was hosted by <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/digitalwoman/">Nelly Yusupova</a>, a CTO with over 18 years experience, leading companies to technical excellence. She is a startup tech advisor, outsourced CTO, and the creator of <a href="https://bit.ly/39yEWLT">TechSpeak for Entrepreneurs</a>. The stated goal of the webinar was to learn:</p> <ul> <li>Where to find a tech cofounder or CTO</li> <li>How to build your tech network so you have a better chance of finding a tech cofounder or CTO</li> <li>How to evaluate if someone would make a great CTO or tech co-founder</li> <li>The strategy for building your MVP without a technical co-founder or CTO so you can attract them to your company</li> </ul> <p>Overall, the webinar was worthwhile. She did share useful perspectives on the stated topics. She also pitched her online master class. As she explained, the class covers ten modules: </p> <ul> <li>Module 1: Validate &amp; Refine the Idea</li> <li>Module 2: Build an Interactive Prototype</li> <li>Module 3: Create Technical Specifications</li> <li>Module 4: Pick The Right Tools &amp; Technologies</li> <li>Module 5: Determine the Price and Budget &amp; Define Your MVP</li> <li>Module 6: Hire a Tech Team</li> <li>Module 7: Design Your MVP</li> <li>Module 8: Project Manage The Coding of the MVP</li> <li>Module 9: Hosting, Security, and Scaling Techniques</li> <li>Module 10: Refine product based on data</li> </ul> <p>It was great to walk through this and understand her suggested approach to building a team and a minimum viable product (MVP), even if you're not technical, and in the process "earn" a technical cofounder/CTO. As she completed the overview of her masterclass, I was really happy to conclude that the journey of GreatAlbum so far has already reached Module 8 with our <a href="/blog/private-beta-launched">Private Beta Launch</a> and is currently working on both Module 8 and 9 items as we stabilize and enhance the product, accept more users into the Private Beta and prepare for a Public Beta.</p> <p>I'm there is still lots I could learn from masterclass, but for now I'm happy just to receive validation that we're on a good course. I'll continue to focus on optimizing the team, cultivating user engagement and pitching our vision to advisors and potential investors!</p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/author/erik" lang="" about="/author/erik" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Erik</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 12/16/2020 - 01:35</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above clearfix"> <h3 class="field__label">Tags</h3> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/tag/mvp" hreflang="en">MVP</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/cto" hreflang="en">CTO</a></li> </ul> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class='title comment-form__title'>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=60&amp;2=field_comments&amp;3=comment" token="3oM1W6fh8EI2uThgB8UErmTjZANREN2KhYgHsT2bK-s"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 16 Dec 2020 01:35:28 +0000 Erik 60 at https://greatalbum.net GreatAlbum Joins Pioneer App Community https://greatalbum.net/blog/greatalbum-joins-pioneer-app-community <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">GreatAlbum Joins Pioneer App Community</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>As I was reading through some <a href="https://dcgross.com/posts">blog posts by Daniel Gross</a>, I stumbled up an app/community he helped build, called Pioneer. Pioneer is both an app and a community. It helps founders track progress, get advice, and get funded. In a nutshell, the way it works is members compete in the weekly Pioneer Tournament:</p> <p>Step 1 - Join with your project</p> <ul> <li>Register, fill out a profile about you as a person/founder</li> <li>Fill in a detailed profile about your startup project or business</li> </ul> <p>Step 2 - Compete in the Pioneer Tournament</p> <ul> <li>Each week, there's a process that takes place</li> <li>Sunday, submit a progress update on your project</li> <li>Monday, it gets reviewed by 5-10 other Pioneer members who give feedback </li> <li>Tuesday, Leaderboards are updated with latest rankings; we each review feedback and rate the top three comments</li> <li>Thursday, for a select group, participate in a leaders zoom call, where we break out in small groups to discuss challenges we're working through</li> </ul> <p>Step 3 - Reach the Global Top 50</p> <ul> <li>The goal is to become on of the top 50 players in the Pioneer Tournament</li> <li>Of course, most don't achieve that, so they complete to be one of the top players on the regional leaderboards: US East, US West, Americas (Non-US), Europe, Africa, Asia &amp; Oceania</li> </ul> <p>Step 4 - Get selected by an expert to become a Pioneer</p> <ul> <li>For Pioneers who are recognized as one of the top players, they occasionally receive the <a href="https://pioneer.app/offer">Pioneer Offer</a>. For a 1% of your company, you receive access to a network of elite founders. a 2-month remote startup accelerator program, and a whole bunch of other perks</li> </ul> <p>I've documented all my submissions so far, along with top feedback comments at <a href="https://help.greatalbum.net/topic/greatalbum-involvement-pioneer-community" hreflang="en">GreatAlbum Involvement in Pioneer Community</a>. </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/author/erik" lang="" about="/author/erik" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Erik</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 12/07/2020 - 04:58</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above clearfix"> <h3 class="field__label">Tags</h3> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/tag/pioneer-app" hreflang="en">Pioneer App</a></li> </ul> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class='title comment-form__title'>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=63&amp;2=field_comments&amp;3=comment" token="WLLVZJ1iGwCxgfAB-mkwhiIeEIOxr9HTXsh8Zz0iJNo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 07 Dec 2020 04:58:51 +0000 Erik 63 at https://greatalbum.net GreatAlbum Private Beta Launched! https://greatalbum.net/blog/private-beta-launched <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">GreatAlbum Private Beta Launched!</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="beta launch" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4a63fc30-8a04-4357-b96c-95a99fc80063" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/beta-launch.png" width="400" class="align-right" />I've very excited to announce the launch of the Private Beta for GreatAlbum. We're calling it GreatAlbum v0.8.0. Why that version? Well, as mentioned in <a href="https://greatalbum.net/blog/where-greatalbum">Where is GreatAlbum?</a>, we're starting with <strong>Private Beta (v0.8)</strong>, followed by <strong>Public Beta (v0.9)</strong> and then finally <strong>General Availability (v1.0)</strong>.</p> <p>I want to offer my huge thanks to the development team that has been at this most of the year - Angel, Ashley, Kevin, Negi, Sahana, Shilpa &amp; Thomas. </p> <p>If you want to join the list of people interested in being a Beta user, then see our <a href="/beta">Beta</a> page.</p> <p> </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/author/erik" lang="" about="/author/erik" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Erik</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 11/06/2020 - 19:40</span> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class='title comment-form__title'>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=57&amp;2=field_comments&amp;3=comment" token="onCGAbAxJ3Laht6WvxVUahbTyh9nZdkAEDJlKtJwdaA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 06 Nov 2020 19:40:20 +0000 Erik 57 at https://greatalbum.net The Difficult Decision to Open Source https://greatalbum.net/blog/difficult-decision-open-source <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Difficult Decision to Open Source</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="open source swiss knife" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bf8c69d3-8ba5-43da-b634-bcc34d2cd818" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/open-source-swiss-knife.png" width="40%" class="align-right" />By the title, you would think I was talking about struggling with the decision to build GreatAlbum on open source software. Actually, that was a no brainer, as discussed in <a href="https://greatalbum.net/blog/why-drupal">Why we built GreatAlbum on Drupal</a>. Instead, I'm talking about the decision to be as open as possible about how we are building GreatAlbum, our journey, our mistakes, our lessons learned and our achievements.  This decision was inspired by a number of different reasons.</p> <p>First, it's very much my style to be as transparent as I can. I tend to find that if people are truly interested in achieving success together, information enables them to understand what's working, what's not and how they can help each other to be more successful. </p> <p><img alt="Gumroad" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b5c6a75d-dbaf-403a-9041-07cc290dfbbf" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Gumroad-logo.jpg" width="250/" class="align-left" />This was reinforced by an article I read recently, <a href="https://marker.medium.com/reflecting-on-my-failure-to-build-a-billion-dollar-company-b0c31d7db0e7">Reflecting on My Failure to Build a Billion-Dollar Company</a> by <a href="https://shl.medium.com/">Sahil Lavignia</a>, Founder &amp; CEO of <a href="https://gumroad.com">Gumroad</a>. This article is his story about how his side project became a VC-based start-up, grew for a year, then tanked and laid everyone off, and eventually became a lifestyle company. I love how in the end he discovered that it isn't all about "grow or die", and that part of his mission is to create more value than he captures in his revenue stream. One of those ways he's done that is to open up his financials. As a result, Founders starting their own companies have learned from his mistakes and utilized their data to make better decisions. This shift has also attracted new investors and strengthened Gumroad's engagement with its customers. </p> <p>This philosophy of transparency and authenticity creating much stronger connections to investor, lenders, partners and customers was also strongly reinforced when I recently read <a href="https://www.guyraz.com/howibuiltthisbook">How I Built This</a> book by Guy Raz. In numerous examples, Raz relates stories by founders that he's interviewed over the years about how they've solved tough problems and avoided losing their companies by being open, honest and authentic with their customers. He cites many compelling examples of this.</p> <p>So, as my team here at GreatAlbum embarks on our journey of realizing my <a href="/blog/dream">Dream</a>, I want it to create value not only for our customers, but also for members of the Drupal community who can hopefully benefit from some of our innovations, much the way we have benefited from innovations like the <a href="https://www.getopensocial.com/about-us/#mission">Open-Core of OpenSocial</a>. I also hope we can share insights that will benefit other founders who have to endure similar journeys on the way to launching their dreams. </p> <p> </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/author/erik" lang="" about="/author/erik" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Erik</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 08/16/2020 - 03:03</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above clearfix"> <h3 class="field__label">Tags</h3> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/tag/open-source" hreflang="en">Open Source</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/business-model" hreflang="en">Business Model</a></li> </ul> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class='title comment-form__title'>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=62&amp;2=field_comments&amp;3=comment" token="rK9ZPg6EavIt-gFHBUoUsezGfnpAOGUKnpz7RZtB8qU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 16 Aug 2020 03:03:07 +0000 Erik 62 at https://greatalbum.net Where is GreatAlbum? https://greatalbum.net/blog/where-greatalbum <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Where is GreatAlbum? </span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="red question mark" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="fef8454c-9b2a-4b17-829c-7b52b5ccca5c" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/red-question-mark3.png" width="150" class="align-right" />You might have noticed that all this wonderful functionality described in <a href="/blog/what-is-greatalbum">What is GreatAlbum</a> doesn't appear on this site. So where is it? </p> <p><strong>The Answer:</strong> The GreatAlbum prototype quietly under development in a hidden site. Upcoming plans include:</p> <p><strong>Private Beta - </strong>We will be launching a Private Beta program in November with a select number of users to try out both the GreatAlbum site and the Help site and give us qualitative feedback. We anticipate spending a 2-3 months in Private Beta, slowly growing the number of users to a few hundred as we work out all the kinks.</p> <p><strong>Public Beta - </strong>Then hopefully in January or February 2021 we'll go into a Public Beta, where anyone can create an account and start using the Apps. </p> <p>If you want to join the list of people interested in being a Beta user, then see our <a href="/beta">Beta</a> page.</p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/author/erik" lang="" about="/author/erik" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Erik</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 08/01/2020 - 17:14</span> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class='title comment-form__title'>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=54&amp;2=field_comments&amp;3=comment" token="mgwrng5-mVw3TK8g81XeXIKqkH4oEJba5Qxus511gEk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 01 Aug 2020 17:14:30 +0000 Erik 54 at https://greatalbum.net How GreatSupport provides community support for GreatAlbum https://greatalbum.net/blog/how-greatsupport-provides-community-support-greatalbum <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">How GreatSupport provides community support for GreatAlbum</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="Community customer service" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bd039e5f-df99-4519-93ba-438086a207e5" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/community-customer-service.jpg" width="400" class="align-right" />As mentioned in <a href="https://greatalbum.net/blog/3-part-mission" hreflang="en">The 3-Part Mission of GreatAlbum</a>, while we were in the process of building GreatAlbum, we had to think about how we would support the users of the app. We looked at a lot of traditional customer service applications, like Jira Service Desk, Zendesk, Zoho, etc. The problem was that with all of them, the model was to have a small number of people providing customer service to end users. That didn’t feel right.</p> <p>As a result, we created GreatSupport (https://help.greatalbum.net), a stand-alone app (website for now) that enables a community support model, just like you get with open source communities like <a href="https://www.drupal.org/support/">Drupal</a>, <a href="https://wordpress.org/support/">WordPress</a> and <a href="https://github.community/">GitHub</a>. The GreatAlbum team will provide the foundation of support, and more importantly, our users will help each other. That approach will be much more scalable, and it will reinforce the sense of community, not only in sharing content with members of your Albums, but also in helping other users with how they do the same with their own albums, even when you aren’t a member of their albums and can’t see their content. We think this could become a model for other companies. </p> <p>The way it works is that there are Guide Books on the site that assist with five major things overall: </p> <ol> <li>How to use the GreatAlbum App</li> <li>How to use the GreatAlbum Help (ironically, help for how to use help)</li> <li>Personal stories about user/life experiences as a result of using GreatAlbum</li> <li>How to write stories and biographies</li> <li>How to research family history</li> </ol> <p>Each Guide Book is comprised of four kinds of content:</p> <ol> <li>Topics - Kind of like chapters, describe major parts of functionality in the apps, or major topics in researching and writing</li> <li>Articles - Explain how to perform functions related to each topic</li> <li>Issues - Describe problems, bugs, suggestions, requested features related to the Topics and Articles</li> <li>Discussions - Conduct discussions related to Topics, Articles and Issues</li> <li>Releases - Coming soon...this describes new releases for <a href="https://app.greatalbum.net">GreatAlbum</a>, <a href="https://help.greatalbum.net">GreatSupport</a> and <a href="https://greatalbum.net">GreatHome</a>.</li> </ol> <p>There are three kinds of users who interact on the GreatSupport site:</p> <ol> <li>Anonymous - can view everything; can't create/comment on anything</li> <li>Authenticated Users - can create Articles, Issues and Discussions; can edit Articles/Issues; can comment on Discussions</li> <li>Support Managers - can create/edit/delete anything on the site</li> </ol> <p>The reason that Authenticated Users can edit any Article or Issue, is because they are empowered to support other users, which means they can create or edit any Articles to make them better, and they can edit any Issue to help resolve it. </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/author/erik" lang="" about="/author/erik" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Erik</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 07/25/2020 - 18:19</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above clearfix"> <h3 class="field__label">Tags</h3> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/tag/greatsupport" hreflang="en">GreatSupport</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/greathome" hreflang="en">GreatHome</a></li> </ul> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class='title comment-form__title'>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=56&amp;2=field_comments&amp;3=comment" token="FA0Zgmz01CJ_MVjmajPJ7Xguuc2EgwiSFz2bFEO0Qh8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 25 Jul 2020 18:19:59 +0000 Erik 56 at https://greatalbum.net Why we built GreatAlbum on Drupal https://greatalbum.net/blog/why-drupal <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Why we built GreatAlbum on Drupal</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>When I joined the Reunion Organizing Committee for my high school class, for our 20th reunion in 2006, I thought it would be cool to organize it on a website. <img alt="WordPress v Joomla v Drupal" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="84ae6edf-be2a-44bb-872b-146de269af50" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/wordpress-joomla-drupal.jpeg" width="300" class="align-right" />Keep in mind, this was only two years after Facebook had launched, and a few months before it was available to the general public (not requiring a .edu email address), so that wasn't an option. I spent a week researching open source content management systems, narrowed it down to the top three - <a href="https://wordpress.org/">WordPress</a>, <a href="https://drupal.org/">Drupal</a> and <a href="https://www.joomla.org/">Joomla!</a>, and ultimately decided upon Drupal - I think version 4.6 at the time. While I recognized that it wasn't quite as widespread as WordPress, and more complicated to learn, I liked that it seemed to have the most robust capabilities of the three. Thus began my journey with Drupal that has now spanned nearly 15 years and almost as many websites - typically as charitable hobbies for nonprofit organizations. </p> <p><img alt="ColdFusion" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4acd8650-4576-498d-9dcf-9a4be1991554" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Adobe_ColdFusion_9.png" width="75" class="align-left" />Separately, the journey to build GreatAlbum started in 2001, when I tried my first attempt at building a prototype. I had gone to a Macromedia ColdFusion workshop and won a give-away copy of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_ColdFusion">ColdFusion</a>. I was so excited and took it as an omen I should give it a try. I built that first prototype with my brother, using <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ColdFusion_Markup_Language">ColdFusion Markup Language</a> and the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusebox_(programming)">Fusebox Application Framework</a>. We learned some good insights, but ultimately didn't get too far. </p> <p><img alt="PhpGedView example" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="014b3d9a-c4aa-47fe-915b-b97ab4c61fa6" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/PHPGedView-example1.jpg" width="300" class="align-right" />About ten years later, I wanted to take my Webb family tree information that I had gathered with the help of a few relatives and create a collaborative genealogy environment, with all the types of content I envisioned, though in more of a genealogy format. Around 2010 I implemented my own version of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PhpGedView">PhpGedView</a> with family trees for Webb, Britt, McCain &amp; Iredale families. This was really cool and did get some traction, but was still too centered on Genealogy. </p> <p>So, I continued to think about other options. Then in 2019, I spent a few months exploring how I might integrate <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webtrees">WebTrees</a> (successor to PhGedView) and Drupal together, to have the genealogy aspects together with robust content management. The more I explored, the more complicated it seemed.</p> <p>So I ditched that idea and decided to go just with Drupal. As I turned to that focus, I came across the post for a <a href="https://groups.drupal.org/node/534846">Functional Drupal 7 Family History Website</a>, which led me to https://ancestry.sandes.uk, developed by <a href="https://www.drupal.org/user/2615537">Mike Sandes</a>. Some great coaching by Mike led to a new prototype of GreatAlbum, based on Drupal 7, using Organic Groups to represent Albums. We spent several months building out a pretty comprehensive website with the full complement of genealogy entities - Individuals, Names, Families, Events, Stories, Places, Notes, Citations, Sources,  &amp; Repositories. That was fun, and we learned a lot, but it was way too complicated. It was also not viable to build on Drupal 7, which was scheduled to go <a href="https://www.drupal.org/psa-2020-06-24">end of life</a> in November 2021, nor to use <a href="https://www.drupal.org/project/og">Organic Groups</a>, which doesn't have a stable release for Drupal 8. </p> <p>After this long, circuitous journey, we finally landed on building GreatAlbum using <a href="https://www.drupal.org/8">Drupal 8</a> based on PHP. There are a lot of other open source technologies and frameworks we could have chosen. A lot of people told me I was better off going with <a href="https://nodejs.org/">NodeJS</a>, based on JavaScript (#1 <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/most-popular-programming-languages-github-2019-11">most popular</a> language) or <a href="https://www.djangoproject.com/">Django</a> based on Python (2nd most popular language as of 2019). While both of these are great options, I am convinced that the strength and maturity of the development community is just as important as the framework itself. Ever since I first chose to use Drupal in 2006, I've watched the Drupal Community grow to over <a href="https://www.drupal.org/about#:~:text=The%20Drupal%20community%20is%20one,editors%2C%20and%20sponsors%20working%20together.">1 million developers</a>, with over <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drupal#:~:text=As%20of%20December%202019%20the,more%20than%2044%2C000%20free%20modules">44,000 modules</a>, powering over <a href="https://www.drupal.org/project/usage/drupal">1 million websites</a>, including many <a href="https://anyforsoft.com/blog/23-famous-drupal-websites/">famous ones</a> (see <a href="https://websitebuilder.org/blog/drupal-statistics">67 Amazing Drupal Statistics &amp; Facts</a>)!</p> <p>While it may be more challenging to build the GreatAlbum site on Drupal, I am convinced that the community will become invaluable when we open source the code and invite users/developers to contribute patches &amp; improvements that will enable us to harness the power of many developers beyond our core team. Furthermore, as we develop unique and powerful features on GreatAlbum, we look forward to contributing those back to the Drupal community, so other developers can use them on their websites &amp; applications.</p> <p><img alt="React JS" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c56b48d6-0100-4b8d-85f7-ceea97430441" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/React_logo_wordmark.png" width="200" class="align-right" />In the future, we plan to explore "decoupling Drupal," which means we would continue to use Drupal on the backend and possibly use ReactJS on the front end - for both the browser-based app and native mobile app. More on that to come. </p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/author/erik" lang="" about="/author/erik" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Erik</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 07/18/2020 - 22:10</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above clearfix"> <h3 class="field__label">Tags</h3> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/tag/drupal" hreflang="en">Drupal</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/genealogy" hreflang="en">Genealogy</a></li> </ul> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class='title comment-form__title'>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=53&amp;2=field_comments&amp;3=comment" token="KBwHeDPhc83s_iMHGHjIMy9AH4cQ-QqgbYx9pfYv3fg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 18 Jul 2020 22:10:18 +0000 Erik 53 at https://greatalbum.net https://greatalbum.net/blog/why-drupal#comments What is GreatAlbum? How it is Different? https://greatalbum.net/blog/what-is-greatalbum <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">What is GreatAlbum? How it is Different?</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="Genealogy tree" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="6b9b0a40-c9db-4dcc-bde9-c1b379c72d65" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Genealogy-tree.png" width="200/" class="align-right" />Two of the most popular, revenue-generating hobbies for individuals and families - on and off the internet - are genealogy and family photography/social media. </p> <p><strong>Genealogy</strong> is primarily focused on finding new family members, and documenting/proving key life events, like birth, death, marriage, &amp; divorce, with citations to prove those "facts". Lately, the big push has been on DNA testing to help you find even more family members and learn more about "where you come from." The problem with this is it's focused on "data," with limited support for social media or stories about the individuals/families in your family tree.</p> <p><img alt="Social media mobile icons" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e3412ad5-189d-4249-8575-816fe2732149" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/social-media-mobile-icons-snapchat-facebook-instagram-ss-800x450-3-800x450.jpg" width="200" class="align-left" /><strong>Photography</strong> for decades was shared by creating photo albums with physical prints, and when mixed with non-photo media like invitations and certificates, was the art called scrapbooking. With the advent of camera phones,  Facebook and other social media services, the focus has shifted to sharing digital photos in personal streams, or perhaps in groups. The problem with this is people amass a ton of photos and posts when sharing them with friends, but practically no means of organizing them, other than albums or user tagging. How do you go back and find pictures of your child's birthday ten years ago in an ocean of thousands of digital photos?</p> <p><strong>Photo Services </strong>like <a href="https://www.flickr.com/">Flickr</a>, Apple <a href="https://www.icloud.com/photos/">iCloud Photos</a> and <a href="https://photos.google.com/">Google Photos</a> do provide improved organization with albums, facial, geo &amp; other meta tagging, but each album generally corresponds to an event, which means lots of albums and lots of repeated sharing with the same people that you have to specify over and over again. Albums contain only photos/videos - not other kinds of media. And the facial tagging is tied to each person's private set of contacts. This still results in many isolated albums with limited organization.</p> <p><strong>Huge gaps </strong>still remain with all of these solutions. None of them provide the ability (or encouragement) to tell thoughtful stories about the major events in our lives, nor the intuitive connections between Events, Stories, Media, Places and Individuals. </p> <p>This is where <strong>GreatAlbum</strong> comes in. This is the realization of a <a href="/blog/dream">dream</a> that I've had since at least 2000. The vision is that GreatAlbum will become the preeminent site/app for people to tell rich stories about the events in their lives and the lives of their loves ones. Millions of members will use it not only to commemorate the lives of their ancestors, but to  archive their social media content and organize it intuitively for future reference.</p> <p>For the sake of security, and sanity, all content is organized into Albums. Here are four good examples of the kinds of albums that will exist:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Celebration Album – Tell the story of a lifetime</strong> <br /> When someone is reaching a major milestone, like a wedding or big birthday or death, bring family &amp; friends together to tells stories about how that person has touched their lives.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Core Family Album – Capture the moments in real-time</strong><br /> Import and create "smart organization" around digital pictures you're taking with your Smartphones and backing up to Google or iCloud; share seamlessly with close family &amp; friends.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Family Tree Album – It’s like LinkedIn for families</strong><br /> Import/build your family tree with all the usual genealogy information, but go beyond that to capture &amp; share the events in the lives of family members and the stories about why those events were so meaningful, with social media linked in. <br />  </li> <li><strong>Alumni Album – Remember good times &amp; catch up</strong> <br /> For high school, college, work &amp; other groups that want to reminisce about the gold old times, and also want to keep up with each other’s lives over the years.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><img alt="GreatAlbum Content Structure" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0ed11ca5-8a4b-4583-932e-57d408931154" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/GreatAlbum%20Content%20Structure.png" width="200/" class="align-right" /></p> <p>With GreatAlbum, organizing and sharing features are separated. Events are the main way to organize. An <strong>Event</strong> can have <strong>Media</strong>, <strong>Stories</strong>, <strong>Individuals</strong> and <strong>Places</strong> tagged to it. And the event can belong to one or more Albums, which is how content is shared.</p> <p>An <strong>Album</strong> has <strong>Members</strong>, just like a Google Photo Album or a Facebook Group. Each time a new event and related content is added to the album, the members are notified and can enjoy it immediately. The "owner" of the event content doesn't have to decide who to share it with, since that's already determined at the Album level. And members of the album can share their own content/media as well for each event, fostering collaborative storytelling around shared life experiences.</p> <p><img alt="Overlapping albums" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="837f1c40-c169-48f1-87e8-261a2ed95926" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/GreatAlbum-overlapping-albums3_0.png" width="300/" class="align-left" /></p> <p> </p> <p>Eventually, you will be able to share content/media in multiple albums, so you could have one album to collect stories from friends to celebrate a major birthday, and then share that same content in one or more a Family Album, to enrich those albums, which contain different collections of content for different memberships. </p> <p> </p> <p>One final note - GreatAlbum actually doesn't compete with Flickr, Apple iCloud Photos or Google Photos. We realize that you will still want to keep your photos safe and secure in those locations, since you likely trust their long-term survival more than GreatAlbum. Instead, most of the time you will simply "import" them from those photo services, which means creating media instances in GreatAlbum for each photo/video, with meta data linking them to Albums, Events, Stories, Individuals &amp; Places, while the actual media files still remain in those services. <img alt="Tada" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e248bc02-b52b-4ccf-895a-ca9d5b5cf1ec" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/tada1.png" width="100" class="align-right" />Then when you see the media displayed in GreatAlbum, it will be coming from your favorite photo service, where it is safe and sound! </p> <p>All of this is technically possible today. The trick is to figure out how to do it while minimizing the complexity of the user experience. This is part of the <a href="/blog/dream">dream</a> that GreatAlbum aims to make a reality!</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/author/erik" lang="" about="/author/erik" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Erik</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 07/12/2020 - 02:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above clearfix"> <h3 class="field__label">Tags</h3> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/tag/greatalbum" hreflang="en">GreatAlbum</a></li> <li><a href="/tag/album" hreflang="en">Album</a></li> </ul> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class='title comment-form__title'>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=50&amp;2=field_comments&amp;3=comment" token="CTIQ-ru8JOGQwDqxR-1q8dXxDFdgM7pyHgBa4L3IGkM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 12 Jul 2020 02:00:32 +0000 Erik 50 at https://greatalbum.net