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On Volcanoes, Drupal, and Community

The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull can shut down air traffic in Europe, but it can't shut down Brightcove and the global Drupal community.  Many US-based Brightcovers are stranded in the UK along with hundreds of Drupal fans (a.k.a. Drupalistas) across Europe who had planned to attend Drupalcon San Francisco. The following map shows just a few of the affected Drupal community members:

View Drupalistas stuck in Europe in a larger map

Our own Mark Baker is based in the UK but had planned to travel to San Francisco to staff our booth and recruit/enable partners. As soon as it became clear that there was no way he was going to make it to San Francisco, Mark picked up the phone and started collaborating with the UK Drupal community to route around the situation. He and others quickly came up with the idea for DrupalVolCon, and a spontaneous unconference was born.

I worked through my Acquia contacts to make arrangements with Drupalcon organizers for free live video streaming (see below) of the keynote sessions. Google stepped up and provided space at the Googleplex for London Drupalistas to gather.  Many helpers are now involved, and it is looking like additional DrupalVolCons have popped up in Antwerp and Paris. And all this in just 36 hours or so.

The live feed for this week's keynote sessions will be broadcast worldwide by Brightcove via the DrupalVolCon site, the Drupal UK site, the official Drupalcon San Francisco site, this blog post, and any other site that uses the embed code available through the player.  NOTE: The feed will be dark at times other than the keynotes. Please be understanding if there are glitches: all of this came together at the last minute with volunteer efforts.  You can track real time iteractions via the #drupalvolcon hashtag.

When I was working at Acquia in 2008, I had the privilege of participating with the community in the organization of Drupalcon Boston. It was early in my participation with the global Drupal community and I was truly amazed at the passion, the collaboration, and the volunteer spirit that everyone exhibited. It was chaotic at times, but in the end, everything came together in a inexplicable, but wonderful fractal fashion. Seeing the same dynamics at work with as the community adapts to a seemingly impossible disruption (a massive volcanic eruption) is very inspiring to me. Drupal is an unstoppable force.

Brightcove is working closely with several Drupal community members to extend and refine the integration between the Brightcove online video platform and Drupal. Many of our top customers like Sony BMG and Lifetime already use Brightcove and Drupal together, but we want to make it even easier.  Stay tuned for more information on this. Drupal+Brightcove is powerful.