Awhile back I announced that we are working to move our newspaper websites to a new Drupal-based platform that's optimized for an integrated online-print newsroom, 24x7 publishing, and community interaction.
We've previously worked extensively with Drupal for community interaction and specialty websites. Our Savannah paper has been running a Drupal-based system for for a couple of years now, but it's a one-off mutation that's not easily duplicated (or updated).
What's different about this project is that we intend to evolve -- and publicly release -- a standard newspaper-optimized configuration, including templates that meet newspaper ad requirements -- so that building a large-scale newspaper website management system becomes a quick implementation instead of many weeks of customization.
We're relaunching Jacksonville.com on the new platform Tuesday. We're still not close to being able to release a standard configuration, and we have a dozen or so more newspapers to roll out as our top priority, but I think we'll be publicly releasing some of our custom modules soon.
We've managed to achieve a high degree of automation in spite of many frustrating issues with data being fed from DTI. It's easy for editors to override the automation, and reporters can completely ignore DTI for breaking news if desired, posting directly to the Web. We're using Panels and Views extensively, so editors can implement special presentations, reconfigure section pages and the homepage, and change business rules applied to automated components in a matter of minutes by pointing and clicking.
The site we launch Tuesday won't be a finished product -- a major goal of this project is to create an innovation platform that's open-ended. We'll have strong support for social networking, but quite a bit more to come. Over coming months I hope to see us roll out a content-recommendation system and other enhancements.