Musing on the idea of a UK Drupal Association

Steven Jones from Computerminds came to the Drupalcamp session at Cambridge Drupalcamp where we were learning how to run a camp, where we also discussed the potential need / use of a UK Drupal Association. We did discuss this on various forae (drupal.org.uk has the latest set of posts) but I am afraid I lost touch after getting diverted into other projects.

There were discussions about the idea and how it might work when planning and also during the recent Drupalcamp.  The overarching idea that I have taken way is the need for an entity which can help groups share knowledge and to pool resources, such as event calendars or pointers towards finding more about Drupal companies or even starting / running your own company, or trying to find a response or path to a response in reaction to wider (and mercifully rarer) events such as the EU Cookie Directive. Whilst rare and more abstract, these do affect clients and occasionally have subtleties to them. It is not about endpoints but starting the journey, not about re-inventing the wheel (unless you can absolutely make it simpler) but about sharing the invention and meaning the pointless and common mistakes might be avoided. Yes I am aware that this makes room for new ones.

In a sense this extends and continues the work that Robert Castello has been doing with drupal.org.uk. Perhaps members should stand for a year and be elected/voted somehow. Of course the nature of membership would need to be worked out (memberships, volunteers, sponsors like the Drupal Association or some other mechanism such as linking websites). I don’t know the best mechanism for this.

One of the awesome things that Finn Lewis and Colin Sherry did for Oxford Drupalcamp was to get a bank account set up for an association so that any profit can be passed onto other group or project. It would be great if this could be used and built upon to help a future event. Of course this ought to come with some sort of understanding that any event receiving the money should aim to add to the pot.

In the King’s Arms last night, Jeffery A Maguire (Jam – Acquia Community Affairs manager and good egg!) said last night that the worst thing we can do in open source is say, “we should do this”.

Let’s do it.

We’ll get it wrong initially I suspect but if we can start small and build on the existing community, we could do something to build an awareness of Drupal not only as communty but as technical solution to problems and share resources. Hopefully it would also help the UK Drupal community to share its own resources and publicise events.