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In this demo I will present Development Seed's news tracker for teams: Managing News. I am going to explain its most important features, we will take a look at some of the gears under the hood, kick its tires and talk about creating a product with Drupal and future plans with Managing News.


Alex Barth

Consider attending if you are a communications person with a weakness for news tracking, if you are interested in RSS/Atom aggregation, if you are building your own Drupal product or if you're dreaming of building one.

First I am going to show and explain the most important features in Managing News which include

  • RSS/Atom aggregation
  • Generation of RSS search subscriptions of a series of news search engines at once
  • Tracking of news sources
  • Retrieval of meta information such as Alexa ranking, OpenCalais tags and screenshot thumbnails
  • Visualizing results as graphs and maps
  • Organizing news clippings in lists
  • Alerts

Then I will spotlight architectural details and technologies in Managing News

  • Custom generation of listings and views
  • Python demon for interfacing with web services
  • FeedAPI for massive aggregation
  • ApacheSolr for search
  • MapBox mapping server for mapping
  • Server setup and deployment

Finally, I will share what we learned about the difference between Drupal site development and Drupal product development.

  • Making users stories work defines your success. With one-off web sites, the client typically carries the risk of features that aren't adopted. With a product, botched user stories go on your tab. At the same time, you have more power to shape them.
  • Keep your company's module toolbox in mind. Custom solutions are easier to justify, but don't get trapped with too much tailored code.
  • Upgrade paths become more important.

I will close with an outlook on future developments both for particular technologies in Managing News and for the application as a whole.