One project I’m currently working on which is already live is

Instead of having to build the entire site, I have a smart client who set up the site and had me work only on the trickier (fun) parts of this project. OnlyAlumni is a social networking site with about 8000 colleges, fraternities and sororities which operate as Drupal organic groups. This has been a great project for me to go much more in depth with organic groups and related modules.

The best part of the project has been getting to use Panels 2. The group homepages, user account pages, and user home page (for logged-in users) all rely on Panels 2 and made everything mind-bogglingly simple (if that’s possible) once I got my bearings with Panels 2 and its changes from alpha to beta mid-use.

The most complex part of the project so far has been the tracking of site activity. The site does something similar to Facebook’s news which lists site activity among your friends. For we are listing all site activity, the activity of your friends, and the activity in your groups. After coding all this in an insane way I wasn’t satisfied with, I found out about the activity module which seeks to do this the right way (saving activity to the database rather than trying to look it all up on the fly, and using the amazing token module to customize the output.) Because activity module is under active development and wasn’t doing everything I needed, I wrote a bunch of code for the project and redid OnlyAlumni’s activity tracking to use the module. This lucky chain of events all started in Portland where I met handsome lads Jerad Bitner and Robert Douglass who are developing activity module.

I also enjoyed using imagecache profiles module (which became an actual module around the time I was using it from its original incarnation on Nate Haug’s Lullabot article). The point of the whole thing is that it makes your user avatars all the same shape (usually square) without asking your users to do anything special, which lets you make nice little grids out of them.

If you want to get the full effect, go ahead and sign up for an account and join your college alumni group:


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