Bradley Saul, the founder of Organic Athlete, is a good friend and inspiration. He has a long lived passion for cycling and a healthy ‘alkaline’ diet. In 2003, when we first met at a raw food festival, he was dreaming of a starting a vegan cycling club. Of course, as an elite level athlete and dedicated raw vegan, he set his goals firm on this dream; by 2007, he had fielded the nations first vegan pro-cycling team. It was during this time, many years after we met, that our paths crossed again when I joined up with a local “Organic Athlete” chapter in Portland Oregon.
If Bradley and I have one thing in common, it is that we are both insufferable optimists and big thinkers. Of course we have so much more in common, but it was this shared ideology that fueled our collaboration on a new brand of “social network” site for veg*n athletes. “Social” was just about to be (ie: not quite yet) an internet phenom, and “vegan” was far from the mainstay of athletic diets that we thought it would be (despite all the evidence that it should be). So we had our work cut out in making and populating this online community. But that’s not how we saw it!
With vigor and gusto we dove in to building the first Organic Athlete membership management and community building web application. Using Drupal and CiviCRM as our ‘two-headed beast’ development platform, we set out to make the most of what tools we had available. While he configured the CRM and CMS to suit our data needs, my first task was to get these two estranged siblings to communicate better with each other. I developed a number of Drupal hook implementations to re-format the CRM data in a manner more consistent with the CMS’s theme layer. Then I custom built a theme to be aware of and render this “more unified” data layer. We had it pretty dialed in, using Drupal’s “Organic Groups” and “Profile” modules to handle the community facing interface for the CRM structured data. In ten months, when our funding ran out, we put the final touches on our new application and launched it for the masses.
Collected the requirements and collaborated with stakeholders to build a membership management and social network website for a non-profit sports-club.
Researched existing platforms for development of the required functionality, and chose a Drupal 5/CiviCRM solution.
Contributed code to facilitate the deeper integration of CiviCRM data into the Drupal presentation layer.
Designed a number of UX innovations to improve the presentation and navigation of the website content.
Developed a custom Drupal theme and site module for the project.