So you've read that Trellon does work with a platform called Drupal, and that we build sites for various businesses and political organizations that want to make use of new "social" technologies to connect with their clients, and connect their clients with each other. But this sounds pretty abstract, and "social networking" sounds like something that bored teenagers do anyway? What follows is an account of our work with social media and networking and a Drupal solution, one of the country's leading non-profit health care systems.
Alegent Health is based in the mid-west and they have nine hospitals, more than a hundred service locations, and employ 1,300 physicians and a staff of 9,000. Alegent came to us in search of a new online social media platform to not only connect their staff and resources with new and expectant mothers; but most importantly to allow these women to connect with each other.
Trellon started at the bottom of the platform and worked up so that the software was shaped around Alegent's needs, clearly designed, thoughtfully organized, with all of the necessary tools behind the scenes to make sure that everything functioned smoothly and efficiently. We customize exiting open-source software, which is developed and tested by a large community. This means Alegent gets better quality software, and software that we can rapidly deploy so Alegent and other clients can spend more time and energy on their core projects. Like providing support, resources, and the foundation for a community to new and expecting mothers.
One feature that we really like about the Alegent site is the two-way interface between Drupal and our content recommendation engine. Drupal sends content to our content recommendation engine which indexes and determines relationships between and among all of the content. The engine then sends information about these connections back to Drupal, and Drupal can use this data to suggest other customized and relevant content to the users. The engine works on both the information that users provide the system and content produced for Alegent for the site.
The site also allows new and execting mothers to identify themselves with various subgroups within the site. For example, first time moms and women expecting twins, could identify themselves and connect with each other on the site, as in the example below:
By building these predefined "personas" and categories into the site it is convenient for a user to quickly set up accounts, while allowing default values to be set by the system. In other situations, this kind of "subgrouping" can be extended to create a customized security/privacy system with Drupal's role based security model.
The site also had news feeds, articles, blogs, expert question and answer, videos, articles, user profiles, location-based "geocoding," and a recipe library.
The “geocoding” is particularly interesting because it allows logged-in users to find services–-like physicians and daycare–-support along with other resources based on zip codes. We also enjoyed building the recipe library, which provided a space for the sites’ community to share healthful recipes and recommendations. Even more, once a user begins to gather recipes, a shopping list feature generates a list of ingredients needed to prepare particular meals. These features give rise to a community and provide tools to maintain and support the social network.
These kinds of sites that connect organizations with their clients and their clients with each other is what Trellon strives to do. The site is built on robust open source technology which will allow Alegent to build a strong community for years to come. You can see the final product here.