Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Help develop iGEM's drupal-powered site!

Hello, are you experienced with building sites based on drupal and/or knowledgeable of PHP and not averse to learning about drupal? If so, join us!

The International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition is now entering its third year and is expecting an increase in participation from 34 undergraduate teams from around the world to about 80-100. The teams spend the summer learning & doing genetic engineering and then present their work at the beginning of November here in Boston at MIT.

Last year we required all the teams to document their projects on a mediawiki server ( - iGEM is not just an event that happens in November, although that's when it is most visible, but throughout the whole summer, and we wanted to capture as much of that experience online as possible. We built another website to explain the competition and link into each team's wiki page from a world map (

I am developing a dynamic, community-driven site for the iGEM 2007 competition. I've spent the last two weeks investigating CMSs and laying out what features we want the new site to have, and I'm fairly sure Drupal is the base from which we should start. However, it's clear that we are going to need to develop a couple custom modules to support unusual features of the site. For instance, we will have about 1000 users, each a member of a certain team. We don't really want user accounts for anyone else. So we need to develop permissions for users based on which team they are in, and streamline how participants are given accounts ( i.e. manually authorizing 80-100 team leaders, who then can authorize their own team members). We also want each team to have its own portal page, dynamically generated from posts to the team's collective blog, recent forum activity, recent activity on our genetic parts database, and from certain pages from that team's space on our mediawiki.

I am trying to learn drupal and php as fast as I can to implement what we want, but I don't think it will be fast enough. Would you be interested in helping, or know anyone who might? How much would consultation / module development cost? If nothing else, pointers into the right direction would be very helpful.

If you are interested, I encourage you to check out our introductory site (I didn't design it!) at, and perhaps my development blog at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Solid info. And i'll be sure to check out your development blog.