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Built in Chicago

Award Category 
Drupal Version 
Brief Overview 

The Built in Chicago website excels on both the front end and backend. The community of technology executives, developers, entrepreneurs, marketers and venture capitalists this site serves have embraced the site and almost doubled in size since migrating from the original platform. It's a tough crowd and they wouldn't accept anything that isn't excellent. The backend administration has performed flawlessly. And users have dumped gigs of content into the site without obstacle. In the end it is not what we say about this site, it is what the users say and that includes: "Hey guys - the new site looks super sharp. I like the clean design." "Very easy to follow...and well worth it!" And of course, "Woohoo Drupal!! Great new look guys and great CMS choice ;)"

Launch or Publication Date 
Monday, April 16, 2012
Key Modules, Theme, and Distribution Used 
Janrain, Voting API
Why these Modules, Theme, and Distribution were Chosen 

Janrain Engage: Of particular importance was building external social elements into the site. Connecting with social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn required work on a number of integration points. The first challenge was to empower users to share content simply without drawing them away from the website.

Social sign-in represented the second challenge. To ease the sign-up/sign-in process and attract more members, Built In Chicago required a solution that would allow members to link their social networking accounts to their website accounts.

Both challenges were easily handled by integrating Janrain, a user management platform comprised of core products for social login and sharing, social profile data, registration and single sign-on into a website. The Janrain Engage module integrates Drupal sites with the powerful Janrain Engage service.  

The module simplified how users sign in and made it easy for them to share content like job postings through their social networking channels, regardless of whether their connections had a presence on Built In Chicago. For connections that already use the online community, members can see their Facebook activity directly on the website.

The Voting API module facilitated the social functionality inherent in the site. It permit users to like and track posts, companies and people.

Owner's Name 
Built in Chicago
Development Company 
Duo Consulting
Duo utilizes Drupal open-source technologies to create content-rich websites accessible through traditional and mobile platforms. Duo is committed to supporting the Drupal community through its membership in the Drupal Association, sponsorship of U.S. Drupalcons including Portland, contributed module development & maintenance, host of the Chicago Drupal Meetup Group and more.
Why Drupal Was Chosen 
To supplement its explosive growth, Built In Chicago planned a move from Ning, a proprietary platform for online communities, to Drupal, a content management system that would be able to handle a higher volume of content and provide more sophisticated functionality. Although Ning offered administrators considerable functionality, it had its limitations.
Describe the Project (Goals, Requirements, and Outcome) 

Built In Chicago is an online community of entrepreneurs, engineers, marketers, designers, investors and academics engaged in building the next big web or mobile business. Members can browse or post start-up launches, events, job openings, funding announcements, mergers & acquisitions, IPOs and more items related to the Chicago tech scene.

Built In Chicago planned a move from Ning, a proprietary platform for online communities, to Drupal. Although Duo had not worked with the Ning platform previously, migrating from a variety of content management systems is a core competency and the team got busy learning the subtleties of migrating the content to Drupal. Making sure every piece of content made the transition was crucial. As a community-oriented website, Built In Chicago had built up a large library of user-generated content which had to move forward with the site. After all, that was what the site was about!


The project was a firedrill and It took about six weeks to build the new website on Drupal. But the challenges weren’t over yet; to maintain the integrity of all the site’s content, the team would have to perform the migration as quickly as possible. With the help of a prompt for members to hold off on creating new content, the Duo team made the data transfer quickly and efficiently.

The community of over 5000 (now approaching 9000) was back in business on the new Built in Chicago website while barely missing a beat. The response from the community is summed up in one blog post comment, “Simple, informative, easy to navigate -- gorgeous! Thanks BIC.”

The Built in Chicago website is the winner of the 2012 Social Network Standard of Excellence WebAward from the Web Marketing Association.

Type of Nomination 
Additional developers