Level up please. We’re not pushing boxes.

I have been active in the Drupal world since 2006 as a developer and co-own my own Drupal agency since 2011. I love to attend Drupal events. Both Local events (DrupalJam, Splash Awards) and global ones (DrupalCon). I have attended every DrupalCon since Paris 2009 and I like to attend CXO days and other “management oriented events” too. Last year, I co-organized DrupalCon Amsterdam as the lead of the local team and as the social media coordinator for the @DrupalConEur twitter account.

What I noticed in these past years is that we have grown a habit in the Drupal community of downplaying ourselves by describing agencies as shops. And that is a shame, in my opinion.

It might be a language barrier issue that makes shops sound weird. A shop in my native language is a store where you go to buy bread or a new phone. You come in, you pick a product, you pay, and you leave. It does not match with a process in which you work together with a client for months creating a great solution for their needs.

Shops makes us - Drupal agencies - feel cheap. As if we only have out-of-the box solutions that do not need love and care to be shaped into this great fit for the client.

The truth of Google

Just to compare: when I search Google for a ‘Drupal shop’ I even get more results than when I search for a ‘Drupal agency’ or  ‘Drupal company’! Meaning that we’ve truly grown a habit of using Drupal shop in our communication.

I urge you to stop using the term shop. So: let’s level up. And starting today, please use Drupal agency instead.

What do you think? Is it a language barrier? Comments are more than welcome!

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Different definition of "shop" :)

So "shop" as a noun has two definitions:

1. a building or part of a building where goods or services are sold; a store."a card shop"synonyms: store, (retail) outlet, boutique, emporium, department store, big box store, supermarket, superstore, chain store, market, mart, minimart, convenience store, trading post"a shop selling clothes"2. a place where things are manufactured or repaired; a workshop."an auto repair shop"synonyms: workshop, workroom, plant, factory, works, mill, yard; informal salt mine(s)"he works in the machine shop"
Calling agencies "shops" is, I think, by analogy with the second definition: A place where things are built. A place where skilled craftspeople collaborate to make and fix stuff -- in this case, Drupal sites. The term is less formal than "agency" and I don't think it's a matter of one or the other. It's also not unique to Drupal; see for example: http://aristeides.com/blog/mistakes-thoughts-building-wordpress-shop/ 

Language is a strange thing,

Language is a strange thing, sure we've been here before.

Agency in English is very commonly those abstracted companies that work on behalf of someone - but not in a nice way - not giving the hands on taking part of the experience feeling. It's the travel agency (reisbureau of wel vakantiewinkel), the ticket agency (ticketbureau), the temping agency (uitzendbureau), you have housing agencies and development agencies, and urgh all that. The only common exceptions that sound more weighty are Advertising Agency (reclamebureau) but also often called Advertising Bureau (I think this is a connection that a lot of full-service web companies want to make) and News Agency (persbureaus of persdiensten) also called a News Service. Often these Agencies are companies that, in the disruptive modern economy of the internet, are having to work out new models of more direct connection, because the agency is no longer really required or can be by-passed.