Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

First Impression: Liferay Grows Up

For a second year in a row, I along with CMS Report was invited to cover Liferay's North America Symposium which is being held this year in San Francisco. During this morning's keynote speech by Bryan Cheung, Liferay CEO and founder, I couldn't walk away from the presentation without recognizing the difference a year can make for one company. Something has changed for Liferay and the many partners and associated vendors that are represented here at this conference. Liferay has grown up, people are ready to talk business, and they're once again ready to talk about the importance of open source and community which makes this all happen.

This morning, Liferay released some startling numbers on just how good business is in terms of growth for the Liferay ecosystem. Consider some of these highlights related to the announcement:

Leaving Drupal is Hard to Do

Two years ago I began a process to consider how best to evolve CMSReport.com beyond where it is today. I've known for some time that I needed to take some risks, get out of my comfort zone, and perhaps change how I maintain and run the site. Given the opportunity and in the spirit of taking risks I've decided to no longer run CMS Report on Drupal. That's right, after running this site on Drupal for more than six years on Drupal I've decided to use another content management system.

For those that don't want to be left hanging, I mention the CMS I've chosen to run the upgraded site on toward the end of this article. In a separate article I'll get into the specifics for why I decided on this other CMS and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both information systems.

My primary objective with this post isn't to talk about another CMS, but instead to focus on Drupal and reflect on how much I owe a debt of gratitude to the Drupal community. I also want to make it clear that my decision to use another CMS is not a reflection of my opinions regarding Drupal. On the contrary, I have a number of past and future projects where Drupal remains the solution for my content management needs. 

Dethroned: Content Is No Longer King

I spent most of the last two weeks camping and hiking in the Grand Teton National Park of northwest Wyoming. If you've never visited this national park then take my word on it that Grand Teton is one of the most beautiful places a person can visit in this world. The mountains in this place peak near 13,800 feet and rise from the valley by almost 7,000 feet. Despite the warm summer much of the United States experienced, ice glaciers can still be accessed through a number of day hikes. For anyone that loves the outdoors, this place has everything in the form of wildlife, scenery, and activities. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending from your perspective), what the Grand Teton doesn't have is good 3G or 4G cell phone coverage.

Mobile cell phone coverage in vacation spots like these are spotty at best. There were times my Android 4.0 enabled smartphone phone was rendered into nothing more than a tin can on a string.  I'm usually OK with this, but my Jayco CMS developed a problem with it's propane powered refrigerator and a good internet connection would have been very helpful to help me troubleshoot the issue. In the end, old fashion workarounds and a bit of luck fixed my fridge issue at a time when the Internet and its vast amount of content remained unreachable to me. During those two weeks, I quickly found that content was not my king. The desired end product for me was not content but instead it was information.

I purchased the Google Nexus 7 tablet

If you follow me on Google+ or Twitter, you likely already know that I am not a tablet fan. I know the statement is contradictory when coming from a techy person like me. I have a hard time seeing the benefit of a tablet in my day to day life. I already own a great smartphone (the Android-based Droid Razr) and I prefer the ease of a physical keyboard on my computer and notebooks when writing content is crucial. Overall, I'm just not convinced that a tablet will allow me to do anything more than what my current devices already do. Perhaps this is a sign of my age, but I lost my "wow" some time ago for new technology.

Google Nexus 7 BannerYesterday, I bit the bullet and finally ordered my first tablet, the Google Nexus 7. Although, I bought my wife an iPad 3 last spring (it seldom gets used around here), I never really felt comfortable playing with the iPad since I am not the primary user of the device. With regards to my decision to purchase the Nexus 7, I have to admit that I'm not looking forward to confusing my family further with another new device in our home. We are already at war here in Ruby Manor battling the mix of Windows, OSX, iOS, Linux, and Android devices scattered throughout the household. The mix of DVR and Blueray players connected to our TV's aren't helping either. Life should be simpler but we tend to have complicated matters as none of my family are fully satisfied with a single cloud service whether those services come from Apple, Google, or Amazon.

Opinion: Analysts, Scott Liewehr, and Digital Clarity Group

Scott Liewehr and Robert Rose at CMS Expo 2012

A few days ago, I received an early copy of a press release announcing the launch of Digital Clarity Group (DCG). DCG is an advisory and analyst company geared toward helping business leaders navigate "digital transformation" in their organizations. To the best of my knowledge, I have never recommend a particular consulting or analyst company on any of my blogs. I'd like to set new precedence and tell you why I think if you're a business leader you should consider hiring analysts from DCG to help you and your company face the upcoming technological challenges that have just started to surface.

I don't know about you, but many of the consultants and analysts that I've met along the way often intimidate me more than they educate me. This is a profession in my opinion with too many "experts" that like to use big words and often deliver complicated business strategies that are often nearly impossible to implement operationally. I know there are a number of CIOs, CMOs, CTOs, and COOs that secretly agree with me and wonder if the analysts they hired could have been a little bit clearer on the message that needs to be brought back to their own companies. This is where the folks from the Digital Clarity Group come in as they too recognize that analyst need to do a better job in providing clear, forward-thinking, actionable advice to their clients.