Bryan Ruby

Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

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.

Technology Break 2012: Utilizing my new Jayco CMS

2012 F-150 Ecoboost towing a 2011 Jayco Jay Flight 26BH

Long time readers of CMS Report may recall that each summer I plan a number of small vacations intended to reduce my technology usage as much as possible. I have a real need to unplug from my Internet connection, step away from the blogging of content management systems, and leave the computer screen behind. I don't always succeed at this endeavor so this year I'm deploying some new tools to assist me in making this year's Technology Break a success. I now introduce to you, the Jayco CMS.

The front-end of this Camping Management System sports the 2011 Jayco Jay Flight 26BH. Usability and user experience were well thought out in the design of this CMS with such comfort features as a microwave, fridge, and hot water tank. The "BH" in this official version stands for bunkhouse which is a specification that clearly defines user roles by allowing enough separation between parents and children. While the trailer is pre-wired for cable and satellite, the site administrator can set the UAC so no TV is included to maximize the camping management experience. This camping trailer not only has a 90 gallon fresh tank, but also a 32.5 gallon gray wastewater tank as well as a 32.5 gallon black wastewater tank. If I have to explain what the black wastewater tank is for, it's quite obvious to me that you're a newbie to camping management systems and best you stick with me on this story a little longer.

Google Panda Killed CMS Report's Aggregation

During the Memorial weekend, I decided to pull the plug on the CMS related news feeds we were streaming into Planet CMS. One of CMS Report's biggest strengths has always been pointing people toward the right direction in their search for content management systems. Knowing that one site couldn't support all the stories that needed to be written about CMSs, we began to rely more heavily on using a news aggregator within our Drupal CMS to provide you the links and excerpts to articles written elsewhere. I did this all with good intentions, but Google apparently disagrees.

Google constantly changes their search and ranking algorithms intended in part to weed out sites that lacked original quality content. The algorithm, Google Panda, does this in part by penalizing sites that artificially raise their onsite content by using the content of others. Sites that aggregate content from other sites get hit pretty hard in Google's search rankings. I thought I was in the clear by only providing a short excerpt and not the full content of the article, but the drop in referrals over time from Google Search tells me otherwise.

Last year, I ignored Panda because I knew my intentions were good, but the experts tell me that good intentions are not enough. I was naive and CMS Report paid the price. This has been a brutal year for traffic to My rankings and referrals from Google have dropped significantly the past several months.

The Start of Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design is without a doubt one of the Web's biggest buzzwords for 2012. The Web is changing fast and even though the importance of CMSs addressing mobile devices was well predicted, I suspect even the tech gurus are surprised at the current growth rate of smartphones. If you don't know it by now, there is a lot of pressure on web designers and site builders to ensure that their client's websites are responding to the changing Internet. A website should look good no matter how it is being displayed, whether that site is being viewed on a desktop, cell phone, tablet, or whatever new device the Ghost of Steve Jobs brings us.

Responsive Web design is the approach where design and development of a website should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The challenge though is that while everyone talks about Responsive Web Design, very few people are actually talking about the steps necessary for allowing your site to become responsive. This is why I enjoyed reading the article written by Abhijeet Chavan, CTO for Urban Insight, on Prototyping Responsive Websites.

Websites being built today need to be accessible on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. I will outline a prototyping process that we are experimenting with to efficiently create designs for responsive websites.

Increasingly, a website may be likely to be accessed using a mobile device as it is using a desktop or laptop computer. And more users are now only using mobile devices to access websites. Building websites that adapt to different devices is called responsive web design.  I will outline a prototyping process that we are experimenting with to efficiently create responsive websites.