Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

Taking a 3 Month Blogging Sabbatical

Bryan Ruby in Sioux Falls, 2013.Last month, CMS Report celebrated eight years of providing stories to readers focused on content management systems. Over the years, I've told you how grateful and even surprised I am of the success CMS Report has seen. All true, but for fear of sounding ungrateful I've never acknowledged the negatives of blogging over such an extended period of time. Today, I'm acknowledging the costs and the need to take a break from my routine of waking up before sunrise and going to bed late to maintain the site. Starting today, I'm taking a three month sabbatical away from blogging here and at CMS Report.

CMS Report will still be publishing articles from our contributors during my sabbatical, but you likely won't be seeing any articles written by me. I still plan on continuing working as editor but my office hours for the site will be reduced. I'm doing all this simply because I have responsibilities to the "day job" and myself that are begging for higher priority. In the draft for this article, I originally provided three reasons that I'm doing this sabbatical but deleted them from the published article. My reasons for taking such a break are not important but only the outcome. The end result is CMS Report will be fine without me and will likely be a better website as a result of my sabbatical.

So I end this article by simply saying: see you on the other side!

My CMS-Connected Review of Magnolia CMS

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to put out a plug for my review of the Magnolia CMS on CMS-Connected last February. This was probably one of the easiest shows I've done in the sense that the Internet connection was good and the rest of the show seemed to complement my own segment well. My thanks to Boris Kraft, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer for Magnolia, for briefing me well about their product and spending some extra time with me during the demo.

Magnolia is an open source java-based content management system that is used in more than 100 countries across the world, by governments and leading FORTUNE 500 enterprise. Magnolia is just now beginning to pick up steam in my neck of the woods, with 31% of their new customers coming from North America. While you may not recognize a Magnolia CMS site, I'm betting you do recognize some of their customers including the United State's Navy, Alltel, American Express, Barclays, Nissan, Texas State University, and Zumba.com.

Some of the features about Magnolia CMS that impressed me most included their rebuild of the software for a tablet and mobile first design, customized apps, and their notification system (called Pulse). In Magnolia's future with version 5.3 the roadmap takes us to improvements in personalization, the content pool (content types, tagging, publishing), and digital assets management (DAM). 

Put this one on your radar: Microweber CMS

Microweber Commerce

Whenever a content management system first appears on my screen, I always look at whether the developers' initial claims are true. In this case, I'm looking at Microweber and its claim that their software offers a "new generation" CMS with "cool features and innovative concepts".  Given that most of the software development in Microweber CMS is recent, from 2012 to present, the goals and claims are ambitious. Impressively, the CMS has already been translated into seven languages so far by its contributors. As word about this CMS beings to spread globally, it's time to dig a little deeper into Microweber.

Microweber LogoMicroweber's tagline for their content management system is "a CMS that lets you Drag & Drop with Live Edit feature". What makes Microweber interesting is that while a number of CMSs we have reviewed integrated these features into their CMS, Microweber is so new that the "next generation" features are being built into the software from the ground up. In other words, there is no legacy requirements for Microweber to overcome so they're able to embrace innovation without consequence. This is something established CMSs, open source or proprietary, rarely have the luxury to do.

Eight Years of CMS Report

This week, CMS Report celebrates our eight year anniversary. No one is more surprised than me.

The original intention for this site was for me to have a place where I could blog about my struggles with content management systems. I also wanted a place to point friends and colleagues to articles authored by content management gurus way smarter than me. I've often stated that CMSReport.com was founded not by what I knew but what I didn't know about content management. Unknowingly back then, I stumbled across a very large community of developers, site owners, consultants, analysts, vendors and marketers that also wanted to join into this conversation of "not knowing". Now here we sit with thousands of articles posted by over 350 different contributing authors. What an amazing experience CMS Report has brought to my professional and personal life.

I spent some time this week looking back at the most popular articles we posted on CMS Report. Interestingly, a number of the articles listed have very little to do with content management. As the site's editor, I consider this both the blessing and the curse of hosting a website focused on content management systems. Besides providing the "reader's choice", I also have provided my own list of favorite articles that has been posted here on CMSReport.com. When comparing the two lists, you will find the only article to make both lists is the one comparing Drupal and Joomla. In 2006, it was the first articles I had written received well by enough readers to suggest CMSReport.com might stick around a little longer than I had first anticipated.

Most Popular Articles by Year

2006 - Drupal and Joomla Comparison

Need Customer Experience Management? The CMS Box is Big Enough

If you're an insider of the content management industry, you're well of aware of the recent claims by some that the content management system is dead. If you're still using CMS as part of your vocabulary, you must not be keeping up with the times because it's all about customer experience management (CEM or CXM).  This is what some want you to believe. It's wishful thinking by those that want to be at the cutting edge of something new and believe you do that by diminishing the value of what we know currently works. Every few years we go through this movement and every time history has shown that the demise of the CMS is exaggerated.

I wasn't going to enter this conversation, but I've had some people already misread my need to put some distance between me and CMS Report as a signal that I see a sinking ship on the horizon. From my perspective, the opposite is actually true with what is going on in the CMS industry. In the past few years, I've been busier than ever talking and doing "content management". Everyone from writer to CEO now understands that managing content is the key to reaching out to customers. Only those that see a CMS as "web pages" and not a vital asset to a company's information system seem to not recognize the value of content management. There isn't a vendor, developer, or business owner that I've talked to that said they can do without a content management system.