A few months ago, I had a problem. After eight years of non-stop writing, I found myself exhausted of all enthusiasm to blog. Let me tell you, it's a sad day in Web City when an advocate for content management systems has no real desire to author new content. I was also questioning in this age of "always on" social media whether the traditional blog had lost value not only to me but my readers. If content is no longer king, why should I spend so much effort creating new content? So as summer approached, I decided to take a break from blogging.
At the beginning of my sabbatical I made a secret promise to myself. If at the end of three months I found no value in blogging, I would call Agility to say it's time to shutdown CMS Report. I was prepared to resign myself to writing only an occasional post on Google+ (which "experts" claim no one reads) or on my personal blog (which I know nobody reads). If I did this, would I really miss CMS Report? Would the readers miss me if I was no longer blogging? On more practical terms, do I really need to blog in an era where Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter is available to me?
Honestly, three months ago I had hoped to find that blogging no longer has value. It would have been a revolutionary moment and raise the eyebrows of my peers. I was hoping to shock the world on my "discovery" that blogging didn't matter. Alas, after three months of not blogging, I've found that I will be given absolutely no opportunity to shock and awe. To my surprise, I've found that blogging still matters. Here is what I discovered...
So I'm halfway through my three month sabbatical from blogging and I get an email from my good friend, Shaun Walker. For those that don't know Shaun, he's the CTO and co-founder for DNN Corp. You know, the guy that started DotNetNuke. To make a long story short, Shaun wanted to remind me that the DNN community recently released 7.3 which focuses on platform performance. Shaun thought it would be a good idea to mention the release to readers here at CMS Report. Given that this was the man that identified wayback that the future of content management systems was in cloud, mobile and social media...it is difficult for me to ignore such requests.
However, I'm not fully giving up my three-month break from blogging. Instead, I'll do what any good blogger in my circumstances would do...steal from Shaun's own blog post about DNN 7.3. It's the only way I know how to keep DNN fans happy while my summer plans stay intact. The following is in Shaun's own words:
I am very excited to announce that the latest version of DNN was officially released today. This is a major release focused primarily on platform performance and stability. With almost 450 issues closed in this iteration, this release represents a substantial amount of value for customers and platform users.
WordPress 3.9 has been released with a number of refinements that WordPress hopes you'll "love". The changes and new features are solid but perhaps not as many as we've come to expect given past WordPress point releases. Some of the new features that can be found in WordPress 3.9 include improvements in the media editing experience, gallery previews, and live editing of widgets and headers.
Media Editing Improvements
- Improved visual editing - The updated visual editor has improved speed, accessibility, and mobile support. Filtering out excess code from your word processor such as from Microsoft Word has been improved.
- Image Editing - Quicker access to crop and rotation tools and you can now also scale images directly in the editor.
- Drag and Drop - Uploading your images can be grabbed from your desktop or file system and dropped directly into the editor.
Galleries display a beautiful grid of images right in the editor, just like they do in your published post.
Audio and Video Playlists
Similar to how WordPress has handled images with galleries; WordPress now has included a simple audio and video playlists to embed your music and clips within the content.
Live Widget and Header Previews
Those familiar WordPress widgets can now be added, edited, and rearranged right in the theme customizer. It's "live editing" where you can preview your changes without having to save and publish.The improved header image tool also lets you upload, crop, and manage headers while customizing your theme.
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!
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).