Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

Deeds

My Son's Fool

Yesterday, I was the victim of an April Fool's prank. When you have a young teenager in the house, I suppose it's inevitably going to happen. I walked into my office and found Teletubbies on the screen. If there is a children's show I have to pick as my least favorite it is the Teletubbies. To make things worse, as the IT expert at both home and work I couldn't figure out how to get the video off my screen.

Well played my son. To be honest, this is the first of your April Fool's pranks that I didn't see coming. Now that I'm aware you're getting smarter and more devious, I'll be better prepared for you next year. 

For the record, growing up it was the character Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street I liked the most. Let's not also forget another one of my favorites, the Adventures of Letterman via the Electric Company.   

Recovering from Blogging Burnout

Getting burned by the fire

I don't think I want to do this anymore...

After three or four decades of being immersed in the digital lifestyle and blogging on a continual basis for 15 years, I found myself puking at the idea of spending more time in front of the computer outside of work. It's not that I don't still like technology and content management, but I didn't recognize until it was too late that the lack of topic diversity would eventually lead me to digital burnout. To fix this, I seriously tried not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In the end that's exactly what I did.

Having walked away from CMS Report earlier this year, it's taken me months to recognize that the problem wasn't being bored with content management systems. The problem is I didn't do it in moderation.  Between my day job working in information technology and the evenings spent blogging and running personal websites, there were days I spent close to 16 hours in front of a computer screen. For someone like me that can be over enthusiastic in pursuing my interests and activities, I never considered my computer time as work. As odd as it sounds, it became a great shock to me that my body both physically and mentally still perceived it as work.

I know there are others that have dealt with job burnout, but this wasn't just my job it was my hobby. Until recently, writing blog posts always brought me great joy and satisfaction. Steven D’souza in a recent article published at Harvard Business Review wrote about going through something similar. In the article he discusses the dangers of not recognizing work we love as still being work.

My Personal Goodbye to CMS Report

CMS Report Logo

Over the years, I've told people that CMS Report is a side business. While I would never become rich from this blog, I've been lucky enough to have been able to put a little extra cash in my wallet from this website's ad revenue. In truth, what has actually sustained CMS Report is not money but my passion for information systems. I absolutely love this magical process where people, hardware, software, and infrastructure come together to improve the business or organization. A decade ago, I could find no better example of information systems in the real world than the content management system. I decided to write about CMSs and created a blog and website to host those articles. After spending ten years as this site's founder, editor, and primary writer I've decided it is time for me to move on to some new challenges.

What an amazing and crazy ride this has been for someone that started his career as a meteorologist and now works full time in government IT. This was supposed to be a one year exercise for feeding my hunger to learn more about CMSs. Instead, this became a ten year project that tapped into a community of developers, marketers, analysts, founders, executives, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. It has been a joy to have met so many creative, smart, and hardworking people through this website. I received more than I gave. But in the past few years, my passion to write only about CMS topics has diminished and I'm not happy that my articles lack the shine they once had. After considerable thought, I've decided it's time for me to pass the torch to another.

The eZ Publish Show: Don't forget about Editor Experience

Last week, we started a conversation on The ez Publish Show hosted by Netgen's Ivo Lukač. The we included Ivo, Digital Clarity's Marianne Kay and myself. The odd question that started the conversation: Did modern CMSs sacrifice good editor experience (EX) for improving customer experience?

I'm not sure how well we answered the question, but the show was an acknowledgement that while CXM may get a lot of attention these days in the CMS world, there is still plenty of room for improving the EX too. I'll let the video speak for itself, but if you prefer an overview, then you can checkout Ivo's re-cap.

 

 

Argus Leader inverview for #dontjerkanddrive

Keep Calm and Don't Jerk the Wheel

I was recently asked by the Argus Leader, a local newspaper in Sioux Falls, to give my two cents on the controversial South Dakota #DontJerkandDrive campaign. Since then the article has been syndicated out to USA Today and other publications. It seems that I caught the attention of a reporter when I labeled the campaign as "brilliant" on Twitter.

The word on the street is that the State of South Dakota is pulling back on this specific campaign. I can't say I'm surprised. I understood the gamble Lee Axdahl, the Director of the Office of Highway Safety, was taking when he signed on to this marketing strategy.

Bryan Ruby, owner of the web consulting business CMS Report, was impressed with the campaign from a marketing standpoint. Online, he called it "brilliant."

"I thought it was a bold move for the state of South Dakota," Ruby said in a telephone interview. "It definitely requires a sense of humor, and that's the risk you're taking. But if the point is to get the message out, this does it."

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). 

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

Join me on this Thursday's CMS Connected Webcast

If you have some free time this Thursday then you might want to tune into the CMS Connected's live webcast. As a periodic guest, I will be reviewing the Magnolia CMS platform in the show's Vendor Spotlight segment. 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.

Showtime is set for Thursday, February 27th at 11:30 AM CST. If you plan on watching the webcast live, be sure and register for show at CMS-Connected.com.

The primary focus of the show will be on the shift to "Big Data".

How has Big Data changed your world? This isn’t just an “old dogs, new tricks” shift. Big Data is a massive paradigm shift that opens new doors and creates new possibilities that are an order of magnitude different from what previous generations had at their fingertips. So, how does one embrace the Big Data paradigm shift?

As part of our discussion on Big Data they will welcoming Seth Earley into the studio. Seth is a 25 year veteran of the technology industry and currently heads a consulting firm of which is is the founder and CEO.

Also, joining the show will be regular co-hosts, Scott Liewehr and Butch Stearns. A first, I think, DCG Principal Analyst Jill Finger Gibson will also weighing in on some of our big news stories of the show.

My review of e-Spirit's FirstSpirit CMS

In September's CMS-Connected show, I once again had the privilege of being a guest reviewer for their "CMS In the Spotlight" segment. This time around I reviewed e-Spirit's FirstSpirit CMS. Never heard of it? Honestly, I hadn't either until CMS-Connected Producer Gary Eisenstein assigned me the gig. Come to find out, FirstSpirit CMS helps run a number of international sites from companies like Bosch, KLM, Speedo, Sterling Jewelers, and Nintendo of Europe. While doing my homework, I walked away from the demo impressed with the amount of effort e-Spirit had done to improve usability for authors and editors. 

On a personal note, I've heard a number of people praising my performance in this September show. I don't do well with praise so to tell you the truth I think I did just "average" for this one. I'll let you decide on this one. Embedded below is my segment from last month's CMS-Connected. Once you do watch this segment, be sure and check out the complete show at CMS-Connected. I especially encourage you to watch the segment with Sprout Content's very smart Dechay Eaton Watts.

Celebrating People of Content with The CMS Connection

Last week, John Coonen announced that I'll be joining him at The CMS Connection as the new Editor in Chief. In John's own words, I'm there to "zero in on the most intriguing and interesting people in the CMS world, to help you get unique perspectives, advice, 'insider' tips and insights to build your professional skills and make more valuable connections". In my own words, my role at The CMS Connection is to celebrate people.

Over the years, there have been a number of "people stories" that I've had to pass because as a story they seemed out of place for CMS Report. For instance, I've been wanting to write an article about John W. Tuggle from Learning Guitar Now but beyond the news that his site runs WordPress, it becomes an article that is no longer focused on content management systems. As much as I love to write stories such as when Drupal's Dries Buytaert starting up Acquia or my friend Scott Liewehr starting up Digital Clarity Group, I've always been concerned that those profile articles showed bias for a blog intended to report content management news. Yet, I think The CMS Connection has the potential to cover these profile stories very well and allows me to stay focused on CMS as software here at CMS Report.