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.
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.
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.
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
Early this morning, I was one of two guests on the eZ Publish Show. The purpose of the episode was to discuss the future of content management system. I was joined by host Ivo Lukač of Netgen, and fellow guest Apoorv Durga from Real Story Group.
Honestly, I usually steer clear from discussions on the future of content management and any associated technology. It's not that I don't have the vision of what the future holds (such as social media impacting content management). The problem is when I look back at such predictions from the context of today, I'm embarrassed. Even with my better predictions, there is usually so much that I missed and didn't get right. So, I'm quite pleased that both Apoorv and I were conservative in our predictions on the future of content management. If you think you can do better in your predictions, and some of you can, please let me know what you think the future holds for content management systems.
If there is any one thing I want people to get out of today's eZ Publish Show it is this: What is the future of content management systems? Answer: Solving the problems of today.
On my "to-do list" is a mention of the availability of my In the Spotlight segment online as well as the rest of the May 2013 CMS-Connected show. One of the nice things about participating on this show with hosts Tyler Pyburn and Scott Liewehr is the chance to get to spread my wings to new CMS territory. Specific to this show, I had the opportunity to review Bridgeline Digital's iAPPS Product Suite for the very first time. Once I had a chance to get a demo and do some homework, I found I was quite impressed with this content management platform. Those of you from medium to large size organizations will especially want to take a look at iAPPS.
As I mentioned last month, the May show's focus was on organizational web governance. I know, for some governance can at first appear to be a very boring topic. However, this show had the amazing Lisa Welchman joining the conversation sharing her expert insight and commentary on governance. If you've never had a chance to witness Lisa speaking on stage to a large crowd, you're missing something. Do yourself a favor, watch the show just and get a small sampling of why Lisa is the thought leader in corporate Web strategy and governance.
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.
I like to keep things simple and prefer to use content management system (CMS) as the term used to describe the information system we use to manage all content. However, I will acknowledge that it is sometimes good to categorize a CMS by purpose. This differentiation of a CMS by purpose has given us subcategories of the CMS which include the enterprise content management system (ECM), the web content management system (WCM), and the social publishing system (social business system). In a press release this week, Alfresco introduced me to social content management, another new marketing term to describe a CMS with the purpose of managing social media.
Alfresco is tying to evolve the social content management system higher than the social publishing system within the information system food chain. If you ask them, a social content management system would do something much more than a social publishing system. I'm not convinced of that, but they do make a good argument.
Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 is purpose-built for managing content in a social world. Enterprises are increasingly deploying social business systems like Jive, Salesforce.com’s Chatter, Lotus Quickr, Drupal and Liferay, among others, in the hopes of making employees more effective. According to Alfresco, these social business systems are creating volumes of unmanaged content if left un-checked. Using open standards like CMIS & JSR-168, Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 is a content platform with a goal to co-exist with social business systems to help manage and retain the content created by social business systems.
The marketing team over at Alfresco are pure geniuses. In this case Alfresco is using the social business systems as another catch phrase to describe what I know to be social publishing systems. Alfresco on the other hand identifies their product as as a social content management system that co-exist to manage the social content created by all these other systems. A CMS that is needed to clean up after the mess created by all these other social publishing systems. I'm not sure I buy the argument that there is much difference between a social content management system and a social publishing system. But I will bite that social content management has a much better ring to it than social publishing system or any other term we use to describe the management of social content.
From now on when I describe a CMS for the purpose of managing social content, I'll likely use the term social content management instead of social publishing system. It seems to be a more fitting term for describing the direction the CMS is currently evolving toward. So hats off to Alfresco for pushing this term in their marketing. In a CMS world where ECM and WCM can exist, I see no reason why there can't be a SCM. On face value, there is nothing wrong with this logic. Except, of course, I like to keep things simple and prefer to simply call all these information systems a content management system. However, who am I to argue with progress.
This week I have been thinking a lot about how poorly we manage data and information. The quality of the data and the lack of needed data has historically been an issue at work. We have focused a lot of our time on data mining but never really recognized that one day there would be too much data and information for our staff to sift through. Recently, our managers proposed two new data sources for the operational staff to review and I decided that it was time to hit the panic button that we're currently giving out more information to our workers than they can handle.
When a business presents too much information to their staff it is a lot like catching deer in your headlights. If the deer is too overwhelmed to run and you don't steer the car out of the way then no good can come to both car and deer. This is where I think we are at work and we're needing to slow things down a bit to give both driver and deer time to think about their next move. For the moment at least, I'm personally at a lost on how best to solve our issues with information overload.
Who really defines what is a CMS?
I'm more convinced than ever that CMS experts aren't really in the driver's seat when defining the content management system. Experts in the field of content management are more or less observant passengers that are there to help you not get lost and to point out the significant landmarks on the way. This journey takes you to places while you the customer remain in the driver seat with all the privileges and responsibilities of being the driver.
Over the past few years I've realized that my work preference is to keep things as simple as possible. Sometimes when defining information systems keeping things simple works while other times the system is new and remains too complicated to define. Thanks to my reply in a productive rant against CMS by Laurence Hart I'm not only understanding my aversion to being called a CMS expert but also my philosophy and role in defining what is a CMS. This personal philosophy is developing...
Scott Abel convinced me a few years ago on my own blog that the definition of a CMS is never static and always changing. We’re chasing our own tail when we get nit picky in our definitions of a CMS. Somewhere in all the marketing that has been done for terms such as CMS, ECM, and WCM…we have forgotten the difference between information system and information technology.