a content management weblog
31 Jan 2005

a partial selection of writing from around the web

Jan 05
Web Content Management Marketplace Circa 2005
"...buyers seem to have decided that managing Web content is a more situational, departmental activity, worthy of lower costs and simpler solutions."

Nov 04
Making a better CMS
"Most open source content management software is useless. The only thing worse is every commercial CMS I've used."

Apr 04
Why content management fails
"Content management is not a technology problem. If you're having trouble managing the content on your Web site, it's because you have an editorial process problem".

Find the appropriate solution
"Vendors are creating generic solutions that actually increase the cost of running a site. Meanwhile, most businesses either have very simple needs that require only cheap, simple systems, or they have specific needs that the generic solutions handle poorly - or both."

Mar 04
Don't make these mistakes when buying content management software
"The specification of content management software should begin with the author..." Gerry McGovern on putting content before technology.

Oct 03
Why personalization hasn't worked
"A portal costs four times more to buy and operate than a normal website. It delivers half the benefits."

Jul 03
How many CMS vendors are there?
According to of Erik Hartman in response to a question on cms-list, "I guess there are world-wide about 2,000 vendors of content management systems...Every week I discover 2 or 3 new vendors/systems...There are also many open source solutions".

Jun 03
Is There a Gremlin in Your Website?
Spot-on analysis of why most websites should not attempt to serve content dynamically.

May 03
Open-Source CMS: Prohibitively Fractured?
Tony Byrne considers the future of open source CMS development and concludes that "Five years from now, it's highly likely that buyers are going to choose from among CMS solutions built on top of 4 major 'enterprise' families: Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and Apache", so that developers "might as well start aligning with the Apache project now".

Where is the knowledge in a content management system?
An interesting paper by James Robertson identifying what is needed for turning content management into knowledge management.

Apr 03
An out-of-control web budget
Fujitsu burns through $A4m on a modest-looking Australian government website.

Mar 03
Low-Cost Alternatives for Web Content Management
Overview of desktop applications, server software, hosted services and open source options for content management.

Feb 03
Is Content King for ASPs?
"The big question for CMS ASPs is whether a CMS is a big enough application to stand alone." A review of hosted content management services from Vignette, Crownpeak and Atomz.

Irish e-Governement survey highlights problems
Lack of vision and difficulties in getting content authored—not technology—are the main hurdles to getting government services online.

The Problems with CMS
Survey results conclude—unsurprisingly— that content management software is too expensive and requires too much customization.

Jan 03
Enterprise Content Management Revisited
"The checklist of ECM capabilities has grown so large that no supplier has them all. Hence, each vendor's desire to redefine 'true' ECM around the subset it can offer. But in lean times like these, users are looking for less grandiose offerings, simpler content solutions for specific business needs."

Dec 02
Evaluating your content management needs
"Before evaluating a content management system, you need to evaluate your own needs first". A quick questionnaire that may be useful if you're thinking about using a CMS for your website.

Recently returned from the floor of ECM 2002 at Earl's Court. The overall impression was of salesmen outnumbering punters; of stands reduced in size and extravagance; and nothing very new or interesting:

Q. Can an industry be experiencing double-digit growth and appear moribund at the same time?
A. Yes, when suppliers are multiplying at a faster rate than the demand for their products.

Nov 02
Seven Areas of Content Management Growth for 2003 [$]
Gartner prognostications. Outsourcing of web content management is one of the areas and Kitsite gets a mention (hooray!).

Outsourcing Content Management
"while the cost of hardware and storage may be dropping, the cost of software and IT personnel to maintain adequate content management continues to rise", more or less sums up the argument for outsourcing.

Oct 02
Content Management fever bites, vendors lose out
Bloor Research's glib take on the Yankee Group's Doing Business on the Internet: "Any organisation with a reasonable web content management need can plug that hole with a month's work." Er, hold on...

While some in-house systems might have been built on the promise of a reasonable need being met within a few weeks, it is unlikely that many of those systems will have turned out quite as planned.

The high number of home-grown systems now in use is a result not of the ease with which usable cms systems can be thrown together, but of the expense and relative scarcity of such systems at the time when work on most home-grown systems is likely to have started.

Now that the Internet bubble has burst, many organizations that hired staff to work on online projects are likely to be looking more closely at their cost base. They may also find that the market for content management systems is no longer as favourable to flaky and over-priced products as it once was. Furthermore, once the job market picks up, holding on to staff in a climate of anxiety about costs may not be easy. At that point, the in-house CMS may begin to look like an expensive and unsustainable distraction.

Sept 02
Multilingual content management
"Perhaps the most common, and an easily overlooked, difficulty encountered in developing multi-lingual websites is the maintenance of a consistent design across different language versions of a site". My quick take on the subject of managing multilingual websites.

Content management usability
"The network launched not too far behind schedule, and to great success, soon picking up a slew of awards and one of the largest audiences of any UK news site. But behind the scenes there was a problem. The web production process was so convoluted and time-consuming that the web edition wasn't able to launch until 3am at the earliest. There was a cost to this in cash terms—overtime fees to staff—but there was also a cost in terms of staff morale: many of the editorial staff became frankly rebellious". Kitsite interface designer, Michael Kowalski, on the under-rated topic of CMS usability.

July 02
Designing content using web services
"Web services hold the key to self-service content management systems and to the rapid development and deployment of applications". It's a future so bright we'll need sunglasses. It may be some way off, though.

Look in to the future of content management
Tony Byrne's overview of the market. In summary, the lower end of the market is becoming commoditized; the enterprise market is beginning to show signs of consolidation. In the mid-market: products are appearing targeted at niche markets; managed services are on the rise; open source solutions are maturing; and no sign yet of consolidation. In conclusion: caveat emptor. All pretty sensible stuff.

Jun 02
Failings catch up with Web content management's consultingware
Referring to another Jupiter report, David Walker on why a home-grown system can sometimes produce better results than the likes of Vignette, Interwoven and Documentum—particularly for smaller projects. Although perhaps this misses the point. Why would anyone want to use enterprise software for a smaller project in the first place?

Apr 02
Exporting content from QuarkXPress
"QuarkXPress was never designed for marking up the structure of documents and is ill-equipped for doing so. It may not be the ideal tool for cross-platform content delivery, but while it remains in widespread use, there are ways to work around its limitations". My guide to the painful issue of Quark-to-web publishing.

Pass me that brochureware, please
A sensible piece by David Walker—citing a Jupiter Report—in praise of websites that provide useful information .

Dec 00
Content without it? The doubts about Vignette
More Vignette rubbishing. This time from David Walker.

Phil Greenspun on Vignette
"Sitting through a meeting with them was for me a rather surreal experience. It would be rather akin to hearing Adobe pitch PhotoShop as a payroll check processing system". Still my favourite piece of writing on the subject of content management software.

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Jan 05: 746 entries
Jan 04: 778 entries
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compiled by danny sofer of kitsite ltd