Content management

Drupal 6.0 makes content management better than ever

The Drupal project today released Drupal 6.0. This latest release of the leading content management system makes managing web content easier and more powerful than ever before. Drupal 6.0 includes many great new features that improve usability, security, setup, themeing, user interfaces and just about every part of the system. Thousands of hours of testing have gone into this new release. The inclusion of many new JavaScript tools and the jQuery libraries makes administering a Drupal site easier than ever.

I've used many of the beta and release candidate versions and this is by far the most exciting release of Drupal yet. For administrators things like managing menus are so easy and beautiful that it is tempting to spend hours just moving menus around because it is so much fun. The Theme Developer module makes writing Drupal themes easier than it has ever been.

The price of Red Dot content management system on Google

Some of the writing I've been doing on content management systems led me to do a search that produces a funny result. Search for price of Red Dot content management system on Google. The top result as of today is this December 2002 issue of Smart Content newsletter published by the Red Dot folks. As it stands at the time of this writing it is a page with a grand total of zero links on it. Yup. There are URL's in the text that one could copy and paste into a web browser but there is not a single link to click on. At first I was just put off because there was no link in the header to take me back to the home page but a quick search of the source shows not a single link anywhere.

Perhaps somebody should get them a copy of Don't Make Me Think.

Dreamweaver vs. Content Management part II

My position on Dreamweaver is no secret. Last fall I was talking with a colleague and journalism professor about the need for journalism schools to teach content management principles as part of their programs. A communications professional who knows nothing about Dreamweaver can have a bright future. A communications professional who knows only a little about content management is in big trouble.

After we were discussing the course yesterday evening I opened up Google Reader and read Ken Rickard's post about Amy Gahran's wonderful Poynter Online article about just this topic. Here are some of the high points from Gahran's article:

Apparently, this j-school (like many others) offers little or no training in true CMS-based tools. Their online courses focus on Dreamweaver.

That's a big problem, because tools embody mindsets. Focusing on Dreamweaver teaches exactly the wrong mindset for online journalism: that your Web site is mainly an island unto itself.

Sure I know Dreamweaver, Front Page and more

As a hiring manager I'm always skeptical when I get a resume filled with "technical" classes from one of the myriad of technical schools around the country. When I've worked with graduates of these programs it seems they have a marginal, but usually satisfactory, understanding of how technology is supposed to work. The problem is I rarely need people who can work with technology that is working. If technology is working and things are simple there is little that end-users need. Even relatively simple tasks like deploying computers depends upon a specific understanding of the complex situation that is most business networks. Few organizations do a "out of the box" installation of a Microsoft Active Directory and run 100% machines that work in that environment. These complexities mean a technical manager is quickly looking for skills that don't come from these technical schools. Ironically because they do tend to come in people who are self-motivated to learn the technology any way they can often the requisite skills are stronger in those who haven't been through this sort of program.

Why content management fails

I came upon an article by Jeffrey Veen today that makes some very good points. In talking about the general lack of success with Content Management Systems he notes that websites are publications. Further, "all publications require editorial expertise."

His argument pertains particularly to companies and their web-sites. But, what about blogs?

I'll leave that as a rhetorical question today to be revisited soon.

CMS for TidBits

There is a very good discussion on the TidBits-Talk list about finding a new CMS for the publication. They are looking to replace their home built system as they move to an X-serve/OS X system.

I've worked with several systems including Clay Basket, Userland's Frontier (versions 4-7.x), Zope (2.x), Nuke derivatives and now Drupal. Each has something powerful to offer.

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