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Showing posts from January, 2006

Open source CMS evaluations

I have now seen three more or less serious open source CMS reviews.

First guy to hit the field was Matt Raible (1234), ending up with Drupal, Joomla, Magnolia, OpenCms and MeshCMS being runner-ups.

Then there is OpenAdvantage that tries out a handful (Drupal, Exponent CMS, Lenya, Mambo, and Silva), including Plone which they use for their own site (funny/annoying that the entire site has no RSS-feeds, nor is it possible to comment on the articles), following Matt's approach by exluding many CMS that seem not to fit the criteria. It is somewhat strange that OpenAdvantage cuts away Magnolia because it "Requires J2EE server; difficult to install and configure; more of a framework than CMS", and proceed to include Apache Lenya in the full evaluation. Magnolia does not require a J2EE server. It runs on Tomcat just like Lenya does (maybe it's an idea to bundle Magnolia with Jetty to make it seem more lightweight). I'm still sure that OpenAdvantage would 'fail' …

Dynamifying my bookmarks

I guess this is as close I'll get to talk about Web 2.0 (yuck) in this blog. I'm in the process of moving my links in this blog out of my static template and into del.icio.us (tip o' the hat to Petter!), like the blogroll from bloglines, except this is a linkroll, I guess. Here are the steps I did to get it in:

Bookmarked and tagged all the links on my del.icio.us (tagged with atleast 'cms')
Did not bookmark links that I blogroll allready Find out what to do with the template. This turned out to be more difficult as all the how-to's on the net are concerned with how to integrate tagging between del.icio.us and blogger, which I don't care about (yet). Tagging (i.e. metadata) is seriously overrated anyway. Patiently wait for Petter to comment here and say what he did because I can't bother finding it out on my own right now :) Thanks, Petter! Went to http://del.icio.us/help/linkrolls and fiddled …

Definition review: Gilbane's CM definition

I had a quick read through Gilbane's CM definition to see if it would spawn any ideas or reactions.

Web publishing meets e-Business. Seems like they want to shrink the definition into meaning web content management, excluding stuff like digital document management. I don't mind this, but personally I prefer to use CM as an umbrella for most of the other management types, including web. And I see that towards the end of the document different analysts views on this are presented. And indeed some of them share my view, Gartner even claims (uh, mind that this was in year 2000) that no full CMS does not yet exist (still a valid claim?). Coincedentially, CAP even uses the term "umbrella".
Oh, and there's a very nice comment on knowledge management (this one's for you, Thommy ;)):

Fortunately, the assault on logic and language that was knowledge management has run out of steam. We'll still see the term used by consultants and some technology vendors (inclu…

Another meeting with the coach

Met A again for the first time since the middle of December. We spent most of the time discussing the content of the thesis as it is now (haven't uploaded it to anywhere yet). I have to clear up my Research Question and send it to her by next monday.

Here are some personal notes on what must be done with each chapter:

Define the Research Question. What are you investigating? More academic references (find on portal.acm.com, IEEE)! Use the articles reviewed already.

Specialize in an aspect. People, human, social, business, technical, community. Choose one. Red thread.

Chapter 1
Present the problem early on. Small outline.

Move how-to to the end of the chapter. Make it correspond with the current TOC.

Introduce more along the generel context of information systems. Top down approaching WCMS. Context of study. Research Question (everything depends on this). The rise of the Internet (use inf5210 sources here). Describe more business, KM and CM. Information infrastructure and software. Link b…

The levels of content management

Web ontent management is a challenge that any company with a website consciously deals with. We can divide the physical management of content into four levels.

Level 1 content management: static files
The most basic strategy is to compose static HTML files and transfer these to a webserver capable of serving such files to clients connceting to the website. It is possible to apply stiles to the pages, for example with the help of cascading style sheets (CSS).

Level 2 content management: templates
The next level of content management is if you want to reuse the design of your website by dynamically including content into a frame of finished design, or a template. The content is typically contained in some text file the dynamc page engine can read. Examples of technology capable of this are Server-Side Includes (SSI), CGI, PHP, ASP and JSP. HTML also has a command called “frames” although professional web designers and developers frown upon the use of this deprecated function.

Level 3 conte…

Why only a web content management system?

When selecting a system to control their website, CIO's are often tempted to invest into corporate-wide enterprise solutions. These solutions promise to solve many of the corporate IT-problems with a single centralized silver bullet system. However, as James Robertson points out, the projects where these solutions are selected, implemented and deployed often fail miserably, taking too long and when if they ever achieve normal use, the world has changed and the system no longer satisfies the demands of Web x.0.

My reaction to reading this well-pointed-out-and-written post is that CIO's should think very carefully before going into such immense projects. Until technology has matured further (and IT doesn't matter), perhaps it is better to leave your web content management to a system which is made for the job.

Again, the term Agile Management comes to mind.

Book review: Bob Boiko's CM-Bible

Note that I'm not all through this book, will update later.This is more of a summary/thinkscript (hey, cool term! ©2006), using this book as a stormer for the thesis.
Introduction
States the obvious reasons for why Content Management is needed (underlies e-business), informations frenzy, information age, etc.Part 1: What is Content?Seems to be a nice place to start. Get the definitions sorted out in an introductory way.Chapter 1: Defining Data, Information and ContentI was previously used to defining use a definition of data/information/knowledge, but perhaps the Content Management Camp share the Knowledge Management Camp's love for coining new definitions.
The core of this chapter is to define the words Information, and mostly Content, which will be used through the rest of the book.Given that I know what data and information pretty well, the only surprising thing here is how similar the definition of Content is to that of Knowledge. The former does seem to be somewhat closer…

Book review: Integrative Document and Content Management: Strategies for Exploiting Knowledge

Found an electronic version of this book. Just looked briefly through it, and it might prove to be a valuable source (because):

Large focus on webThe business contextVery nice and large part on engineering the requirements of the "IDCM"Perhaps a bit too big-bang, integrating much more than just web (also e-mail, DM, the lot)Chapter 18 focuses on the functional requirements of Web Content Management. A must read for me.A huuuge chapter on assessment, choosing, contracting, implementing (vendor's) solution

I dare to copy the title of the books preface (for personal reference):

This book blends theory and practice to provide practical knowledge and guidelines
to enterprises wishing to understand the importance of managing documents along with
presenting document content to facilitate business planning and operations support. The
book introduces strategies for Integrative Document and Content Management (IDCM).

Asprey, Len. Integrative Document and Content Management: Strategies fo…

I need a conference! v1.3

Latest update: Here's another conference just announced .

Update: Found a nifty list of conferences on the contentwrangler's blog. Will have to go through them properly later.

Now A has a functional requirement for all her master students: You have to publish something, or speak at a conference. I have been looking at various conferences, but unfortunately many of them are either too commercial/product oriented (like this one or this one), or they are not closely enough related to WCM (like this one and this one ). Perhaps I'm being too picky about it, and I'm quickly running out of time.

Any conference I apply for will have to be:
Not too expensive (the institute will probably not cover more than about 800€ plus travelling expenses to a certain limit) Related to content management or web Theoretically/academically focused (i.e. students and scholars attend) Taking place within the next 6 months (very hard to submit a paper and be accepted in …

Suggesting solutions

I need to come up with a couple of suggestions for a solution to the problem previously presented. The answer to the challenges of web content management is of course a web content management system. Some would prefer a portal, and there are many different opinions on whether a portal and a WCMS are two sides of the same coin. Personally I prefer to think of a portal as a web content management dialect, or maybe the portal is merely the content-delivery part of the WCMS. Will have to include a chapter on portals in the thesis, I think.

My plan in presenting different solutions is so that they can be compared next week. So let's jump into it and grab a couple of WCMS-es I can compare:

Magnolia (open source, uses JSR-170 standard)
Primetime Portal (proprietary, uses no standards beneath the web-front-end)
In the first round, these two will have to be sufficient. My timeline is simply too short to do a larger comparison. Anyway, both of these contain enough functionality to consider most…

Improving problem description

This week is set off for improving the chapter on problem description. Every thesis has a "problemstilling", a problem which the thesis should solve. A goal, or a challenge. Currently the chapter looks a little something like this:
ChallengesWhat are the challenges that have pushed forth content management. What are the problems IT-departmens suffer from today related to web content. Issues on web-management.The issues of web content managementContent is not maneuvrable. There is too much of it, too many web pages with too many attached documents. Often a corporation will put much resource into sustainin a site map and a navigation tree, but if these are made manually, it will be a lot of work and no guarantee to be correct. Searching is a great shortcut to make all content available, but searching the right way is easier said than done. Does the search engine check if the search word was incorrectly spelled? Are there any synonyms of the search word which should be checked?�…

Master plan for spring 2006

Just have to point out that spring 2006 is in fact the last semester for my thesis. The feeling is that I'm lagging behind. This is quite common for people in their last semester, but I think it's relatively serious on my part. At least this is not because of a lack of interest in the thesis, but rather a lack of time (had to work) and efficiency.
Nonetheless, here is the workplan for my last semester:


Week 1 (2/1 - 8/1)
Workplan, modification of Magnolia
Week 2 (9/1 - 15/1)
Improve problem description
Week 3 (16/1 - 22/1)
Suggest solutions
Week 4 (23/1 - 29/1)
Describe comparison framework
Week 5 (30/1 - 5/2)
Describe implementationsWeek 6 (6/2 - 12/2)
Compare solutionsWeek 7 (13/2 - 19/2)
Discuss discoveries
Week 8 (20/2 - 26/2)
Describe standardizations possible tier by tier
Week 9 (27/2 - 5/3)
Collect feedback from users
Week 10 (6/3 - 12/3)
Conclude, further research
Week 11 (13/3 - 19/3)
Propose thesis draft
Week 12 (20/3 - 26/3)
Draft review
Week 13 (27/3 - 2/4)
Draft correction
Week 14 (3/4 - …

Testing Writely

Update: Fixed Writeley typo :)

So there is this new nice online-editor for documents on http://www.writely.com. Even though it's still pretty beta, it's still one of the nicest online wysiwyg-editors I've seen. I quickly noticed the feel of google/blogger of the Writely website, and of course there is some tight integration between these I guess. I'm now in the process of testing Writely's ability to publish directly into my blog. Yes, this post is written as a document on writeley :)

Revision: Did I mention that the revision feature is dead cool?

Reading up on about Writely, it seems like it's a small 3-4 person startup venture. I think we will see great things and interest in these parts until they're bought by some larger company (I'm guessing Google, just like Blogger was some years (?) ago).

Coming up in the near future: workplan for spring 2006, as well as first draft of thesis (old essay squeezed into new outline)!

CMS market is growing

A Danish member of the CM-Forum scene has pointed out how the market for CMS is growing and moving into the SMB niche. There is also mention of coming standards for CM.

Since Bloglines is down at the moment, I'll just note down this interesting Norwegian blog here: http://guiontoblog.blogspot.com/