Julian Wraith

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SDL Tridion Translation Manager

The last video of 2013 and I am now starting to really enjoy making them. If only I had more time. So, this one is about Tridion Translation Manager (TTM) the plugin that enables sending content to and from translation with SDL TMS or World Server.

Multi-Multi SDL Tridion Deployers, solving the race condition

Recently, Chris Morgan of Building Blocks (a UK SDL partner), penned an article about scaling out the deployer. It is a good article and it is good to see more scaled publishing scenarios being implemented with customers.

In SDL Tridion 2009 particularly and 2011 less so, the deployer can be a bottleneck when you are trying to publish large volumes of content to your websites. Since the outset of SDL Tridion, customers have been growing in volume demand for updates to their websites. Moreover, the timeliness of the updates is become more and more important. The major difference between 2009 and 2011 is that 2011 is multi-threading, meaning that a single deployer can deploy more than one item at a time. Does not sound like much, but the multi-threaded change allows an ever larger amount of content to be published. However, it does need to be setup well and more over tested. If you want the best out of your publishing you must test the setup well.

Typically, when you ran up against the deployer bottleneck in 2009 you implemented multiple deployers. This you can still do in 2011 to get yet more throughput (because you add multi-threaded, multi-deployers). However, there are various things you need to take into account in order to ensure that you don’t run into problems.

If you read Chris’ article you get the idea of how you do this. However, I must make some corrections. The overall setup is fine but as Chris notes you can run into race conditions of multiple deployers trying to update the same content at the same time. For this reason, the setup described is not supported; you will get failures. However, there is hope! To avoid the race conditions you need to modify the setup as described in the blog post.

What is described in the post is that you have multiple deployers that are deploying all content from all publications. Instead you must have multiple deployers that are in their own right dedicated to publishing content of given publications. For instance, if you have 10 deployers you must split the publications you are publishing over each of the ten and not have any duplication. For example:

  • deployer 1
    • publication a
    • publication b
  • deployer 2
    • publication c
    • publication d
  • etc…

This configuration you do in your publishing targets on the Content Manager and for simplicity sake  each of your deployers can be configured 100% the same.

 

Marketing Heads in the Cloud

Or: Three reasons why CMOs should care about cloud

I started out as a real technology geek. I was nuts about computers, the Internet and everything that made it work.

Today, I love to think about the business challenges that drive the technology, about the marketing opportunities it offers and the customer experiences it can create. Rarely does pure technology still get my blood boiling, but now and then I still get ridiculously excited.

Cloud computing is such a tremendously exciting technology to me. I have been following the cloud development in the last year and it pains me to see that many marketing leaders still don’t quite see the benefit of it. Granted, cloud washing – the abuse of the term ‘cloud’ for any old story, just because it’s cool – has a lot do to with it and I don’t like to see all the fluffy confusing marketing B£#%{ that more often than not comes with it.

But: For CXM professionals and online marketing leaders, cloud technology has the potential to totally transform the way we are doing business. Here my top three exciting cloud opportunities for online marketing:

Time to market

In the 13 years that I am following large scale online projects, the first big hurdle has always been to get the infrastructure up and running. No matter how good the internal IT procurement and processes, with all the signatures and delivery timeframes, getting started with the actual physical hardware usually is a matter of weeks. Weeks that nobody has time to lose.

WHAT IF you could start within hours? What if from the time you get the go for your new campaign website or micro site until when you can get to work, is a matter of minutes? That’s what a cloud ready CMS does for you. It’s called ‘rapid deployment’ or ‘rapid provisioning’ or a few other terms with ‘rapid’. What it means is, there is a new server or entire environment pre-built and all you have to say is: one of that, please. That’s going to make your organization a lot more agile.

Protecting your investments

amazon.com CTO Dr. Werner Vogels said it so nicely at the Cloud Expo Europe 2012: “In offline business, our biggest fear used to be that nobody shows up. In online business, our biggest fear is that EVERYBODY shows up.” That is sooo very true.

When you put serious money into your marketing campaigns, can you afford your sites to be slow? Or even go down? When you find that golden egg and your campaign goes viral, can you afford to lose face and not be able to deliver? When you hit the news or your customers need you in the moment of crisis, can you afford to leave them in the dark? Of course not. You might as well flush your budget down the toilet.

WHAT IF you could have the guarantee that – no matter how much traffic – your sites will always be up and performing well? If you wouldn’t  have to fear being ‘too’ successful? Didn’t have to supersize your webfarm? That’s another thing the cloud does for you. It’s called ‘elasticity’. It means that your line of servers can expand and contract(!) automatically, based on the capacity needed to meet your requirements. That means you got your business continuity covered and can be sure to always deliver a well performing customer experience.

More money left at the end of your budget

Truth now, how much of your capacity is idling about the data centre, waiting for that hour of peak traffic for 23 hours a day, merrily keeping your maintenance team and the air condition busy and the electricity meter turning? How often did you expect the big run on your website with a campaign but it didn’t quite get as crowded as you hoped and now you are stuck with lots of hardware that you don’t need but that isn’t appreciated?

WHAT IF you only paid for what you are using and when you are using it? If you could just hand hardware back when you don’t need it anymore at no cost at all? The cloud does also that for you – ‘usage based pricing’. what it means is that you pay per hour for the hardware you are using – and not a minute longer.  A bit like the way your water supply works. It saves you hours of calculating and guessing work and for websites with volatile traffic, it saves a lot of money too.

So you see, cloud computing isn’t just for IT and geeks, but is a totally new canvas for online and marketing professionals. And that’s only my top three reasons! There is many more.

How can cloud technology help you to do a better job? Let me know!

Guest Post

Sonja KeerlSonja Keerl LinkedIntwitter
Sonja is in the online business since 1999 and a passionate voice for Customer Experience Management. She has helped many large global companies with CMS implementations, global rollouts and multichannel strategy. Sonja frequently speaks on industry events. Sonja currently works for SDL WCM as Senior Product Marketing Manager and is engaged to Julian.

Fall in Love with SDL Tridion Publishing – Part Two

A while back I wrote about how to fall in love with publishing in SDL Tridion. It’s true; you will fall in love with it when it is working well. In the article I describe the more end user aspect of publishing but typically there are allot of aspect to publishing that the end user cannot control but that are controlled by the IT or hosting organization.

TGIF?
So there I am, its 5 PM on a Friday and I am trying to get out that article that I have written in the afternoon. I am waiting for it to publish and it is taking longer than I want because I have better things to do. It’s Friday after all! I have to wait in that queue for my job to be processed after all the other jobs that were submitted before mine. But it is a queue, right? That’s what happens, I join the back and I wait until I get to the front for my turn. (At least that’s how we do it in the UK.  Also, we mumble.)

So what determines how long the queue takes?
Certainly not the user! The user determines how many jobs are in the queue but not how long it takes to complete the jobs.  The duration is mostly determined by a) the task, b) the templates, c) the servers and d) the configuration.

The Task
I am sure many of you have queued in the bank.( I am sure that is also why many of you turned to online banking.) There are 5 people in front of you but how long are you waiting? 5 minutes or 10 minutes? The answer is, you have no idea… it depends on what those people want from the bank. Some might want information, some cash and others might want a loan. Each person represents a complexity that will take x amount of minutes of handling by the servers (and yes and I expressly used the word “server” rather than “clerk”). Publishing Jobs submitted by the users are the same, in that the jobs vary in complexity and that cannot be determined by looking superficially at the job (or person) in question.

The complexity is determined in two ways. Firstly, what the user tried to publish and secondly, how the data model is constructed.  Now I know I said the user does not determine the queue duration and now I contradicted myself. But, I don’t believe that it is the user’s job to determine whether or not something should be published they need to publish what they need to publish. However, it is important to note that some Tridion items, when published, can take more items along for the ride. A Structure Group, for example, has pages and nested Structure Groups which need to be published also.

The data model determines our relationships between items. So when I publish an item, additional items will be taken because they complete an item. This typically is a small number of items, but the data model could need attention if publishing a single item leads to excessive numbers of additional items.

The Templates
When I get to the front of the queue at the bank, I am most likely going to be presented with some forms to fill in. Those legal documents that lets me get the money to buy a car or get a new credit card. How long it takes me to fill out those forms will determine how long it will be before I am finished. The smaller and simpler the form, the better! My publishing job will execute templates to create some sort of output (e.g. HTML, XML, Java or ASP.NET code).  The templates take time to execute and many templates may have to be executed for one job. The larger and more complex these templates, the longer it will be before I see my publish job completed.

The Servers
The speed the servers work at and the amount of simultaneous activities they can complete affects the overall speed of publishing a job. The servers must therefore be scaled to meet the load requirements of the environment. Much like the bank, the overall throughput effects the waiting time of any job, with a single server I will wait the longest, with multiple parallel servers the waiting time will be reduced. In most scaled environments the tendency will be to separate out publishing from other server functions (database, management interface), this dedication of a task means that the server can concentrate on the same repetitive task without being interrupted with other business and therefore improve the overall publishing throughput of this server.

The Configuration
The configuration options with SDL Tridion, allow you to manipulate how the queue is managed; it in essence all publishing jobs are equal but with Publishing Priorities and Filters some jobs are more equal than others. Priorities can be set by the end user at the time of publish or as a rule on a given Publishing Target. The priority (high, normal or low) allows the most important tasks to go first (or the least important tasks last) and works like any priority system would do.

Filtering adds an extra dimension to this and the overall way items are removed from the queue for publishing. Many banks have separate desks for different tasks. If you go to deposit some money you use a different desk to the desk where you get a loan. Filtering does the same thing, in that it allows us to specify certain servers to complete certain jobs depend upon its configuration. Filtering is possible by Publication (e.g. German Website), Publication Target (e.g. Live) or Priority (e.g. High) – or a combination of multiple filters with multiple values. So for certain areas of your business you could, for example, dedicate servers to complete just those tasks; so in times of lots of house buying, we have more servers on the loans desk and we divide our throughput unevenly across our customers.

4 actions to improve to improve publishing
I have not encountered a single organization yet who could not do with faster publishing. Even when you think it is as fast as it can be, there will still be room for improvement somewhere. In summary, I have four points you can act upon that can help you love publishing that little bit more…

  1. Understand what you publish! You can’t manage what you can’t measure, so start measuring! The information you need in available in the API, so a simple report will be enough to help you collect the data needed:
    1. What is your total job load per day?
    2. How many items do these jobs consist of?
    3. How long does it take to render the items in the job?
  2. Investigate to see if adjusting the configuration can ensure that important publications get the time they deserve and those publications lower down the content management food chain get less time.
  3. Have IT analyze the performance of your servers under stress, can the performance be improved? If so, then you will gain in throughput.
  4. Undertake and analysis of the templates and the data model to see where performance can be improved. Having the data from the measurements can really help zoom into what is performing badly.

Event Systems in SDL Tridion 2011

Event Horizon

As I mentioned in one of my previous post the event system has been revised to me more modular and, probably more importantly, to be native .NET.

An event, an action from a user, triggers the event system which is one or more .NET classes which will act upon this event in some way. In versions of Tridion prior to 2011 the event system has been a single class which then leads to having to combine different event activity into the same piece of code. For instance, additional logging and workflow elements might have to be combined; this leads to unnecessary complexity in the code itself. It also means you cannot easily turn off (and on) part of the code.

In SDL Tridion 2011, this has changed (although you can still run older event systems) to allow you to hook into events using multiple separate event systems. As Bart Koopman explains in this article, when we hook into the events we concern ourselves with the phase of the event, the type of event and the object itself.

The phase relates to where in the event you are, for example, initiated, processed, committed etc. The type refers to the type of event, e.g. Publishing, BluePrint, or Data Modification events. Lastly our object (or in more familiar terms “item”) itself; our Component, Page, Schema etc. With these I can easily define that I would like to fire an event on a Component, when it is published and after that publish action has started.

Two more additional features are important. Firstly, it is quite possible that you have more than one event system hooked into the same event, so with the “Event Subscription Order” you can also specify the order in which your code is triggered (creating a event system stack). Secondly, you can also specify an event to run asynchronously rather than wait for code to complete before other code can continue (synchronously).

Event System Example

We need to do two simple things to get this to work:

1)      Define out event system class

2)      Configure SDL Tridion to load the event system and make it active

The Event System Class

We need to define our event system and this being .NET we can pretty much do anything we want from here, however, we need to at minimum hook (or rather subscribe) to an event.

Our event is going to log everything that happens to a Windows Event log called “Message Log”. We open our class and declare all the variables we need etc:

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Threading;
using Tridion.ContentManager;
using Tridion.ContentManager.Extensibility;
using Tridion.ContentManager.Extensibility.Events;

namespace Tridion.Utilities. ExampleEventSystem {
[TcmExtension("ExampleEventSystemEventHandlerExtension")]
      public class ExampleEventSystem : TcmExtension {
           #region Local Variables
           private static EventLog messageLog = new EventLog();
           #endregion

In our constructor we will initialize out Windows Event Log and call our subscribe method:

          public AuditLogger() {
               Init();
               Subscribe();
          }

Create the event log:

          private static void Init() {
               if (!EventLog.SourceExists("TridionMessages")) {
                   EventLog.CreateEventSource("TridionMessages ", "Message Log");
               }
               messageLog.Source = " TridionMessages ";
          }

Subscribe to our events:

          public void Subscribe() {
               EventSystem.Subscribe<IdentifiableObject, TcmEventArgs>( LogMessage, EventPhases.Processed);
          }

In this case I have used all “IdentifiableObject” which is everything, the method, LogMessage, that will called when the event fires and the phase is “processed”. The method signatures for subscribing are:

Subscribe<TSubject, TEvent>(TcmEventHandler<TSubject, TEvent> eventHandler, EventPhases phases, EventSubscriptionOrder order)
SubscribeAsync<TSubject, TEvent>(TcmEventHandler<TSubject, TEvent> eventHandler, EventPhases phases, EventSubscriptionOrder order)

In our case we defined no subscription order so it will be “normal” order.

And finally define the method that will actually log our message:

          private static void LogMessage(IdentifiableObject subject, TcmEventArgs args, EventPhases phase) {
               String message = "Session user: " + subject.Session.User.Title.ToString();
               message = message + "\nTarget URI: " + subject.Id;
               message = message + "\nItem Type: " + subject.GetType().Name;
               message = message + "\nEvent: " + args.GetType().ToString();
               message = message + "\nPhase: " + phase.ToString();
               messageLog.WriteEntry(message, EventLogEntryType.Information, 0, 0);
          }
     }
}

Configuring Tridion

To load our event system, we must load the class responsible. This we do in the Tridion.ContentManager.config which can be found under the %TRIDION_HOME%\config directory and we add a line to the extensions section to add our assembly:

<extensions>
<add assemblyFileName="C:\myevevntsystem\messagelogger.dll"/>
</extensions>

HelloWorld Extension for Tridion 2011

The HelloWorld extension is an example extension, from MVP Fondue, for the Tridion Content Manager Explorer (CME) which is designed to work on Tridion 2011. It does not do anything but give you a simple introduction into the how to hook an extension into the various points of the CME. This should give you the basis for exploring the use of extensions further.

Installing the HelloWorld example

Unpack the HelloWorld sample

Unzip the HelloWorld.zip and copy the files a directory where you will store your extensions. This does not have to be under the Tridion home directory.



Within this zip file you will find both the extension and a Microsoft Visual Solution for developing the extension further.

Create Virtual directory
In Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, create a virtual directory under your Tridion 2011 websites under CME\Editors.

Give your virtual directory the name “HelloWorld” and point the path to the directory where you unpacked the HelloWorld example:







Grant read permissions only



Configure Tridion to load the extension

1.    Go to the CME configuration folder C:\Program Files\Tridion\CME2010\WebRoot\Configuration
2.    Select the System.Config file and make a backup copy of this file
3.    Open the System.Config in a XML (or text) editor and add the following section as the last sub-element of the XML element “<editors default=”CME”>”:

<editor name="HelloWorld">
<installpath>C:\Extensions\HelloWorld</installpath>
<configuration>config\HelloWorld.config</configuration>
<vdir>HelloWorld</vdir>
</editor>

4.    Hard refresh (CTL+F5 on IE) your browser
5.    View the extension

You can now see the extension appearing in three places:
On the Home ribbon bar:


On the “Greetings “ ribbon bar:


As a context menu:


About the extension

Implementation
The extension does not do anything productive, but instead shows you a popup box when it is clicked and as such the javascript code for this is very simple and not worth going into.  However, it does use the same concepts that any other extension would need. The HelloWorld.js (under the commands directory) implements the functions we need to enable both the popup box to show (execute) but also whether or not the button is enabled (isEnabled) and lastly if the button option is available in this context (isAvailable). IsEnabled’s task is to enable the button for the given context, for example, we don’t have the option to create a Component when in a Structure Group so the New Component button is disabled when in a Structure Group. Whether or not the button is available will depend upon actions of the user; for example maybe I only want to use my button when I have a single item selected and not when I select 2 or more items.
The javascript needed to do all these things in the HelloWorld example is quite simple and is as follows:

Type.registerNamespace("Common.Tridion.MVP.HelloWorld");
Common.Tridion.MVP.HelloWorld = function Commands$HelloWorld() {
Type.enableInterface(this, "Common.Tridion.MVP.HelloWorld");
this.addInterface("Tridion.Cme.Command", [name]);
};
Common.Tridion.MVP.HelloWorld.prototype.isAvailable = function HelloWorld$isAvailable(selection) {
return true;
};

Common.Tridion.MVP.HelloWorld.prototype.isEnabled = function HelloWorld$isEnabled(selection) {
return true;
};
Common.Tridion.MVP.HelloWorld.prototype._execute = function HelloWorld$_execute(selection) {
alert("Hello World!");
};

Configuration
In our configuration (HelloWorld.config) we define two things 1) what menus our extension is to show on and 2) what needs to be run when the extension is used (enabled, available or executed).
The run our extension we need to configure a command which in itself defines the javascript that will be run:

<commands>
<cfg:commandset id="UniqueName3">
<cfg:fileset>
<cfg:file id="HelloWorld">/Commands/HelloWorld.js</cfg:file>
</cfg:fileset>
<cfg:command name="HelloWorld" implementation="Common.Tridion.MVP.HelloWorld" fileid="HelloWorld"/>
</cfg:commandset>
</commands>

The command name “HelloWorld” is our unique reference to the command and the file is the javascript that will run all the commands.
Next, for each menu we want to run our extension from we will need to define these in the same configuration file.
Insert before the preview button on the context menu under the Greetings menu:

<ext:contextmenus>
<ext:add>
<ext:extension name="Hello World" assignid="" insertbefore="cm_preview">
<ext:menudeclaration externaldefinition="">
<cmenu:ContextMenuItem id="Greetings" name="Greetings">
<cmenu:ContextMenuItem id="HelloWorld" name="Hello World" command="HelloWorld"/>
</cmenu:ContextMenuItem>
Add to the HomePage ribbon bar:
<ext:ribbontoolbars>
<ext:add>
<ext:extension pageid="HomePage" groupid="EditGroup" name="HelloWorld" assignid="HelloWorld" insertbefore="PreviewBtn">
<ext:command>HelloWorld</ext:command>
<ext:title>Hello World</ext:title>

Create a new ribbon bar called “Greetings” and add my button to it:

<ext:extension pageid="pageid" name="Greetings" assignid="Greetings">
<ext:control />
<ext:pagetype />
<ext:clientextensions />
<ext:apply>
<ext:view name="DashboardView">
<ext:control id="DashboardToolbar" />
</ext:view>
</ext:apply>
</ext:extension>
.....

<ext:extension pageid="Greetings" groupid="EditGroup" name="HelloWorld" assignid="HelloWorld">
<ext:command>HelloWorld</ext:command>
<ext:title>Hello World</ext:title>

Enabling in the CME
As we saw when we installed the example above, the very last part of the configuration is the addition to the System.Config in the “editors” section:

<editor name="HelloWorld">
<installpath>C:\Extensions\HelloWorld</installpath>
<configuration>config\HelloWorld.config</configuration>
<vdir>HelloWorld</vdir>
</editor>

This element defines how to load the configuration of our extension, the virtual directory that is used and the path to our extension.

Download
You can download the HelloWorld example extension here. This extension is part of the MVP Fondue.

Contribute
You too can contribute to the community of Tridion professionals, feel free to comment on this post with your suggestions or changes or even use the HelloWorld example to make your own extension. Don’t forget to share it with the community!

SDL Tridion 2011 Visual highlights

Recently I attended the bootcamp of the 2011 Community Technology Preview, a preview for existing partners and customers of the latest version of SDL’s WCMS, SDL Tridion 2011.

What has changed the most – or rather the most obvious change – is the Content Manager Explorer also known as the Tridion GUI. In 2011, apart from running on all the major browsers and also an iPad, it features a redesign that will be familiar to existing users but also taking on board lots of new usability features.



One of the nicest features of the new interface is the ribbon toolbar. On the current version of Tridion, the buttons on the toolbar are somewhat hard to see and can make it difficult to see what the particular button is supposed to do. The ribbon features a big icon and some text as well which should make finding the function you want easy.



If you don’t like the ribbon you can always collapse the ribbon down to the more traditional row of icons.



Two more features I would like to highlight. Gone are the tabs on the publishing queue and it now shows you all options in the same area. It’s common for me to forget that I have other options on the other tab, so having them all in one place is better for the old folk like myself.



And then lastly I want to show you another nice feature. Error messages in-line to the interface, so now the option to feed more back to the user about what is going on. If you missed a message, you can also get a list back of the message history.



The Future of Content Management, the follow up

The Future of Content Management is something that I have thought about for a while. But without a good conclusion and so I decided to open it to the floor of CMS Gurus. So I posted a few weeks ago and went on holiday. Not the ideal way to create a meme, but I could not wait to get started. On my holiday I did not have the chance nor the inclination to even think about it. However, a week back from holiday I owe you all a follow up post with at least the highlights.

Today, as I write this post, I am flying between Amsterdam and Chicago on my way to San Francisco. I did not take the direct flight – before anyone points that out – because of the time I have to be back. My flight this morning was overbooked but they guaranteed me a seat on the plane and told me that I would find out later where I will sit. As it turns out, I got an upgrade to business class. Moments before I found that out I heard an announcement about an option for people to upgrade to business class for 450 Euros. I tisked scornfully under my breath and mumbled something about being an idiot to take up the option. Moments later I was in business class for free and I suddenly felt allot more important. Now that is what I call value for money!

So in-between sipping my white wine and I shall have a look at what everyone wrote about the Future of Content Management…

Whilst many of you professed and inability to look into the future, it was clear you all have more than an idea on many aspects. Some of us have more of a dream than others… some of posted based upon your leaning from either ECM, WCM and commercial or open source. And some wrote their own rules to how they were going to respond. As my only rule was “there are no rules” I liked the spirit of doing something different.

I cannot really attempt to outline exactly what everyone said; it is just too much to take on in a way that would justify the meaning of each article. For that you need to read them for yourself and you will find the links at the bottom.

Vendors
With the recent acquisitions and the general downturn it is likely that the face of vendors will change more that is already has done over the course of the next year. The recent Forrester and Gartner reports have re-asserted some companies positions and surprise people with how some of the reports view other companies. Those that do well will no doubt pick on the weak until we lose a few more vendors. Is Open Source the way? Well as Adriaan Bloem pointed out Open Source is just another license. If commercial software has trappings then Open Source does too, just different ones. I am not a believer that open source will over take commercial software, just that commercial software will leverage open source (and especially open connectivity) just as well as Open Source. In that the playing field will remain level for a long time to come.

I hope and pray monolithic vendors die a slow and painful death but I just know uncreative people will continue to advise customers to invest in such solutions.

Technology
“I’ve been in this WCM industry awhile, so lets put aside the crystal ball a minute and ask if we have yet delivered on the CMS promise of 10 years ago? ”

Judging by the thoughts from everyone the simple answer is NO.

Whilst Ian was talking about making the people have the power, the quote fits right in here too. We all grumbled about the lack of standards and the continuation of proprietary standards that rule our customers. There is CMIS but it lacks a really usable implementation and JCR just is not a standard. Yes, it is if you use java but not for the rest of the world.

Uniform repository access will definitely help but mostly it is going to help with being able to migrate systems and join multiple systems together. In the end if we cannot fix even the smallest of real world problems you can forget trying to get two different CMS systems to just “Plug and Talk” On the other hand it is good to know that Sense/Netbarely has any serious CMS vendor issues that have been upsetting customers throughout the years”, even if the list was not complete.

Concepts
I spend allot of time thinking about this (well OK, a little bit of time) and it is something I like to hear people like Frank talk about. He has great views on what content is and how it should be used – but did not post on this topic (booo!). Challenges we have are how to use the content we have, how long should it exist and what even is content? Is the content that we produce going to live and die in a moment or does it have real life? Social media is perpetuating content that has a very limited life. When was the last time you looked for a Twitter post you had seen a while back? You do not, it has ceased to exist, it is an ex-piece of content. If anything Twitter is a discovery engine, you can discover what is going on, not where to buy a cheap car. This short life also means that some social content has a much more limited value and you can be more risky with it. However, most commercial CMS systems do not truly hand the power to the people, there is also limited tools to help employees create, manage and distribute content remotely or on the move which is something social media requires. For open source the picture gets better, but the most I can manage is Twitter from my iPhone.

That said, almost all vendors push social media connectivity as part of their products but as Ian points out “But, for all that, websites are still the destination – the majority of tweets are linking people with web content. “ So, do not only give us Twitter to tweet our content, give us the mobile application to write the content and then tweet it.

In the end the Twitter bubble will burst unless something happens to give it true value. If that happens the selling point of Content Management Systems will move to other new topics, and hopefully this will be a back to basics move on making content work powerfully rather than enhancing their offering with badly integrated applications that demo well.

Articles
The full list of articles is as follows:

There is still chance to contribute to the discussion by posting your view on the Future of Content Management. We did not hear from a great many people, if you post then do not forget to tag your post.

Hashtag: #CMSFuture
MD5 tag for your posts: 6f82f1d2683dc522545efe863e5d2b73, find more related posts

The future of Content Management…

This week Jon Marks posted his list of 40 (now 56) CMS gurus to follow on Twitter, I made the list so now I feel the pressure to say something of genius that will amaze the group. Truth is I have nothing. I have nothing because I am one day from my holiday where my attention can only be brought to thoughts of mountains, dynamic views and scotch. Yes, I am going to Scotland! I hope it won’t rain but hope is always filled with a certain sense of reality – it is Scotland, it is going to rain buckets.

Even before Jon’s post I have been trying to be inspired to write something that I feel passionate enough about to post. I guess I have been too busy to think, net alone get the time to actually post.  However, late last night inspiration hit me and then, after consideration it hit me again! So I put aside the first idea and moved on to the latter one.

It occurred to me that all the CMS gurus are not really discussing. Sure we are partaking in the “global conversation”, blogging and commenting and some of us actually seem to do this for a job. For a discussion you need a topic. Evil genius Kas Thomas managed this, to some extent, with the CMS Vendor Meme but that was too general and too now for what I want to hear. So I have come up with the following challenge.

My challenge is to all the CMS gurus that read or see this post (and by god am I going to try and make sure you read it) is to write a blog post with the title “The Future of Content Management” and start with the line “The future of Content Management is… “. Clearly there is alot of scope in the answer which is of course the idea. Post your answer on your blog and comment on this post with your link. Don’t forget to use the tag in twitter and on your post.

After my holiday I will be checking back on progress. Some of your comments will have to wait until I am back to approve them (sorry), so please be patient.

Hashtag: #CMSFuture
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10 Things About Me

I’ve been sucked in. Kas Thomas seems to know me too well already, I won’t back away from something like this when there is so much fun to be had.

Kas already seems to have done my dream, learning to fly and seems to have suffered what people learning to fly or just flying have a lack of – money. I have no money either and no pilots license… I’m doing it all wrong!!

1.    I grew up in Knutsford, England
Quite a nice small town in the North of England that seems to be the home of footballers and radio DJs. Nothing really to recommend it other than being the former home of Elizabeth Gaskell, noted author and Henry Royce (of Rolls Royce fame). I now live in Arnhem, the Netherlands which is close to the German border and moved here about 10 years ago. I do speak Dutch although nearly all my business work is done in English.

2.    I have a degree in Computer Science
I am not sure it really ever helped me directly in what I do, it just taught me to think about what I am doing and be creative with solutions.

3.    I have worked in IT for my entire career
…except when I worked as a chef to earn money for university. I have worked for Oracle, SDL Tridion and a number of small start ups all on with a strong connection to the Internet. I almost became a Landscape Architect but I choose IT, not sure whether or not that was a good idea. However, I am always looking for new challenges (write me!).

4.    I have two children; Iris, 5 and Lucas 3 and a girlfriend, Sonja plus two cats Lilly and Eddie
Eddie’s fully name is Mr Edmund Blackadder after the Rowan Atkinson character but it is a bit long to keep calling him by it. But it is still used when he is in trouble.

5.    I have a sports car for the weekends
A 1971 MGB Roadster which is in pretty good condition. I won’t start half the time but that is because I don’t keep the battery on charge the whole time. I don’t get to drive it very much but hopefully now that summer is here I can.

6.    I used to hill walk and mountain climb for a hobby
Since I moved to the Netherlands there is not much chance due to a lack of my desired altitude. My record altitude is 22,500 feet which is pretty cold and pretty lacking in oxygen. I did this in the Indian part of the Himalayas.

7.    I am addicted to Diet Coke

If people are addicted to coffee, I would be addicted to Diet Coke. Like most people, I can’t work until I have had a bit of caffeine in the morning. Problem is I hate coffee.

8.    I am an avid online gamer
I’ve been part of gaming clans for many years and even led successful teams in competition. I play First Person Shooters (so no World of Warcraft here!) and nothing gets rid of the stress of the day like throwing Molotov Cocktails at your enemy.

9.    My reading passion is the history of World War II
I am somewhat of a specialist on Operation Market Garden due to living in Arnhem but I read about anything. It has given me a much greater understanding of myself and the world around me as well as helping me understand leadership and the qualities that people possess than enable them to do extraordinary things.  There is so much to read here I will never read or understand it all but it has inspired me to do a degree in Military History at some point in the future.

10.    I am a huge Formula One fan
I watch every race live on TV and have done for the past 14 years. I have also travelled to some races. I not only like the new racing but also the retro stuff going back to the 70s and beyond. My favourite photos I have are of Sterling Moss and Fangio. I also took a nice photo of Hakkinen and Schumacher at Spa in Belgium which hangs on the wall of my house.  To add to all this, I ran a Formula 1 site together with a friend that even made it into a top 10 of F1 websites by the Daily Telegraph newspaper (United Kingdom). We made the list right next to the McLaren F1 Team website.

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