- Aaargh! Physicists! –the dangers of venturing outside your area of expertise is that someone will mercilessly point out your overconfident missteps, as happens here. Unless, of course, your new field is social media, in which case there are hundreds of thousands of sycophantic circlejerkers ready to retweet, link back, and Like your misbegotten ill-conceived content-free mindless dribblings.
- Crowdsourcing to Improve Sales — products sell better if their reviews have good spelling and grammar, so one retailer used MTurk to copyedit reviews and thus improve sales. (via Matt Biddulph on Delicious)
- Converting the Virtual Economy into Development Potential — World Bank reports that online microwork earned $3B for poor countries in 2009, and encourages third world countries to invest in infrastructure to support this. Interestingly, the authors include both gold farming and “cherry blossoming” (clickfraud) as microwork. (via BoingBoing)
- Misery — Drupal module that makes life difficult for trolls–randomly wrong redirections, slow page loads, white screens, forms that don’t submit, etc. Brilliant! (via Andy Baio)
Choosing the best content management system for your needs
I had the opportunity to sit down with Cassandra Wolff a Software Engineer II, Softlayer an IBM Company and talk about how to choose a CMS. Cassandra specialized in LAMP and open source technologies, such as Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, and PHPBB. She stresses the need for effective communities.
Key highlights include:
- The value of using a CMS. [Discussed at 0:30]
- How getting up and running quickly adds value to your web presence. [Discussed at 1:10]
- Visualize your growth to determine your next step. [Discussed at 2:03]
- Getting a look at the top solutions, advantages, and disadvantages. [Discussed at 2:33]
- How to get started with a platform. [Discussed at 4:35]
- Becoming comfortable as a beginner in a new community. [Discussed at 5:30]
- Moving to the next stage when adding advanced functionality. [Discussed at 5:46]
- Encountering and avoiding pitfalls. [Discussed at 6:54]
You can view the full interview here:
Leading eZ Publish advocates look at what lies ahead for CMS programmers and users
There are a variety of options when it comes to content management. We’ve explored Drupal a bit, and in this email interview I talked to some folks who work with eZ Publish. It is an open source (with commercial options) CMS written in PHP. Brandon Chambers and Greg McAvoy-Jensen talk about how the platform acts as a content management framework, how being open source has affected the project, and what we should expect to see coming up for CMS in general.
Greg McAvoy-Jensen is a member of the eZ Publish Community Project Board. He also founded and is the CEO of Granite Horizon, and has been developing with eZ Publish since 2002.
Q: What problems does eZ Publish solve for users?
A: eZ Publish grew up not just as a CMS, but as a content management framework. It sports a flexible and object-oriented content model (an important early decision), and provides developers an MVC framework as a platform for building complex web applications and extending the CMS. Like any CMS it makes content publishing accessible for the non-programmer, and provides an easy editorial interface. eZ Publish does a fine job of separating content from presentation and providing reusability and multi-channel delivery. It targets the enterprise more than smaller organizations, so the software quality remains pegged at high standards, and high degrees of flexibility and extensibility continue to be required.
Q: How you feel being open source has affected the project?
A: Fourteen years on, eZ Systems is still firm that open source is in its DNA. This foundational commitment created a culture of sharing, and it attracts developers who prefer to share their code and to collaborate with others outside their organization for the benefit of their customers. Contributions flow in as both extensions and core code pull requests. The commercial open source model, similar to Red Hat’s, means the vendor takes primary responsibility for code maintenance and development, and derives its profit from support subscriptions, while leaving customizations to its network of certified partners. Because the source is open, organizations evaluating the software can have their developers compare the code of, for example, eZ Publish and Drupal, and make their own determinations. This, in turn, keeps the vendor accountable for the code: eZ engineers program knowing full well that the world can see their work.
Q: What distinguishes eZ Publish from other CMS options?
A: While there may be a thousand or so CMS’s around, analysts typically look at something more like 30 that are important today. eZ Publish fits into that group, most recently by inclusion on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant beginning in 2011. Not all open source CMS’s have a vendor behind them who both provides support and has full control over the code, a level of accountability required in enterprise applications. eZ is a great fit for particularly complex implementations, or situations where there is no assurance that future needs will be simple. And despite the complex customizations developers do with eZ Publish, they rarely interfere with upgrades.
eZ’s engineers recently became dissatisfied with the merely vast degree of flexibility they had built into the MVC framework, so they’ve now moved the whole system on top of the Symfony PHP framework. eZ Publish is now a native Symfony application, the only CMS to utilize Symfony’s full stack. This leverages the great speed and excellent libraries Symfony provides, and makes eZ easier to learn by those who are familiar with Symfony. Some CMS’s require many plug-ins just to get a basic feature set going on a site, but eZ Publish has long included granular security, content versioning, multi-language support, multi-channel/multi-site capability, workflows, and the like as part of the kernel.
VoIP Drupal is a window onto the promises and challenges faced by a new open source project, including its documentation. A meeting at at MIT this week worked out some long-term plans for firming up VoIP Drupal's documentation and other training materials.
It was a good year for mobile, HTML5, Drupal and Hadoop.
It's time for our annual look back at the year that was, when mobile ruled the world, HTML5 PWNED Flash, Drupal and Hadoop were the hot buzzwords for your resume, and a new batch of languages tried to become stars.
The VoIP modules form a door through which Drupal can move into a vast
world of touch tone telephones, smart telephones, and text messaging,
and therefore toward integrating a huge range of users in developing
regions who use those technologies instead of desktop or laptop
Drupal and open source technology power the new Energy.gov.
The new Energy.gov, using a combination of open source technology and cloud computing, will save an estimated $10 million annually.
The top 4 Drupal distributions used by government are now overseen by Phase2 Technology.
Open Atrium and Managing News join OpenPublic and OpenPublish in Phase2 Technology's Drupal distributions.
The open source content management system continues to make inroads into US government IT.
In another win for open source, the United States House of Representatives has chosen Drupal for its web content management system.
Open source continues to play an important role in open government.
Energy.gov and all of the websites from the department's program offices will relaunch using Drupal next spring.