It was five years ago that I posted in programmer tradition at CMS Report, "hello world". At the time, I expected CMSReport.com to be around for only a couple years which was more than enough time for it to fulfill my purpose. At the time, I had an academic interest in information systems and found that Web-based content management systems were a nice way to put theoretical ideas into practical know-how. This site focused on content management systems in hopes of meeting the few other people out there that shared my interests in CMS.
In that first post, I actually wrote more than "hello world". The full title of the article was "Hello World, New Version". The phrase "new version" was in reference to CMSReport.com not being the first site I created to focus on the CMS. A couple years earlier, I had tried to start up a website called WebCMS Forum. The online forum was intended to be a "place for those with a passion for web-based applications such as portals, blogs, and forums". I spent a lot of time and money on that site, but in the end few visitors joined in as members to talk about content management systems with me. If Twitter had existed back then I would have easily tweeted "WebCMS Forum RIP #failed".
Looking back at it now, I'm convinced CMS Report is a success because of my experience from failing so miserably with WebCMS Forum. Previously, I had tried to build a site for others to express their passion and obsession for their favorite content management systems. Here at CMSReport.com, I took the opposite approach and built the site for the sole purpose to talk about my passion for content management systems. It was a crazy idea to put my opinions at the center of CMS discussions as even now I do not consider myself an expert in content management systems. It was only by circumstance that I later realized people are attracted to other passionate people that ask questions and are willing to go at great lengths to find the answers. If you're looking for the facts you go to Wikipedia but if you're also looking for great discussion from people asking the same questions as you are; it is the blogs you seek.
Most sites like CMS Report are around because the site is used as a gateway for selling a product such as consulting, training, and website development. I actually didn't know this to be the case when I started CMS Report. As corny as it sound, the only product that I've tried to sell you here is my passion and love for content management systems. Sure, I also sell a little bit of banner space for sponsors but revenue from those ads are mainly to cover expenses and the price tag for attending the occasional CMS related conference. It is my hope that my enthusiasm after five years running this site has shown this to be true because in the end it's all I really have to offer.
Eventually, the realities of life will require me to decide the future of CMSReport.com. Running this site on my own has demanded the greatest limited resource I currently have...my time. I want to spend more of that time toward my full time day job as well as becoming the best husband, father, and human being that I can be. No, I'm not saying that I'm ending CMS Report, but I am saying that perhaps it may be time to let this site evolve past me. However this is a discussion for another day. For now, I just want to look back and acknowledge the great five years I've had with CMS Report.
What has made the past five years so much fun is getting to know all of you that visit this site. I have always been less impressed with my own writing and more impressed with the comments, emails, tweets, guest articles and friendships that have been sent my way. It's no fun to be obsessed about something like content management unless you can share that obsession with like-minded folks. That sharing of ideas and interests has always been the primary reason for CMS Report to exist as it does today.
Bryan Ruby is the owner and editor for CMS Report. He founded CMSReport.com in 2006 on the belief that information technologists, website owners, and web developers desired visiting sites where they could learn about content management systems without the sales pitch. Besides this site, you can follow Bryan at Google+ and Twitter.