When I talk about Drupal, information technology and the weather all in the same breath, I'm known to be very enthusiastic and opinionated in such discussions. I can't help myself. I'm biased toward Drupal as it is one of my favorite content management systems. I'm also a former meteorologist working in information technology for a very large organization that is heavily involved with the weather. Needless to say, a year or two ago when I heard that The Weather Channel started using Drupal to meet the needs of it's customers and meteorologists, it caught my attention. I think the use of Drupal is a win-win for everyone around and given my background, I wish my own employer had adopted a similar solution. I think organizations miss out on a lot when they don't utilize open source or even proprietary systems in favor of an in-house CMS.
The news keeps getting better for Drupal fans. This week both Acquia and Mediacurrent announced that The Weather Channel is standardizing on the Acquia Platform for Weather.com. Weather.com started using Drupal last year to increase the agility of its content creation and publishing. Now, the company has moved the entire website, which serves more than 20 million pages of content, to the Acquia Platform, which brings together Drupal and Acquia’s solutions for digital engagement and experience management. The team at Weather.com worked with Acquia and digital agency partner Mediacurrent for its site development and migration from its legacy web content management system Percussion.
Over the years, I've talked about building a range of simple websites for personal use to implementing very complicated proprietary and open source enterprise content management systems. What I haven't talked about is the cost of building and maintaining those websites. Honestly, I've been too embarrassed for how little I spend and too stunned by the price tag for what the big companies pay for their websites. Who Is Hosting This? sent us a graphicthat we thought represented the typical costs small to medium size businesses can expect when building and hosting their new websites. So good was the infographic that we decided to post it here.
Much of the statistics came from Which Web Design Company. WWDC maintains a database of over 7000 web design agencies world-wide, and provided them with the average starting cost statistics for web development used in the graphic below. Whatever your costs and whatever you decide, assuming you're working with reputable companies, the bottom line is that you get what you pay for. That's not a threat, but just a reality of the market.
For the first time in 15 years, my family doesn't have a website to call their own. In January 2000, I registered the domain Bryansplace.com. This was the first website I ever built outside of work and it became a sandbox for me to express my interests as well as a way to seek personal growth. From handwritten HTML pages into Frontpage to a number of CMSs, the software and content at Bryansplace evolved as my life evolved.
Bryansplace.com was the website where my girlfriend and I announced our marriage to the world. As a married couple, we eventually publicly announced the birth of our son via the site. This domain was the site where I talked about camping, computers, and my latest beer recipes. It wasn't all about me either. My wife showcased her photography for the first time online via our family website. This was also the website my son learned how to navigate the Drupal content management system and talk about his gaming skills. Bryansplace.com was synonymous with "family news". Despite how much I valued the domain, last week I unceremoniously killed the website.
TYPO3 has announced the discontinuation of TYPO3 CMS 4.7 and TYPO3 CMS 6.1. Both versions reached their end of life in in October 2014. Their latest versions are 4.7.20 and 6.1.12 which were released two weeks ago mark the last ones in these branches.
TYPO3 is encouraging its users to upgrade to the latest LTS version TYPO3 CMS 6.2, which they believe serves as the best basis for existing and new sites running with TYPO3 CMS. Only recently has TYPO3 updated their release cycle process which also gives us a glimpse of what to expect with TYPO3 CMS 7 and beyond.
Jahia Solutions Group, the vendor behind the leading open source "Digital Industrialization" platform, announced today that Kevin Cochrane has joined Jahia’s Board. Cochrane is a former marketing executive for both Adobe and OpenText. As a board member, Cochrane is expected to provide strategic support to the company he recognizes as a major disruptor in the market.
Over the years, I've made it an unwritten policy not to sensationalize bug fixes and security vulnerabilities in content management systems. While there may be great interest in such stories, I believe such stories have a tendency to cause more harm than good. When sensationalized, such articles tend to cause customers to address security concerns with emotion instead of logic which is never a good thing. So, when the security vulnerability known as "Drupageddon" broke and Drupal developer Bevan Rudge posted "Your Drupal website has a backdoor", I knew this story was going to eventually reach mainstream media. In the meantime, I've been struggling on how best to write this article and what story need to be told.
Moxie Software recently unveiled a new mobile chat solution and their press relations folks have been in full gear briefing tech blogs on the benefits of the new software. That's alright because besides the marketing aspects they're also throwing some interesting information our way. A new study commissioned by the Moxie reveals 62% of survey participants expect live chat to be available on mobile devices, and 82% would use it. There are a lot of interesting stats in the study that impact the role live chat may have in the customer experience and surprisingly the numbers reveal chat may have more influence on sales than social media does.
We've received a copy of the study and once I've dissected the numbers better I'll post my thoughts and comments on this blog. Until then, here's one interesting part of the study, of those surveyed more men shop online than women. I'm not sure if this is true for my household, but where my wife is willing to shop online and offline I have to admit I prefer the online shopping experience over brick and mortar.
This week, the Board of Directors for the Content Management Professionals announced the ending of CM Pros. The decision to close down the organization was evidently made by the Board in Summer 2014.
Although the CMS Pros didn't play a significant part in my content management endeavors, I'm still a little saddened by their departure. I understand the difficulties of advocating the technical side of content management when the more glitzy marketing side of the house is talking content strategy. But this isn't the cause of my sadness, but my nostalgia for the days professional organizations had real value to people like you and me.
Acquia has announced the appointment of Christopher Stone as senior vice president of products and development. Stone has more than 30 years of experience in software development and pioneering open source solutions for the enterprise. Stone will be responsible for engineering, DevOps, and product management of the Acquia Platform, helping lead the expansion of the company’s suite of SaaS solutions for building and managing integrated digital experiences.
Last week, Sitecore announced Sitecore 8, the next version of its Sitecore Experience Platform. Over the past few years, Sitecore and almost every other CMS provider has focused on providing marketers and other users with as many analytic tools as possible. In their campaign for this new version, Sitecore has stated a belief that when it comes to raw numbers, enough is enough. It's time to return the focus back onto the art of marketing.