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Geek and you shall find...

Last Build Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2016 16:36:58 +0000


Grokking CMS

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 11:35:51 +0000

Reflections on what it means to really understand a CMS, down to its bones.

The Book Itself: Four Thoughts on the Enduring Value of the Printed Book

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 13:23:15 +0000

The book itself matters. Beyond the practicalities it offers over ebooks, the printed book carries with it intangible characteristics that we take for granted and wouldn't miss until long after their absence.

Content Firehoses, Absorption Rates, and The Endowment Effect

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 10:24:54 +0000

Pushing more content than can be absorbed actually causes feelings of loss and pain.

Content Personalization: A Reality Check

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 11:56:24 +0000

CMS personalization tools have failed. Here's why, and how the next wave might be different.

The Flapping of Butterfly Wings: Towards an Invested Engagement Model

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 10:27:19 +0000

What you want from a contractor is investment. Ironically, the biggest impediment to that is often the parameters of the relationship itself. Some relationships are simply designed to fail.

Defining Digital Project Scope: What Do You Need?

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 15:39:51 +0000

Someone once told me that a good sales opener is: “What can I help you with?”  Force the prospect to tell you what they need. While pretty good advice, the problem when selling digital services is that a lot of people have only a vague idea of their problem. They have no idea what specific solution […]

The Page-Based CMS is a Natural Byproduct of the Web

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 13:27:08 +0000

The “page-based CMS” is not a bad thing.  We try to pretend we don’t need to think about pages anymore, but most of the time, attempts to liberate ourselves from the notion of a page is just impractical idealism. Furthermore, the page-based model doesn’t really matter that much, in the big picture. The acknowledgement of […]

Patterns in URL Redirection After CMS Migrations

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:32:11 +0000

After a CMS migration, there’s often a problem of URL redirection.  A lot of our work at Blend is CMS re-platforming, so we often have clients with tens of thousands of existing URLs. When they switch to a new CMS they often change URL schemes, they want to make sure all their old traffic gets […]

Intelligent Content: A Primer

Sun, 12 Jun 2016 15:52:42 +0000

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a book review, but I really enjoyed this little book (disclaimer: I know two of the authors, and they sent me a copy of it to review). Here’s the key: the book is focused. It knows what it wants to do.  It is — as the title […]

Proposals Are Like First Dates

Mon, 06 Jun 2016 13:05:08 +0000

True story: some development firms lie through their teeth in proposals. Shocking, I know.  But sometimes the winner of a competitive proposal process is going to be the firm that lies the most convincingly. Of course, they couch it in terms that let them sleep at night, but in the end, they either tell bald-faced lies, or they […]

What do we call the people we make content for?

Thu, 02 Jun 2016 15:55:38 +0000

What is the name for people who consume content?  We have names for people who create the content — usually “creator” or “editor” — but what do we call the people on the other side?  The people who view/read the content we create and edit? “Visitor”:  This is common, but this presumes someone is going […]

The Need for Content Operations

Wed, 27 Jan 2016 22:21:37 +0000

We implement content management as a practice.  After 11 years of this, we see the same two patterns over and over again: Organizations not prepared to launch a new CMS because their content is mess Organizations who do not fully use the content management systems they’ve had implemented There are a lot of reasons for […]

Every Day I Want To Quit Social Media

Fri, 30 Oct 2015 13:26:11 +0000

Every Day I Want To Quit Social Media: This one hit a bit close to home. It’s a heartfelt, emotional piece about the love-hate relationship some people have with social media. There’s absolutely an element of addiction there. I don’t find the information I’m looking for. Desperately, I click back to the tab with the […]

The Future of Libraries

Thu, 29 Oct 2015 12:23:24 +0000

What Libraries Can (Still) Do:  This is a good discussion about the future of the public library, which echos things I’ve talked about here before. […] librarians will need to cherish their special talent as “stewards” while letting go of the instinct to be “collectors.” Knowledge in physical form needs to be handled carefully, preserved, […]

The Flying Squirrel Book

Tue, 14 Jul 2015 13:02:37 +0000

For the last few months, I’ve been working on a book for O’Reilly: Web Content Management: Systems, Features, and Best Practices.  It’s a reasonable distillation of everything I’ve learned about web content management in almost two decades of success and failure (hopefully more of the former than the latter…) O’Reilly has an interesting system of […]

The Limitations of Screen Reading

Thu, 09 Jul 2015 13:45:35 +0000

Everything Science Knows About Reading On Screens: More proof that reading on the screen is not the same as reading on paper. But this style of reading may come at a cost—Liu noted in his study that sustained attention seems to decline when people read onscreen rather than on paper, and that people also spend […]

Just My Type

Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:42:17 +0000

This is a book about fonts (or type or typefaces — I’ve learned there are subtle variations in the definitions of each, but I can’t remember what they are). The book is a series of anecdotes about fonts/types. Each chapter is short — you can read one in 3-4 minutes, but they’re all pretty entertaining. […]

Author Payment by the Page

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 12:34:14 +0000

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing: Interesting times: Under the new payment method, you’ll be paid for each page individual customers read of your book, the first time they read it. Of course, however, there are debates about what a “page” means, when it comes to ebooks. To determine a book’s page count in a way that works […]

Creating Fake Facebook Accounts

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 12:07:32 +0000

Inside a counterfeit Facebook farm: This is the process a “Facebook Account Mill” goes through to create a new account.  I found it fascinating. She starts by entering the client’s specifications into the website Fake Name Generator, which returns a sociologically realistic identity: Ashley Nivens, 21, from Nashville, Tennessee, now a student at New York […]

What is Content Integration?

Mon, 27 Apr 2015 17:44:11 +0000

Since I don’t feel there’s a good, all-encompassing name out there for this, I’m going to attempt to invent one — Content Integration encompasses the philosophy, theories, practices, and tools around the re-use and adaption of content from our core repository into other uses and channels, or vice-versa: the creation and ingestion of content from […]

RSG WCM Survey

Tue, 10 Feb 2015 14:24:08 +0000

Tony and the crew from Real Story Group have embarked on a broad survey of WCM usage and implementation patterns, which I think is worth taking.  The survey is here: Survey: Web Content & Experience Management I don’t think enough of this happens in the industry. As a group, we lack in self-reflection and reporting.  […]

Editorial Scripting in CMS

Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:27:33 +0000

For years, I’ve been quite interested in the idea of scripting within a CMS.  By “within,” I mean scripting inside of managed content.  So, using some taught language or declarative syntax to get the CMS to perform actions to publish content. This clearly sounds weird, so here’s an example — Say we have an editor […]

Accidental Bitcoin Centralization

Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:09:40 +0000

Blockchain scalability: As Bitcoin gets bigger, the history of transactions (which is required to make the whole thing work) gets less manageable, leading to centralization, which is the anti-thesis of the whole idea. We can already observe empirically that more than 50% of the hashpower securing the network right now is owned by just five […]

We Suck at HTTP

Wed, 07 Jan 2015 13:29:01 +0000

I absolutely loved this New York Times column which lamented the world of apps, where we don’t have the capability to link to content anymore: Unlike web pages, mobile apps do not have links. They do not have web addresses. They live in worlds by themselves, largely cut off from one another and the broader […]

America’s CTO

Mon, 05 Jan 2015 17:24:59 +0000

Adviser Guides Obama Into the Google Age: A profile of the new U.S. CTO Megan Smith. The transition is rocky: Not only does she now carry a BlackBerry, she uses a 2013 Dell laptop: new by government standards, but clunky enough compared with the cutting-edge devices of her former life that her young son asked […]

Qualcomm: The Monopoly You’ve Never Heard Of?

Mon, 05 Jan 2015 15:22:03 +0000

The title of this post has nothing to do with this point, which I found interesting: […] no one seems to be paying attention to Qualcomm’s incredible chipset dominance in mobile. Android and Snapdragon look an awful lot like Windows and Intel; every hardware maker except for Apple is beholden to the two giants behind […]

Crypto-Hacking Case Study

Sun, 04 Jan 2015 15:59:46 +0000

How My Mom Got Hacked: Interesting look at a case of crypto-hacking. Turns out that actually paying the ransom was the difficult part. By the time my mom called to ask for my help, it was already Day 6 and the clock was ticking. (Literally — the virus comes with a countdown clock, ratcheting up […]

It’s a Young Developer’s World

Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:22:47 +0000

Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem: Silicon Valley and start-up culture is dysfunctional.  So many great quotes in this piece. […] what matters most is not salary, or stability, or job security, but cool. Cool exists at the ineffable confluence of smart people, big money and compelling product. You can buy it, but only up to a […]

Bitcoin for the Befuddled

Sun, 07 Dec 2014 14:45:34 +0000

I got a review copy of “Bitcoin for the Befuddled” from No Starch Press (a publisher I’ve really enjoyed over the years).  The title is an accurate description of where I’m at on Bitcoin – I have a basic understanding of it, but the intricacies are escaping me. Sadly, Duning-Kruger being what it is, reading […]

Why Nigerian 419 Scam Emails Suck

Tue, 02 Dec 2014 14:37:11 +0000

You know how when you get a Nigerian scam email, and you read it, and you’re like “who the hell falls for these?” I wondered, so I tweeted that I’d like to see a good content strategist re-write on of these emails to be super effective.  Someone responded and pointed me to this study from […]