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Geek and you shall find...

Last Build Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:19:38 +0000


Multi-stage Templating as Progressive Denormalization

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 15:09:41 +0000

Templating often isn't single-step. Progressive refinement has a necessary place in content delivery.

An Unofficial Guide to Whatever-as-a-Service

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 23:31:11 +0000

A look at the Big Three service frameworks, and all the complications and shades of gray which orbit around them.

The State of the Headless CMS Market

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 09:12:44 +0000

A look at the current players -- intentional or otherwise -- in the headless CMS market.

Why Organizations Pick CMS X Over CMS Y

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 18:04:25 +0000

Some decisions factors, their interplay, and outside perspective on software selection.

The Sometimes Confusing Economics of the Professional Services Business

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:15:37 +0000

There are a lot of different ways to lose money on a project, and that calculation is not simple.

The Consultant’s Dilemma

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 16:17:17 +0000

Some consultants spend a lot of energy trying to never, ever flinch. I've stopped doing this.

The Truth About CMS Form Builders

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 11:01:13 +0000

CMS users consistently over-estimate (1) how much they need form builders, and (2) how much the tools can do.

The Tortured Metaphor of Spatial Content Relativity

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 11:43:42 +0000

We often try to force-fit content into physical metaphors, where it doesn't always fit.

Case Studies of CMS-to-SQL Decoupled Publishing

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 12:58:28 +0000

Two examples of updating SQL databases from a CMS.

Content Management is an Emergent Skill

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 10:30:32 +0000

Content management is a bundle of skills which come together to form a larger, meta-skill.

Use Cases for a Headless CMS

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 09:24:22 +0000

There are some interesting reasons to use a headless CMS that go beyond the "single website" model.

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.

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 […]