December 22, 2011
I wish the term content management system (CMS) would go away. I make that wish after reading a post by David Strom at ReadWriteWeb about what’s wrong with today’s CMSs.
As usual when CMSs are the subject, the conversation quickly get strange. One of David’s problems with is that some CMSs are (or started as) blogging platforms, and so suffer from excessive ease of use: “today’s blogging platforms make it so easy to post new content to a website that almost anyone can do it.”
In comments, Scott Fulton (another RWWer) declares that the term CMS results in a score of 0 for 3. That’s the precise opposite of my problem with the term. It seems to me that almost everything qualifies as a CMS. It allows for content? Check. Some sort of management is possible? Check. It’s a system? Check, in that it’s a system of components forming a whole? Again, almost anything can get a check for that. That renders a score of 3 for 3 so common as to make the score, and the term CMS, almost meaningless.
The most interesting (to me) passage in David’s post is:
Each time I transition to a new CMS, (as we are about to do here at RWW), hope springs eternal that I will find the one true system. And then, these hopes are quickly dashed.
So I’ll be looking out for answers to the following questions:
- Which CMS is RWW about to move to?
- Why is there hope that it will be an improvement?
- How and when will these hopes be dashed?
December 21, 2011
Is it possible to run multiple WordPress websites with just one install of the WordPress software? The answer is yes. It has been yes since the release of WordPress 3.0. Prior to that, it was a qualified yes.
Prior to the release of 3.0, you could use WPMU (WordPress Multi-User) to run multiple sites on a single install. The folding of WPMU into WordPress core was, in my opinion, the main reason that the release deserved to be 3.0, rather than 2.WhateverWouldHaveBeenNext.
When WPMU was newish, and newly appointed as the official method of multi-site WordPress, I ran a blog about WPMU: How Do You MU? I kept track of WPMU installations.
I also did a survey of WPMU administrators. That was 5 years ago, so it’s ancient history. But ancient history can be interesting, so you might want to check out the posts including the results of the survey.
It would be interesting to see a survey of multisite networks on WordPress. I’ll do one if given sufficient encouragement…
This post is part of an occasional effort to consolidate my blogging efforts. Almost everything new will be here at Changing Way.
December 21, 2011
December 20, 2011
So, you’re on the web (or you wouldn’t be reading this) and you need to identify yourself to various web services and to various web readers, many of whom are real human beings. I was enthusiastic about OpenID a few years ago. But OpenID resonated with only a small and rather specialized subset of people.
Most people want to use an online identity they already have, or are already considering having, rather than forging a new “one identify to rule them all”. That cuts the field down rather drastically.
Maybe you want an identity that is lightweight, in the sense that it doesn’t carry the burden of private information. That’s an argument against Facebook, which seems to want to be your identity and to gather somewhat private stuff about you.
Fred Wilson argues that the lightweight criterion suggest Twitter as identity provider.
Twitter is default public and everyone knows that’s what it is. Your Twitter identity is the lightest weight, most public, and therefore the best identity on the web.
I’m inclined to agree with Fred. How about you?
December 17, 2011
It’s mid-December, I think I have one review of the year post in me, and as you can see, that one review is of the year in music. So, on with remarks about music itself, and about how I access it these days.
I’m old-fashioned enough that I listen mainly to albums, rather than to say, playlists. Among many 2011 albums I enjoyed, three stand out. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be Bright Eyes’ The People’s Key. If I had to choose a best, I would wonder what I meant by that, and decide that it was something to do with being likely to feature on best of the decade lists when they appear. Then I’d go for PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake. Cults’ self-titled debut is the third of my picks.
Each of these three is among the top 25 albums of the year as chosen by listeners to the NPR show All Songs Considered. I hope that doesn’t make me too predictable: at least none of my three was higher than number 20. NPR Music has been a big part of my listening this year.
If you like album of the year lists, check out Metacritic’s meta-list, derived from “year-end Top Ten lists published by major music critics and publications.” PJ Harvey and Bon Iver seem to have first and second place, respectively, sewn up. If you really like music of the year lists, check out Largehearted Boy’s list of online music lists.
So, how to listen to albums these days? When I buy an album, it’s almost always in the form of a download. It’s usually from Amazon, since I get an immediate download, further downloads if I need another copy, and access via a Cloud Player stream from pretty much any device I might be using. I also use Google Music, in a “let’s try the service out, and may as well have yet another copy of the album somewhere” way.
If I want to listen to a whole album without buying or even downloading it, I usually use Spotify. I use the free version, and so can’t run Spotify on my iPad or Android. Here’s a Spotify playlist, with a track from each of the three albums I mentioned above – plus “Suck It and See”, since that seems like a good sentiment with which to kick off a sampler playlist, and I like the Arctic Monkeys and their new album.
I wish I could review some live music, but I don’t get out to see much live music these days. Nevertheless, it was a good year to be a music lover.
December 14, 2011
In the years I’ve been blogging about social media, even before we thought that Web 2.0 was a cool and cutting-edge term, ReadWriteWeb has been among the feeds I follow. So I knew (or at least emailed and otherwise interacted with) Richard MacManus when he was an ambitious and hardworking blogger. I continued to follow RWW as it became a new media property (whatever that means) and added staff, such as Marshall Kirkpatrick.
I’ll continue to follow RWW as it moves into the third stage. Having been a blog and a media property, it’s now part of a media empire. RWW has been acquired by SAY Media.
Richard, sincere congratulations. I hope that this is a very profitable event financially. I also hope that it is not an exit from RWW for you as a blogger.
December 8, 2011
Unstuck is an iPad app including tools “designed to kick-start success for specific kinds of stuck moments”. It also includes paths to the appropriate tools, starting by describing your particular “stuck moment”.
Unstuck is one of most professional-looking iPad apps I’ve used. Here is one step along the path that leads from description of the stuck moment to unsticking tool. This particular step uses a card-sorting metaphor. Other steps involve more digital-native methods of interaction.
I’m not sure I’d agree with the description of Unstuck as “virtual on-the-go life coach” (Leena at TechCrunch), since it’s less general, and more unsticking-specific, than that description suggests. But the app certainly seems well thought out, in terms of both process and presentation.
I’ll try to find out more about the decisions behind Unstuck. One set of decisions relates to the process through which the app takes its user. What are the psych and therapy grounds on which it is built? Another set relates to the presentation. Why iPad? Why this particular mix of interaction styles (card-sorting, box-checking, etc.)?
Then there’s the obvious question. What if you’re stuck because you can’t resist trying out new iPad apps, web services, etc.?