Massive apologies for our cone of CMS blogging silence over the last few months. It would be easy to blame the lull on our soul crushing New England winter, but the truth is we’ve been absolutely buried helping organizations with actual work — from digital strategy and experience design to CMS planning and implementations. You know, the messy bits that give us inspiration for this blog.

We are also hard at work on some exciting news and plans for this blog and our agency. It’s going to be a fun 2015, and we’ll be keeping you posted along the way. In the meantime, there’s a lot to catch up on. Here’s some of what’s going on.

Personalization is happening (for real)

It may very well turn out 2014 was the year everyone talked about web personalization, but 2015 is when everyone starts doing it. Some positive proof points: We just launched a new global B2B website with personalization capabilities, and have several other projects underway that are directly embedding personalization into the experience and technology strategies. This is progress we weren’t consistently seeing one year ago and a positive sign that the capabilities required to plan and deliver personalized experiences are maturing.

An always evolving vendor landscape

There’s been lots of activity over the last few months on the vendor side, with Ektron and EPIServer coming together, a new 1,800+ Marketing Technology canvas from Scott Brinker, and an updated Q1 2015 Forrester Wave (free download courtesy of Sitecore) plotting the enterprise options (notably dropping Sharepoint, and adding EPIServer). It’s always good to keep tabs on the evolving vendor landscape, but longtime readers of the CMS Myth know that we’re all about what you do with the technology. We’ll continue to focus on what it takes to make web content management work as we blog in 2015.

Events aplenty: where we’ll be 

We’re fired up to be speaking alongside of Karen McGrane at re\Vision Boston next week. The topic of publishers moving from print to digital couldn’t be more relevant to the CMS Myth. There are still a few spots available if local folks want to join. Pro tip: Stick around one additional day to catch Karen and Ethan Marcotte for a full-day responsive web design workshop.

Look for us in Salt Lake City, Utah during the 2015 Adobe Summit, too. We’ll have our team there through the week taking in Adobe’s big vision for digital marketing—and partying after hours to Imagine Dragons. Will you be there? Let us know!

Shifting to warmer climates, we’re speaking with BMC Software at Intelligent Content 2015 in San Francisco March 23-25 on how we collaborated on a content-first approach for their massive B2B global redesign. BMC is generous in sharing some of the process-oriented details, and we’ll pass on as much as we can here on the CMS Myth in the coming months.

I hope you’ve circled your calendar for MarTech 2015, Scott Brinker’s second-annual gathering of marketing and technology leaders. I’m absolutely honored to be speaking this year on the topic of The Marketing Technology Myth. I’ll be applying some of the themes from this blog to the rapidly changing and colliding worlds of marketing and technology. Please do reach out if you’ll be in SF for the event.

This fall I’ll be leading a CMS Selection workshop at Confab’s first Confab Intensive event in Portland, Oregon this fall. Confab Central has been one of my favorite events over the years, and I’m thrilled they selected the Rose City (home of our HQ) for the first Intensive event.

What’s on tap for you in 2015?

We’re gearing up for a big year on the CMS Myth, sharing stories from the trenches and offering what insight we can muster up. We’d love to hear what content challenges you are wrestling with in your organization. Drop us a line with your biggest challenges and opportunities and we’ll explore those themes in upcoming blog posts.



With day one of Gilbane in the rear view mirror, we focus our attention on best bets for the encore performance Wednesday. After all, our adoring fans demand it (thanks Misty for encouraging our behavior).

First off, a huge thanks to everyone who showed up at our Content Happy Hour at the Harpoon Brewery tonight. It was a fantastic turnout (even with some light sleet) and the conversations were a smart mix of content, tech and snark.The IPA wasn’t too shabby either.

I don’t have the energy to write a full day one recap, seeing that I’m moderating back to back panels tomorrow starting at 8:30 a.m. (thanks for that time slot, Frank!), but do check out the full recap of the Stump the CMS consultant panel as well as James Gardner‘s tweet recap from today. Lots of good nuggets in the sessions, but as with most Gilbane events, some of the most valuable moments come from the conversations and connections between panels and at the after, after gatherings.

And now, here’s your best bets for day two of Gilbane on Wednesday Dec. 3:

Personalization, CMS and Content Strategy kicks off at 8:30 am sharp moderate by yours truly (Hey, my blog post, my session is a best bet). The real attraction here is John Berndt, CEO of The Berndt Group and Jeff Geheb, CTO of VML who bring some industrial strength expertise on the topic of personalization. We’ll have to ask them if the rumors of personalization’s demise are true or not.

Multichannel Content Management at 9:40 am with former CMS Mythbuster (now Agency Oasis strategist) looks like a sharp session featuring the Stump the CMS Consultant winner Deane Barker as well as Sandra Duram and Noz Urbina. It’s a topic that gets a lot of lip service, but not a lot of “how to.”  This group can deliver on the details with Jake keeping them honest.

Agency/integrator panel discussion at 11:40 am with Digital Clarity Group turns the focus to the service providers with some “big consultancy” perspective from Accenture Interactive and DigitasLBi as well as the recently rebranded SingleStone. DCG is one of the few voices in the industry looking at the impact of service providers, which often get trumped by discussions about platform fit and less critical software feature/benefit drivel.

Content Strategy Panel at 3:30 pm will round out the day well in part because moderator Kevin P Nichols can give a master class on the topic himself. Four speakers including Misty Weaver, Community Manager of Content Insight, will provide varying perspectives on the broad topic. You can never have enough content strategy to go with your technology.

Gilbane of course extends to a third day of add on workshop options. I won’t be attending those, but look forward to hearing how they go.

I’d love to say hi to anyone who is at the event. Please do track me down and we can swap our own CMS Myths in person.

Game on Gilbane. Let’s do day two.

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Thoughts & Laughs from Gilbane Boston 2014

We’re winding down a terrific first day at Gilbane 2014 in our hometown, Boston. With no promise of being complete or chronological, let’s revisit some of the more thoughtful, interesting, and funny moments of the day! See you tomorrow? [View the story "Thoughts & Laughs from Gilbane Boston 2014" on Storify]

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$10,000 in free CMS consulting that could save your next project

One of my favorite panels at Gilbane is Stump the CMS Consultant where the audience poses hard questions to a battle-tested panel of CMS experts. The 2014 edition was especially good, moderated by Jarrod Gingras of Real Story Group and featuring Praveen Ramanathan, Anne Casson and Deane Barker. Because these folks bill out at such a high day rate, […]

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Gilbane 2014: Day One Best Bets

Many in the CMS industry mark their years by counting Gilbane conferences. I have fond memories of my first event in 2005, which means the 2014 edition will officially make it a decade of taxonomy talk and oversized vendor claims. Mainly I can trace Gilbane to some of the most meaningful professional relationships of my career, and […]

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The “Not My Job” Myth

Personalization. I’m sure you’ve been hearing about it for a while now. But are you doing it? Lots of organizations have struggled to really embrace personalization. There are lots of misconceptions and few people willing to own and organize a new initiative. Personalization doesn’t happen by magic. Some may think that personalization means switching out some […]

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What Happens in Vegas Won’t Stay In Vegas!

We’re in Vegas, baby! If you follow the world of CMS and haven’t been glued to Apple’s news all day, you surely know it’s for Sitecore’s North American Symposium. The conference brings together Sitecore experts, developers, partners and customers from around the globe for two days of education, inspiration and socializing. We’ll be sharing more […]

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There’s no crying in content management

The team from Loyola University of Maryland gave a fantastic presentation at eduWeb 2014 in Baltimore about empowering authors for success with web publishing. April Arnold, Kimberly Hall and Amy Filardo co-presented on the case-study-driven story about how they wrangled more than 200 content authors from what was described as a “content crisis” to a more empowered, supported, and […]

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174 days without a CMS incident

We welcome guest CMS Mythbuster Clint Lundmark to the blog. Clint oversees some large-scale CMS platforms in Portland, Oregon and literally has a sign in the office announcing the number of days without a CMS incident. Where there’s a sign, there’s a story and we had to hear what’s happening. A while back I inherited […]

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Running First Meetings with Prospective Agency Partners

Part 3 of a 10 part series (The right digital agency partner can make or break your organization’s online success. And yet, unless you’re extremely lucky, your partner will only be as good as the process by which you find and select them. In this 10-part series, we’ll share what we’ve learned from our clients about […]

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