Two Years On: Still Puncturing Myths & Taking Names

We started the CMS Myth two years ago, riding into the Boston Gilbane Content Management Conference wearing our white hats, guns blazing (sort of), and raising the alarm against an epidemic of poorly planned and ultimately failed web content management projects.

That’s pretty much been our focus for the past 24 months: take the combined 50+ years of CMS experience among our MythBusters and deliver you best practices from the field.

And don’t forget the many metaphors to help explain the complex, the daunting or the just plain bizarre in CMS. Have you read Is Your CMS Project a Dead Monkey? Instant classic!

We’ve taken the Myth on the road with Connective DX to conferences and private briefings from Portland to Boston and dozens of cities in between. We busted myths. And we listened and learned. And confirmed that CMS is a wonderful, powerful tech tool.

And we affirmed the core of the Myth, that success in most website projects isn’t about the CMS technology at all – it’s about your planning, strategy, expectations, user experience, marketing and more.

For all the myths we punctured in the past 24 months … we figure we can at least double that in the next 24.

As we celebrate our blog’s two year anniversary, we invite you to review these great CMS Myth moments in time – a few editors’ picks covering web content management and the intersection with website strategy, governance, marketing, analytics, globalization and more.

From The Content Building Blocks of Web Content Management
“…Planning a content management driven website requires a rigorous look at the underlying content. Proper planning in the early phases of the project can ensure a content architecture that is flexible and scales with your website. This can also significantly reduce the complexity of the implementation by identifying the common elements that can be reused.”

From How Many People Does it Take to Screw in a Content Management System?
“I’m the first to agree with limiting the number of cooks in the kitchen, yet it’s hard to ignore the fact that building websites today does require more specialized skills (and processes that can effectively integrate them). In fact, when it comes to CMS implementations, I’ve found that many projects go off track when the wrong people do the wrong tasks (i.e. Developer doing information architecture).”

From Measure Twice, Cut Once With Web CMS
“…Every web project manager has had one misadventure to know: long days/sleepless nights, plus an added tariff of missing your timeline, killing your budget, shedding your internal credibility ….  We continue to advocate that, to do CMS right, you need at the very least a vision, a plan, and a well-defined process  – remember as carpenters say, measure twice, cut once — to deliver a successful CMS outcome.”

From Shifting From Content Management to Content Delivery
“…With CMS feature sets expanding and the lines blurring between different platforms, acquiring content delivery tools bundled with CMS is both an opportunity and a risk for organizations. The right tools can greatly reduce development costs and speed up time to market. However, just because a CMS vendor has a specific feature does not mean it is best of breed or right for your organization.”

From Are CMS vendors selling to marketers or building for marketers?
“…CMS vendors have largely made the shift to speak more directly to the needs of a marketer. This is happening with the website messaging, marketing-friendly feature lists and solution-selling scenarios developed within the sales teams. This shift is both smart for business and absolutely necessary to meet the changing needs of the web-driven organization. However, it’s critical to take a closer look at specific vendor offerings to see if they can walk the walk that their marketing speak talks.”

From Now driving CMS adoption: Customer experience
“Now that marketers are increasingly driving the CMS discussion and adoption, the conversation is rightly shifting toward ideas like customer engagement and content optimization – how to make the most of your website and your content to drive home a message, convince and persuade visitors, prompt them to take an action, buy a product, or become more deeply engaged with your brand.”

From, Get your CMS vendor off their script!
“In the last month I have talked to a lot of people at the beginning of a CMS selection process.  …  The thing I have been ‘hearing between the lines’ as I talk to people is that (the) very scripted dog and pony shows CMS vendors can conduct only end up confusing the potential customer more than help them towards a final selection.  What they often get is a solid hour or so of product greatest hits and shiny toys with only a passing reference to anything that is relevant to the customer’s actual needs. … What I have been advocating to help keep everyone focused is that internally the customer comes up with three critical requirements that the CMS implementation must nail.”

From The Increasing Importance of Global Content Accessibility
“I’m still surprised at how many content creators and website developers tell me that they don’t need to worry about internationalization, localization or translation — that their audience is comprised of U.S. English speakers only. That’s a shortsighted, limiting – even selfish point of view. Whether yours is a business, government, non-profit or academic organization, there’s no way for you to know who may have an interest in and benefit from your content.”

About the Author
David Aponovich

A former 'CMS Insider,' David is relentlessly focused on the gap between vendor speak and customer adoption. In addition to keeping a keen eye on industry trends, he works with clients on the cultural and process implications of CMS that are so often overlooked. David wrote for the CMS Myth during his time working at Connective DX (formerly ISITE Design).

More articles from David Aponovich

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