Don’t You Want Me?

Content Management's Greatest Hits

One of my all-time favorite story songs from the 80s, The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” was released in 1981, and was a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982. Check out the heavy guyliner in the video:

The story reminds me of the relationship many sites have with their Content Management Platform. The CMS/vendor claims responsibility for all their mutual successes:

You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar
When I met you
I picked you out, I shook you up, and turned you around
Turned you into someone new
Now five years later on you’ve got the world at your feet
Success has been so easy for you
But don’t forget it’s me who put you where you are now
And I can put you back down too

But the reality is, of course, it’s never just the platform that makes any site (or team) successful. It’s also the content, governance, strategy, and business operating the platform:

I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar
That much is true
But even then I knew I’d find a much better place
Either with or without you

Often, successful CMS users will outgrow their existing platforms. Five or more years in, a “legacy” CMS can start to feel inflexible and out of date. Perhaps the business needs more scale, or a greater ability to drive community interaction, or better content targeting. Whatever the (percieved or real) need, the end result is a painful re-platform and breakup:

The five years we have had have been such good times
I still love you
But now I think it’s time I lived my life on my own
I guess it’s just what I must do

Have you ever broken up with your CMS for a younger, sexier platform? Have you been the old reliable platform left behind?

Welcome to the world of Content Management.

About the Author

Formerly the Managing Director of Boston Connective DX office, John's passion for technology and the role of CMS are clear in his point of view.

More articles from John Eckman

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