CMS Myths in Higher Education

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The content management vendor landscape is like a subway on game day: crowded, noisy, and confusing. Lots of people seem to be getting to their destination, but it's also easy to get lost. Platform vendors and implementors promise ease of use, low cost of ownership, and the opportunity to provide ROI to stakeholders while engaging audiences from prospective students (and their parents) to alumni, from undergraduates to research lab directors and development offices.

The reality, of course, is far more complex. While technical platforms certainly form a key part of any content management strategy—and every organization will find some platforms a better fit than others—the real challenges are far more human. Choosing an adequate or suitable platform is necessary but by no means sufficient for long-term success. We'll explore some of the key myths of content management as they apply to higher education and uncover the realities those myths obscure.

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  • http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/h/halle/The race between Hippomenes and Atalanta The only way a man could only marry Atalanta, was if he beat her in a footrace. If any man challenged her and lost, they would be executed. Hippomenes prayed to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. The goddess, moved by his plea, showed him how to win. Aphrodite gave him three golden apples. He dropped those, which she stopped to pick up, and lost. It ends poorly though as he forgets to thank Aphrodite and they both get turned into lions. http://atalantaandhippomenes.weebly.com/
  • What is the myth?The concept behind The CMS Myth is simple, really.Many organizations are rushing to adopt web content management systems. These systems are often viewed asa silver bullet that will solve all kinds of problems.But . . . front-line web pros speak of a fundamental disconnect in the promise of CMS vs. reality. . . 50% or more CMS projects “fail” in some way . . .Therein lays the central tenet of The CMS Myth: When it comes to web content management success, it’s not just about the technology.In reality, CMS success hinges on your plan, your people, and your processbehind your web content management initiative.
  • The platform selection myth is the belief that the most important choice we'll make is which platform we use. It’s a horse-race, and we’ve got to pick the right pony. The reality is there are a dozen or more perfectly competent platforms on which to build. You are 10 times more likely to fail in a hundred other ways, than to fail by picking the right platform. It’s also not the last time you will face this choice.
  • The Myth of Responsive Web Design The silver-bullet of responsive web design (we don't need a mobile strategy, our site is responsive). The reality is more complex – yes, you should be aiming for content parity, and you ought to be working to get out of the fixed-width table-based ugliness of old web design practices. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to think about mobile beyond RWD – and it doesn’t mean RWD itself is enough to ensure you are meeting user’s needs. You need to be thinking about device independent structured content, and content reuse, and future friendly – not just about RWD. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dwstucke/61760035/
  • The mobile context mythThere is no mobile context. I might be dashing down the road trying to hail a cab, and finish a document – or I might be sitting on a train for hours. Stop trying to decide how other people will use their phones or won’t use their phones. Photos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Mobile_Phone_System, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_mobile_phoneshttp://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/11/business/la-fi-tn-smartphone-nearby-1-in-10-use-during-sex-20130711That’s Dr. Martin Cooper, who made the first cell phone call in 1973 on mobile radio equipment.
  • There is no mobile context. I might be dashing down the road trying to hail a cab, and finish a document – or I might be sitting on a train for hours. Stop trying to decide how other people will use their phones or won’t use their phones. Photos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Mobile_Phone_System, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_mobile_phoneshttp://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/11/business/la-fi-tn-smartphone-nearby-1-in-10-use-during-sex-20130711That’s Dr. Martin Cooper, who made the first cell phone call in 1973 on mobile radio equipment.
  • A simple Demo is just that: simple. It doesn’t tell you anything about what it will be like for you in the long run to own and operate this thing. It emphasizes features over flexibility, inevitably.
  • The ease-of-use myth (our CMS is so simple there's no need for training for content authors) / we will be able to evaluate “the CMS” on “Ease of Use” without regard to specific use cases and complexity. Sometimes things are complex because they need to be!!http://lugenfamilyoffice.com/2012/10/31/for-every-complex-problem-there-is-an-answer-that-is-clear-simple-and-wrong-h-l-mencken
  • The feature-rich myth (the best CMS for you is the one which checks the most boxes on your feature wish list). The most feature-rich option is not the greatest option, just the one with the most knobs and buttons. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jesse_sneed/2383953694/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arCITMfxvEc
  • The feature-rich myth (the best CMS for you is the one which checks the most boxes on your feature wish list). The most feature-rich option is not the greatest option, just the one with the most knobs and buttons. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jesse_sneed/2383953694/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arCITMfxvEc
  • The cheap labor myth (we'll use student developers / we don't need a consistent, professional team)Student labor is cheap, but demeans the skills neededStudents change – they come and gohttp://www.flickr.com/photos/essgee/1393365912/
  • http://www.universalhub.com/2013/bit-early-year-storrow-pool-now-closedNothing wrong with involving students – in fact everyone should in some fashion – but don’t think that “students” replace your need for an appropriately scaled professional web team.
  • http://www.universalhub.com/2013/bit-early-year-storrow-pool-now-closedNothing wrong with involving students – in fact everyone should in some fashion – but don’t think that “students” replace your need for an appropriately scaled professional web team.
  • Normally I credit all images – this one I am not crediting to protect the innocent. I’m a huge believer in access to education and the value of vocational training – but in 2013, teaching web development using frontpage?
  • Normally I credit all images – this one I am not crediting to protect the innocent. I’m a huge believer in access to education and the value of vocational training – but in 2013, teaching web development using frontpage?
  • The content expert myth (because I'm an expert in ___, I'm also an expert in how to present that on the web)There’s two sides here – on the one hand we need to recognize the real experise of others – on the other hand they need to recognize that digital communications is it’s own area of expertise with a high degree of complexity. http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMy00YWZmMjk4ZDY1NDYzZWM5, http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMi04OGRlYmRiMzA5MjdkNjhk, http://mrlibrarydude.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/on-being-a-generalist-librarian-not-having-a-2nd-masters/
  • The content expert myth (because I'm an expert in ___, I'm also an expert in how to present that on the web)There’s two sides here – on the one hand we need to recognize the real experise of others – on the other hand they need to recognize that digital communications is it’s own area of expertise with a high degree of complexity. http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMy00YWZmMjk4ZDY1NDYzZWM5, http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMi04OGRlYmRiMzA5MjdkNjhk, http://mrlibrarydude.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/on-being-a-generalist-librarian-not-having-a-2nd-masters/
  • The "one ring to bind them all" myth (our most important goal is a single technical platform). Most organizations of any significant size and complexity will have multiple “systems” which touch content. And that’s ok. Small pieces loosely joined. Why should one piece of technology be your sketchpad, notebook, typewriter, printing press, and fleet of distribution vehicles all at the same time? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Ringhttp://www.gagdonkey.com/people/there-can-be-only-one/
  • The "one ring to bind them all" myth (our most important goal is a single technical platform). Most organizations of any significant size and complexity will have multiple “systems” which touch content. And that’s ok. Small pieces loosely joined. Why should one piece of technology be your sketchpad, notebook, typewriter, printing press, and fleet of distribution vehicles all at the same time? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Ringhttp://www.gagdonkey.com/people/there-can-be-only-one/
  • The “Site Factory” myth (the goal of the CMS platform is to enable creation of yet more web sites). Because if there’s one problem with Higher Education today it’s that we don’t produce enough sites and microsites. What is the ratio of new sites being created to old sites being retired? What’s the difference between a site and a microsite? This is GE Riverworks plant. http://www.cardcow.com/438106/general-electric-company-river-works-lynn-massachusetts/
  • Eckman’s Law: Over time, the number of web sites produced by any institution of higher learning will exceed the number of: current students, faculty, staff, departments, research labs, student groups, cross-discipline initiatives, schools, colleges, alumni organizations, campuses, buildings, libraries, institutes, publications, etc. . . .
  • Eckman’s Law illustrated
  • Joseph Campbell (Hero of a Thousand Faces, the Hero’s Journey)http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/joseph_campbell.html, http://www.elephantjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/picture-360.png
  • Shekhar Kapur – director of Elizabeth, Mr India. http://www.ted.com/talks/shekhar_kapur_we_are_the_stories_we_tell_ourselves.html
  • Shekhar Kapur – director of Elizabeth, Mr India. http://www.ted.com/talks/shekhar_kapur_we_are_the_stories_we_tell_ourselves.html“The stories we tell ourselves . . . define the potentialities of our existence. We are the stories we tell ourselves. ” - Shekhar Kapur
  • “I appreciate the input from my diverse and enthusiastic family” - Linn Ostberg(my mom)
  • Let’s Make New MythsThis is Kamala Khan, a new superhero from Marvel – she’s a Pakistan-descended Muslim American teenager in New Jerseyhttp://marvel.com/news/story/21466/all-new_marvel_now_qa_ms_marvel
  • Contribute your own myths by tweeting using @jeckman and #CMSMyth and you may win a t-shirt
  • The beautiful homepage sans carouselsShould I use a carousel.com?
  • The Beautiful Homepage sans carouselsShould I use a carousel.com?
  • The reasonable governance plan – an anarcho-syndicalist-commune.Well I didn’t vote for you. Dennis the Constitutional Peasant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOOTKA0aGI0
  • The rational, coordinated, digital student experienceWhat would a school be like that truly took student journeys seriously and re-organized around them? Who is doing it well? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_higher-learning_institutions- Raphael’s School of Athens
  • The Skillful Balance Between Centralization and Decentralization. Should we be decentralized, or centralized? Yes. Scylla and Charybdis - http://www.art.com/products/p9788658328-sa-i5565721/payne-scylla-attacking-olysseuss-ship.htm
  • What makes Batman powerful is no set of superpowers but an awesome set of tools. http://tomztoyz.blogspot.com/2011/02/secrets-of-batcave-batman-wallpaper.html
  • The Empowered TeamNot sure what role Hulk might play in your digital team, but the team makes possible more than the individuals could accomplish. HULK SMASH CAROUSELhttp://comicsbeat.com/matt-fraction-says-iron-man-3-is-as-big-as-the-avengers/
  • CMS Wisdom Wanted – fill out the CMS Wisdom survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Myth
  • Delight.us
  • Delight.us
  • That’s Lucy in the background and Jasper in the foreground. Thanks for listening. @jeckman
  • CMS Myths in Higher Education

    1. 1. #confabEDU @jeckman CMS Myths in Higher Education Confab Higher Education November 11-12, 2013
    2. 2. #confabEDU h"p://www.cmsmyth.com/   @jeckman
    3. 3. #confabEDU h"p://www.cmsmyth.com/   @jeckman What is the myth? The concept behind The CMS Myth is simple, really. Many organizations are rushing to adopt web content management systems. These systems are often viewed as a silver bullet that will solve all kinds of problems. But . . . front-line web pros speak of a fundamental disconnect in the promise of CMS vs. reality. . . 50% or more CMS projects “fail” in some way . . . Therein lays the central tenet of The CMS Myth: When it comes to web content management success, it’s not just about the technology. In reality, CMS success hinges on your plan, your people, and your process behind your web content management initiative.
    4. 4. #confabEDU h"p://www.cmsmyth.com/2013/08/the-­‐real-­‐ reasons-­‐people-­‐hate-­‐their-­‐cms/   @jeckman
    5. 5. #confabEDU @jeckman The Platform Selection Myth
    6. 6. #confabEDU @jeckman The Myth of Responsive Web Design
    7. 7. #confabEDU @jeckman The Mobile Context Myth
    8. 8. #confabEDU @jeckman The Mobile Context Myth
    9. 9. #confabEDU @jeckman The CMS Demo Myth
    10. 10. #confabEDU @jeckman The Ease of Use Myth
    11. 11. #confabEDU @jeckman The Myth of the Feature-Rich CMS
    12. 12. #confabEDU @jeckman The Myth of the Feature-Rich CMS
    13. 13. #confabEDU @jeckman The Student Labor Myth
    14. 14. #confabEDU @jeckman
    15. 15. #confabEDU @jeckman
    16. 16. #confabEDU @jeckman
    17. 17. #confabEDU @jeckman The Myth of Content Expertise
    18. 18. #confabEDU @jeckman The Myth of Content Expertise
    19. 19. #confabEDU @jeckman The  One  True  Pla?orm  Myth  
    20. 20. #confabEDU @jeckman The  One  True  Pla?orm  Myth  
    21. 21. #confabEDU @jeckman The Site Factory Myth
    22. 22. #confabEDU @jeckman Eckman’s Law Over time, the number of web sites produced by any institution of higher learning will exceed the number of: current students, faculty, staff, departments, research labs, student groups, cross-discipline initiatives, schools, colleges, alumni organizations, campuses, buildings, libraries, institutes, publications, etc. . . .
    23. 23. #confabEDU @jeckman Eckman’s Law Audiences   Sites  
    24. 24. #confabEDU @jeckman “Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.” - Joseph Cambell
    25. 25. #confabEDU @jeckman
    26. 26. #confabEDU @jeckman “The stories we tell ourselves . . . define the potentialities of our existence. We are the stories we tell ourselves. ” - Shekhar Kapur
    27. 27. #confabEDU @jeckman “I appreciate the input from my diverse and enthusiastic family” - Linn Ostberg (my mom)
    28. 28. #confabEDU @jeckman Let’s Make New Myths
    29. 29. #confabEDU #CMSMyth @jeckman Contribute Your Own Myths
    30. 30. #confabEDU h"p://shouldiuseacarousel.com/   @jeckman The Beautiful Homepage Sans Carousels
    31. 31. #confabEDU h"p://shouldiuseacarousel.com/   @jeckman The Beautiful Homepage Sans Carousels
    32. 32. #confabEDU @jeckman The  Reasonable  Governance  Plan  
    33. 33. #confabEDU @jeckman The Rational, Coordinated Digital Student Experience
    34. 34. #confabEDU @jeckman The Skillful Balance Between Centralization and Decentralization
    35. 35. #confabEDU @jeckman The Powerful Toolset
    36. 36. #confabEDU @jeckman The Empowered Team
    37. 37. #confabEDU @jeckman CMS Wisdom Wanted http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Myth
    38. 38. #confabEDU h"p://delight.us/   @jeckman
    39. 39. #confabEDU h"p://www.isitedesign.com/   @jeckman
    40. 40. #confabEDU @jeckman Thank You! @jeckman
    41. 41. #confabEDU @jeckman Credits 01:  Image:  h"p://www.wga.hu/frames-­‐e.html?/html/h/halle/    Story:  h"p://atalantaandhippomenes.weebly.com/     02:  h"p://www.cmsmyth.com/     03:  h"p://www.cmsmyth.com/what-­‐is-­‐the-­‐myth/     04  h"p://www.cmsmyth.com/2013/08/the-­‐real-­‐reasons-­‐people-­‐hate-­‐their-­‐cms/     05:  Pla?orm  9  ¾s  at  King’s  Cross  StaSon-­‐  I  can  no  longer  find  the  specific  credit  for  this  specific  photo   06:  h"p://www.flickr.com/photos/dwstucke/61760035/     07:  h"p://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Mobile_Phone_System  ,  h"p://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_mobile_phones     08:  h"p://arScles.laSmes.com/2013/jul/11/business/la-­‐fi-­‐tn-­‐smartphone-­‐nearby-­‐1-­‐in-­‐10-­‐use-­‐during-­‐sex-­‐20130711     09:  CMS  Demo  Myth:  h"p://www.cmsmyth.com/2012/11/the-­‐cms-­‐demo-­‐myth/     10:  h"p://lugenfamilyoffice.com/2012/10/31/for-­‐every-­‐complex-­‐problem-­‐there-­‐is-­‐an-­‐answer-­‐that-­‐is-­‐clear-­‐simple-­‐and-­‐wrong-­‐h-­‐l-­‐mencken     11:  h"p://www.flickr.com/photos/jesse_sneed/2383953694/   12:  h"p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arCITMfxvEc   13:  h"p://www.flickr.com/photos/essgee/1393365912/     14  &  15:  h"p://www.universalhub.com/2013/bit-­‐early-­‐year-­‐storrow-­‐pool-­‐now-­‐closed     17  &  18:  h"p://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMy00YWZmMjk4ZDY1NDYzZWM5,   h"p://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMi04OGRlYmRiMzA5MjdkNjhk,   h"p://mrlibrarydude.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/on-­‐being-­‐a-­‐generalist-­‐librarian-­‐not-­‐having-­‐a-­‐2nd-­‐masters/     19:  h"p://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Ring   20:  h"p://www.gagdonkey.com/people/there-­‐can-­‐be-­‐only-­‐one/   21:  h"p://www.cardcow.com/438106/general-­‐electric-­‐company-­‐river-­‐works-­‐lynn-­‐massachuse"s/   24:  h"p://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/joseph_campbell.html     h"p://www.elephantjournal.com/wp-­‐content/uploads/2009/03/picture-­‐360.png   25  &  26:  h"p://www.ted.com/talks/shekhar_kapur_we_are_the_stories_we_tell_ourselves.html   28:  h"p://marvel.com/news/story/21466/all-­‐new_marvel_now_qa_ms_marvel   30  &  31:  h"p://shouldiuseacarousel.com/   32:  h"p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOOTKA0aGI0     33:  h"ps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_higher-­‐learning_insStuSons     34:  h"p://www.art.com/products/p9788658328-­‐sa-­‐i5565721/payne-­‐scylla-­‐a"acking-­‐olysseuss-­‐ship.htm   35:  h"p://tomztoyz.blogspot.com/2011/02/secrets-­‐of-­‐batcave-­‐batman-­‐wallpaper.html   36:  h"p://comicsbeat.com/ma"-­‐fracSon-­‐says-­‐iron-­‐man-­‐3-­‐is-­‐as-­‐big-­‐as-­‐the-­‐avengers/    

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