Expect significant usability improvements in Drupal 7

When I recommend to someone that they should use Drupal for a project it is not uncommon for them to question my wisdom on the subject. Those new to Drupal are often shocked by Drupal's initial learning curve, no rich text editor in the core, and a user interface with a longer workflow than it really should be. As powerful and functional as Drupal can be it historically has had usability issues.

Charging for online news doomed to fail

There has been a lot of articles written lately on Rupert Murdoch's latest comments regarding the need to charge online readers for the content they access to the business model The Wall Street Journal utilizes. Murdoch recently announced that additional News Corp's newspapers would be charging users access to their online content.

Speaking on a conference call as News Corporation announced a 47 percent slide in quarterly profits to $755 million, Murdoch said the current free access business model favored by most content providers was flawed.

"We are now in the midst of an epochal debate over the value of content and it is clear to many newspapers that the current model is malfunctioning," the News Corp. Chairman and CEO said.

"We have been at the forefront of that debate and you can confidently presume that we are leading the way in finding a model that maximizes revenues in return for our shareholders... The current days of the Internet will soon be over."

That pay for content business model that Murdoch wishes to spread to the the rest of the News Corp holdings has worked pretty well for the WSJ. Yearly subscription to WSJ.com is around $100 and the business news site recently introduced a cheaper micro-payment system. Deane Barker recently pointed out this story on his Gadgetopia blog. Barker points out that this business model could possibly work for additional online news sources, but Murdoch needs "another big player on the bandwagon, and he might kick the snowball off the hill. Gannet? New York Times Company?". Barker's point is that for News Corp's subscription model to work, access to news content needs to be limited at other places online too. In my opinion, a fight against free online content is a war that has already been lost.

As a subscriber to the WSJ in both print and online content, I do see paid online subscriptions working for niche news sites. I however have serious doubts that the model can work for general news. People are willing to pay and only pay for content they can get nowhere else online. The news articles found in the WSJ is unique content and since its also content of value, I'm willing to pay for it. However, reporting general news is a much different game. Even if the majority of newspapers started charging access to their content it only takes one newspaper willing to offer that same story for free to break the pay for access model.

Looking at multitasking on the iPhone and Palm Pre

I'm one of the unfortunate souls that is a Verizon customer.  I'm unfortunate in the sense that my cell phone company has been very slow in bringing modern SmartPhones with full browser and Wifi capability under their service plans.  Oh how I would love to have an iPhone or G1 Android in my hand, but neither AT&T nor T-Mobile includes big 'ol South Dakota in their service plans.  But someday things may change and I might get the iPhone or possibly even better, the Palm Pre (we have Spring here!).

SilverStripe launches Global Partner Program

Silverstripe logoThere are reasons why I have been mentioning SilverStripe quite a bit here at CMS Report. In case you haven't noticed, the New Zealand based company has been making a lot of effort this year to expand their global reach.  Recently, SilverStripe put Sigurd Magnusson, their Sales and Marketing Director, on a sort of world tour to let everyone know more about the open source SilverStripe CMS. This week the latest news from the company is the launch of their Global Partner Program.

SilverStripe has today significantly expanded its global reach. From today, its corporate headquarters in Wellington, New Zealand, is complemented by partnerships with established companies in 8 locations throughout the US, UK, Europe, and Australia.

The Partner Program gives customers access to professional SilverStripe skills and knowledge across the globe. Today's milestone will allow businesses around the world to get local professional SilverStripe support and services. Additionally, the Partner Program will accelerate market adoption and awareness of SilverStripe globally.

Customers across the world can now visit https://www.silverstripe.com/partners/ to find a local SilverStripe partner who can help implement their SilverStripe solution.

For a couple weeks, I've been aware that SilverStripe was about to announce the launch of their partner program. The goal of the partner program is to help expand support and enthusiasm for the SilverStripe CMS. I was asked to say something nice about the CMS in their press release announcing the partner program.

WhiteHouse 2.0

There has been a huge transformation this year at WhiteHouse.gov. Blogs, RSS feeds, and connections to social networking sites are being fully utilized at the President's website. Those of us that have worked in information technology positions for the federal government have experienced first hand just how slow bureaucracies can be in taking advantage of newer technologies.

SilverStripe and Mollom partner in the war against spam

Lots of news this week regarding the open source SilverStripe CMS.  It is extremely unusual for CMS Report to post something on SilverStripe as well as something on comment spam twice in one week.  Yet, my two favorite companies, Silverstripe Ltd and Mollom, are going to have me do just that because of today's announcement that they've partnered together to help SilverStripe site owners block comment spam on their sites.

Elgg Powered Sites

I'm a big fan of Elgg, a free and open source social software that allows you to build your own social networks.  So it is with great surprise to me that I haven't really covered a lot of news about Elgg here at CMSReport.com.  Take a look at a recent post by Dave Tosh for some examples of the latest Elgg powered sites on the Web.  If that's not enough for you to judge how well Elgg can run social media sites...than Dave has more examples of Elgg sites to show you.

Three years of CMSReport.com

This month marks a new milestone for CMS Report, the blog, news, and aggregated website turned three years old.  When I wrote the first post, I wasn't quite sure where I wanted to take the site, but I knew my enthusiasm for Web content management systems would get me wherever I needed to go.  Three years later, CMSReport.com has seen over 1,700 original articles posted at the site.  Pleasing to me, not all of these posts were written by me as I have always appreciated the contributions of content by others here at the site.