Tales from Higher Ed: CMS Choices Edition

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The chart you see above represents an interest of “hype” chart of four popular content-management system choices over the last several years.

In blue, you see WordPress, red is Joomla, yellow is Drupal, and green is the less prominent “Concrete5”.  Expression Engine was charted, but it didn’t even register so I removed it.

When I joined Marshall University in February 2008, one of the first tasks I took on was selecting and then starting a phased implementation of a content management system for their web content.

The little circles that you see around July 2008 on the chart is when I proposed WordPress as our selection and we began implementation in earnest.

The “X” that you see on the chart is when, hilariously, a very prominent MU Alumnus who runs a web design company that I won’t name visited our campus and made the case that WordPress was a silly choice, and we should have standardized on Drupal.  Mmmmmkay.

Why does it matter where the product you’ve chosen is in this hype cycle?  Primarily because the more people you have using a product, and putting their minds to improving, supporting, and enhancing it, the better position you’re in to deliver the best product possible to your customers.

As we move through 2013 and in to 2014, it’s time to take a fresh look at where the market is at, where it’s headed, and planning for any changes we need to make in the products we’ve chosen and the way that we’ve deployed them so that in 2015 or 2016 we can be similarly position on a hype chart a few years later.

Part of being a good leader is having confidence in your decisions and the information you use to make them. Listen to feedback, take in to consideration criticisms, but don’t just listen to someone because of who they are or who they know. Use data to confirm the decisions you make, and constantly reevaluate and adjust based on the results of your own analysis.

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