The Peril of Not Stating Your Budget Upfront

I’ve talked before about the joys of writing RFPs.  Specifically, I’ve mentioned that you should just come out and state your budget target upfront.  I promise you that there’s little to no downside here. Here’s a story to illustrate – We were evaluating an RFP.  It was gloriously written – full of lots of detail […]

Read Article

Why WYSIWYG is Still a Problem

WYSIWTFFTWOMG!: I just loved this piece by Mark Boulton.  He touches on an issue about which I’m preparing a conference session now — in the brave new world of multi-channel publishing, you just don’t know where your content is going to end up, so it’s tough to know how it’s going to look. The problem […]

Read Article

What Makes Developers Really Great

Some years ago, we had a young guy contact Blend looking for a job.  He dropped by a few weeks later, and it did not go well (more on why below). In the next couple weeks, I found out that he “interviewed” at a couple of other Sioux Falls web development shops (it’s a small […]

Read Article

Why We Don’t Document Code

Documentation is always the last thing anyone wants to do. In general, we all hate it, and software we wrote — even software that’s not one-off, but is specifically intended for the future use of other people — generally never gets documented. Right now, I’m sitting on a software library that I wrote which painfully […]

Read Article

Posts are Not Blogs

At some point, the words “blog” and “post” got all mixed up, and now “blog” is used for everything.  This remains a pet peeve of mine, so this post is a last gasp of protest before I shut the hell up about it. A “blog” is a publication comprised of multiple installments. A “post” is […]

Read Article

What Acquia Teaches Us About CMS Communities

Last week, we discussed the communities behind a CMS product, and how they can be done well or poorly.  In that post, I mentioned that vendors should have their own developers and technical staff patrolling their forums: Manage your own forums and put your people in them.  Make it a job description for members of […]

Read Article

Managing Your Tasks in Gmail

So, I have one productivity hack I need to share (I’ve been inspired by Scott Hanselman’s awesome talk on ignoring stuff). I’m not great at managing productivity, but there is one little thing I’ve done that’s really enabled me to get a handle on my email, and my workload in general.  I’ve been doing it […]

Read Article

Bringing Decoupled CMS Back

There’s sort of a retro-ish movement afoot to return content management to its decoupled roots.  (No idea what “decoupled means”?  Read Decoupled Content Management 101 for a long-form primer.) Henri Bergius has written a good post summarizing why he feels coupled CMS comes up short, and making the case that there are several new technologies […]

Read Article

Why Django and Rails CMS Are So Rare

Django and Rails are notably absent from the boxed CMS space. There are specific reasons why, and — in a larger sense — why platforms with strong frameworks tend to limit this growth.

Read Article

Librarians and the Book: A Marriage of Convenience

Over the last few months, I’ve been reading The Portable MLIS: Insights from the Experts.  This is an anthology of writings about the work of the professional librarian (“MLIS” refers to a Masters of Library and Information Science – the standard degree for a librarian). This book has introduced me to the Code of Ethics […]

Read Article

The Book as a Trophy of Knowledge

I was a early adopter of the Kindle.  I bought one of the original first generation devices back in early 2008 (when they were fully $400).  I was convinced that ebooks were the answer to the prayers of a devoted reader, and equally convinced I’d be in love with my Kindle forever. A few months […]

Read Article

The Challenges of Date Scoping in Enterprise Search

Date – the ‘silver bullet’ of enterprise search: I enjoyed this post from Martin White about the single thing that would enterprise/intranet search better.  He says it’s the ability to specify a date range. In the enterprise there is a constant need to define a specific date (‘the 2011 corporate social responsibility statement’), a date […]

Read Article

Is Time-Shifted Web Content an Alternate Channel?

I’m wondering at what point does “time-shifted” web content constitute an entirely different distribution channel? By “time-shifted,” I mean services like Instapaper, Readabilty, and Pocket (formerly ReadItLater, and my personal favorite). These services allow you to save web content to read it later, free from design, context or ads.  When does this have enough usage […]

Read Article