The black magic behind content management

Great insight from Jonathan Kahn on content strategy and how we might go about choosing the right CMS for a project. Spoiler—it's about the content, not the CMS:

The rise of content strategy is dealing the content management industry a huge kick up the backside. In the web’s Wild West era, the CMS was run by the IT department—or sometimes a lone webmaster who knew HTML—so CMS choices were based on features, price, and cultural fit, rather than web or content strategy. It was the classic IT drill: selection committees, feature matrices, and business lunches with men wearing neckties.

Oddly, discussions of content strategy are still had in hushed circles, perhaps in the coffee room or over lunch, or exchanged in secret notes throughout the day. For reasons unknown to me, the real conversations are still being facilitated with feature matrices and neckties. You tell the nice man what kind of website you need and he tells you what he's going to build it with.

Odder still, almost every day I see a company launch a new site with Flash. Yes, that Flash, the bane of the internet. Every time I see a company proudly launch a site with Flash, I cry a single tear for the money and time it's going to cost to update and modify and eventually redo.

As Kahn argues, conversations about content shouldn't be about tools, it should be about content. There are exceptional open source tools out there to help you get your content to the web, all of which you can freely download and play with until you find the right one.

Next time, when the nice man with the tie tells you that he is going to lock your content up in Flash or some other proprietary CMS, tell him 'thanks for your time.' Or get out your wallet.