Month: April 2006

2006 CMS Idol: Lessons for Losers

It’s no surprise to me that Hot Banana won the 2006 CMS Idol competition at the Spring 2006 Gilbane Conference on Content Management. After all, successful marketers know how to both communicate their value proposition, and differentiate themselves from the competition, without boring their prospects to death nor making them feel dumb. Hot Banana’s Chris Adams delivered an excellent demonstration of the popular marketing content management system and the audience responded by awarding the company the top spot in the twice-annual contest. It should be noted that Hot Banana is no stranger to the top spot. They’ve won numerous awards for their product line and are often acknowledge as the “best” in their corner of the content management world. Hats off to both the development team and the marketing management and staff at Hot Banana. You deserve it. Vasont Systems also did an excellent job with the assistance of one of the hardest working sales people in the technical publishing content management space, Bret Freeman. Brett’s efforts at demonstrating the power of the Vasont content management system earned the company the first runner up spot in the contest. He knows how to entertain a crowd and get his message across in a clear and convincing manner. Again, this is no surprise. Unfortunately, not all contestants were as impressive. One vendor, who definitely didn’t perform well, failed for one reason...

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Socialism At The Gilbane Conference … Or Embracing Containerization

By Diane Wieland, Precisely Write, Inc. First, I should say, I know nothing about the Gilbane Conference on Content Management. I think it�s once a year. I�m pretty sure it has a bunch of technical communication professionals all sharing ideas, and a guy name Frank Gilbane started it.  But this story is not about that. It�s about something else.  I wear more than one hat at my company, and part of my job is to help the president get the message out about what we do. One way to get the message out is by exhibiting and networking at trade shows. So, I recently spent the better part of two months researching the purchase of my company�s first professional display booth. I talked to vendors, artists, and other companies who have purchased them. I had meetings, compared prices, worked with my employers to develop a solid brand identity, and helped come up with a display design that said as much about us as possible�in 10 words or less.  And we came up with a pretty good one at a good price that we think we can live with for several years. One that might even impress potential clients. Then I find out that, included with your registration fee at the Gilbane conference, exhibitors�no matter how large or small, how much money they have to blow or how tight the...

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Technical Writing Ranked One Of The “Best” Jobs In America

According to a recent Money Magazine and report, “technical writer” is the 13th “best” job to hold in America, followed closely by “cirriculum developer” (18th) and “editor” (19th). The report aims to rate the top 50 careers using criteria that include: job availability and growth outlook, average pay, stress level, difficulty, flexibility, and creativity. Technical writers According to the report, technical writers earn an annual salary of $57,841 on average, cirriculum developers earn $55,793, while editors earn $78,242. The report predicts 23.22% average annual growth for technical writing jobs (2,619 new positions each year) with over 60,000 U.S. knowledge workers holding positions by 2014. Read the...

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16-Year-Old Creates Content Management System

According to a recent article in JavaScriptSearch, a new content management system called Eribium, constructed using Ruby on Rails and popular JavaScript libraries, is now available. “The show-stealer,” says the magazine, “is the fact that a 16-year-old with little programming experience was able to use Ruby on Rails and create a working CMS in a relatively short time.” Read the article. Download...

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Improving Content Management System Usability With AJAX

Thanks to James Robertson for pointing out AJAX and Your CMS by Jonathan Downes and Joe Walker, published in the April 3rd edition of CMS Watch. For the uninitiated, AJAX stands for Aschynchronous Javascript and XML, a development approach for creating interactive web applications that feel more responsive to the end user. AJAX has been shown to increase the interactivity, speed, and usability of a web application. The article includes a link to an excellent primer on the technology—Introduction to AJAX—as well as examples, screen shots, and links to useful resources designed to help you understand how AJAX can help improve the user...

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