"Count what is countable. Measure what is measureable. What is not measureable, make measureable." -- Galileo

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

CMS Matrix Musings

I was poking around with CMS Matrix, looking at the seemingly endless list of CMS that are out there. What is WebGUI and where did Netvolution WCMS come from? WebGUI has recently gotten most clicks and most views.

Where does that leave Plone? Well, for one thing the Plone listing on CMS Matrix was last updated on Sept. 8, 2007. I'm guessing that there's a fair piece of updating to be done. Aye, but who's to do it?

Meanwhile Netvolution is rated by users as best in system requirements and support. But a closer look shows that Netvolution's rating is based upon a single 10 point rating. Looks like CMS Matrix has some work to do before one can trust their numbers without digging deeper. To their credit, they let you dig deeper...

Heres where Plone stands:

Category Rating Count Ahead
System Requirements 5.77 95 7
Security 6.62 97 2
Support 6.23 97 4
Ease of Use 6.65 95 2
Performance 5.99 97 6
Management 6.63 97 0
Interoperability 6.54 97 0
Flexibility 7.04 95 0
Built-in Applications 6.54 97 0
Commerce 5.07 97 8

Rating is the average score of the user-respondents. Count is the number of respondents or reviewers. Ahead is my column that shows the number of CMS that scored higher than Plone and which had a higher number of respondents. Plone does very well by this metric, what with so many CMS having only 1 or 2 reviewers and these probably very biased.

Clearly the more people who rate a system the lower the average score in a general sort of way. Two hundred reviewers won't all be so brazen as to rate the same feature a '10'. What are the chances that any CMS will meet 100% of their requirements?

CMS Matrix may be useful for feature comparisons, but it has some serious flaws. For example, how does Plone (6.62) rate lower than Drupal (6.69) in Security when the Mitre CVE listing shows Plone far, far more secure?

The bottom line? Don't believe what you read, at least not without a little critical thinking and understanding the limitations of a given method.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dumpster Diving in Wikipedia

I was cruising around Wikipedia last night and decided to see what the Plone listing looked like these days. Concise, positive, useful, not too lengthy, objective discussion of strengths and weaknesses. Then I popped over to SharePoint, Joomla!, and Dot Net Nuke. Same useful positive sorts of material, although there was a significant Criticism section for Dot Net Nuke.

Then I peaked at the Wikipedia article for Drupal and I was surprised that (a) the article's neutrality was in question and (b) there was a very lengthy thread on the 'talk page,' which at times exceeded the bounds of Wikipedia professionalism.

That is not the way to win friends and influence people. Trying to use Wikipedia as a marketing tool for you favorite CMS framework or to drive traffic to a particular portal is incredibly naive, negative, and clearly out of bounds when it comes to Wikipedia's own guidelines. Hats off to all those objective authors and editors who have done a fine job in producing helpful references for the rest of the CMS community, commercial and open source.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Plone and YouTube

I've been following the TechPresident stats and thought I'd try the same trick with Plone. In this case I set myself up to track a couple interesting Plone videos with TubeMogul. They allow you to set up tracking of video collections and provide embedding code to display trends in viewership.

In this example I chose to investigate Eben Moglen's inspiring "Software and Community in the 21st Century," the keynote from the 2006 World Plone Conference in Seattle.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Google Trends

Thought I'd take a few minutes tonight and look at Google trends. (http://www.google.com/trends?q=plone et al.)

Two curious things appear:
  1. The tremendous drop off in news reference volume last June
  2. The dip in search volume last December
Quite frankly I can't explain either. The news reference volume is interesting because prior to July 2007 (and for most of 2006, not shown), Plone news items were easily twice that of other CMS, including Sharepoint.

As for the holiday dip in searches, it may just be that, a significant holiday slacking off. Looking at trends for other CMS show a similar December drop in search volume. Not all years and not all CMS show Christmas drops, so this is an anomaly.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Plone Metrics Endorses Obama

One would think that a software mensuration blog with a severe Plone advocacy leaning wouldn't have much to say about the U.S. political process, but I've even got a spin on that. Today I'd like to endorse Barack Obama for the Democratic party nomination and, eventually, for the Presidency. This isn't exactly the United Auto Workers or Teamsters in terms of the number of votes it will pull in, but we'll see.

I'd like to bring a little rigor to the process and justify this with some stats, as well as point people to a couple very interesting websites. Let's start with my all-time favorite since 2003, http://www.electoral-vote.com/. The Votemaster, Prof. Andrew S. Tanenbaum, puts up a wide variety of maps of the political process and collects all the available polling data under one roof. His analyses are always insightful even if his prognoses are not always correct.

Then this election cycle there's techPresident, where most of today's numbers are coming from. TechPresident is tracking links, friends, demands, traffic, members, and video downloads from a variety of sources.



x10^3 211.0
x10^6 6.6
x10^3 186.0

x10^3 7.5
x10^3 48.5
% 38.0
x10^3 3.6

Obama has clear leadership in every measure. Edwards is behind Clinton in all except Meetup. This may be explained by Obama's high polling numbers with young voters. But the main reason for backing Obama goes back to two important concepts:
  1. Base decisions on requirements
  2. Vote for your job
My key requirement is that a candidate be technologically literate and have a robust, well thought-out IT policy that embraces an open Internet, universal broadband, and increased computer education. My job is in International Relations and IT with a good chunk of educational activity thrown in, so these two precepts combine to attract me to Obama.

Read it for yourself at http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/, where he has a lengthy policy statement. Of the other front-runners, none have such an in-depth position. Compare the above with:

And for those of you who wonder why I'm a staunch Democrat, it goes back to #2--Vote for your job. I work at the Cooperative Monitoring Center, a place where collaborative international endeavors try to smooth out regional and global security problems. That's why I build Plone portals for civil society activists in the Middle East. I'm voting for more multi-nationalism, more diplomacy, and a bigger budget for non-military solutions for international security.

For a parting shot, I'd like to add this link (http://www.usatoday.com/news/pdf/obama-tech-support-nov-15-2007.pdf) to last November's story that lists a large number of technology leaders who have endorsed Obama.