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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Plone Metrics Person of the Year Award

It's that time of year again, time to single out someone who I personally believe did an outstanding job of participating in the Plone community, contributed significantly to the promotion of Plone, and is a heckuva human being.  This year has been singularly tough for me, in large part due to my inability to attend the Budapest convention.  It's at World Plone that I often get my inspiration for an award that manifestly is unilaterally decided and, for a blog that prides itself on getting the numbers right, totally based on my own qualitative perceptions and myoptic view of the Plone world.

All that said, there are a ton of worthy folks out there.  Here are just a few of the contenders that have crossed my mind in a hectic week of holiday cheer, out-of-town visitors, and post-cold virus sniffles. 
  • David Glick, Rob Porter, and Mikko Ohtamaa were the top 3 in the Plone IRC Superstar Contest.  Hats off to them and all the others on IRC who make it happen day in and day out.  Along with the core developers, book authors, and the documentation team, you are the engine that keeps Plone moving forward. 
  • And speaking of Plone development, the release managers for 3.x (Wichert Akkerman) and 4 (Eric Steele) have my undying admiration. 
  • Another worthy group is the Foundation Board (another tip o' the hat to all Board members, past and present).  Jon Stahl (2008-9 Prez) and Gier Baekholt (this year's Esteemed Leader) should be particularly touted.    
  • A fourth group that I looked at were the evangelists, the Plone marketing folks.  Mark Corum holds the marketing chair on the Board, but he is surrounded by others who spread the word:  Nate Aune, Matt Hamilton, Dylan Jay, and Roberto Allende all are high-volume participants on the Evangelism forum over on Nabble.  Roberto as one of the key champions of World Plone Day deserves special mention and Matt did an especially excellent job as Program Chair for this year's conference..
There was a strong urge to follow Time Magazine 2006 down the path of "You" as the person of the year.  And it's very true that the community as a whole and the entire Plone ecosystem has much to be proud of.  That said, I'll stick with my tradition, such as it is, and choose an individual.  (Drum roll, please.)

Today Nate Aune is named as Plone Metric's Person of the Year.  His participation at events of all sizes and kinds, plus his consistent and notable contributions to the Evangelism Forum have had a strong positive effect on the Plone community and our perception in the CMS world.  As before, this award comes with no monetary compensation and only the promise of a free beer whenever Nate and I are in the same town. 

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Plone Metrics 2009 Recap

Last year was an eventful one for Plone.  Thankfully, it was less so for me, with my parents doing well after a disastrous Dec. 2008.  However, last week's cold set me back in terms of my December postings.  With my sniffles pretty much gone, its now time to get back to wrapping up the year at Plone Metrics.

2009 had 50 postings--I almost kept up with my weekly schedule.  Readership was much higher overall and spiked several times.  There were 58 comments, thank you very much.  Unfortunately, the site was the victim of a spate of non-sensical comments that merely attempted to insert links to other CMS products.  As a result I've had to enable comment moderation on the blog.  My apologies for having to slow down the pace of interaction.   

Well, let's sift through the monthly summaries and see what's gone under the bridge in 2009.

January.  Discussions about CMS Matrix data, CMS blog postings, and usability for seniors were featured last January and received some excellent comments. 

February. The Great Backyard Plone Count was in February and we gleaned some interesting data.  I'll continue this the month after next for our third year of data collection.  Meanwhile, a piece on usability of CMS home sites was widely read. 

March.  Themes turned to the quarterly review of Amazon sales rank stats, a look at the CMS Watch annual subway map, and the roll-out of the new Plone.org. 

April.  With spring came the 2nd Annual World Plone Day and the Idealware CMS Report.  There followed a heated discussion over at Four Kitchens about Drupal vs Plone security vulnerabilities.  This was an area where Idealware ranked Plone as outstanding but Drupal only as solid. 

May.  The "Blank Spots" series wrapped up in May after looking at Plone.org visitor demographics, temporal rhythms, and visitor loyalty.

June.  We got our first look at LaunchPad download stats.  BTW, as of today the Plone 3.3 series has had over 110,000 downloads while 3.2 has had over 1,000,000. 

July.  Plone Twitter stats, Amazon sales ranks, and a look back at Paul Graham's 2001 software popularity essay.   

August.  A posting following up on the New York Times article on SharePoint and a discussion about "black swan" events rounded out the month. 

September.  A posting entitled "The Plone-SharePoint Chronicles" garnered wide readership and continues to collect search hits to this day. 

October.  This month turned up an anomaly that reminds us statisticians that we really have to understand the underlying data.  A simple post mentioning the Packt CMS Awards that pointed out their nominations per category led to an enormous spike in readership.  Almost certainly this was due to some cross-posting about the Packt Awards, not the eloquence of my deep vision about open source community awards. Of course, the month ended with the World Plone Conference in Budapest, which I was unable to attend

November.  More proselytizing about Plone when it took the Packt Award for Other Open Source.  An essay about decision-making, paradoxes of choice, information cascades, and snap decisions also rounded out the month. 

December. The CMS Watch Subway Map was released and I had some fun reworking the routes to produce a more Plone-centric view.  Version 4 Alpha 3 has just released.  Now all that remains is to figure out who will be Plone Metrics Person of the Year.  The tension is palpable...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Plone-Centric View of CMS Technology

Some clever person over in the Plone Evangelism Forum (Armin Stross-Radschinski) suggested that the community look at a Plone-centric subway map.  From that germ of an idea comes this modification of the CMS Watch Subway Map

This leaves a nasty jog in the Blue line where Alfresco to Typo3 now connects with the Plone station.  If I had the time and patience, I'd flip the Blue line over to the other side of the Red line and continue it in the same direction as the Alfresco-Plone leg, although that would crowd into the CMS Watch logo in the center. 

I'll leave it to CMS Watch to see if they agree with the repositioning shown above.  It echos the remarks made by Limi in this year's Future of Plone address at World Plone 2009 -- we're not competing with the Drupals and Joomlas of the world. 

To move Plone onto the main line, we'd have to add one or both of Enterprise Content Management or Digital Asset Management.  If you think about it, were Plone classified as a strong Digital Asset Management system, it would probably also meet the criteria for ECM.  It all goes back to the discussion about what constitutes an ECM.  I'm not sure that Wikipedia has the last word on that, at least at the moment.  The article there is listed as having multiple issues. 

Meanwhile, after some reflection, it occurred to me to extract the Red-Blue-Green lines and look at the neighborhood around Plone in a less cluttered view.  That led me to a Venn diagram instead of a subway map: 

This omits all the other CMS Watch categories and leaves a very clear Plone-centric picture.  Plone is running with the big dogs and its the only open source solution in the center.

In closing, we're fast coming up on the New Year and that can only mean one thing:  Plone Metrics' Person of the Year Award.  No cash, no prizes, but as they say on Iron Chef, they'll have "the peoples' ovation and fame forever."  Now accepting suggestions until Dec. 28.

Happy Plone Holidays!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Plone's Place in the Content Tech Subway

There's been a healthy discussion in the forums about why Plone doesn't qualify on the CMS Watch subway map as a Enterprise Content Management System (ECM).  While looking at where Plone falls in the lower left quadrant, it occurs to me that there's another comparison out there that puts a different perspective on things.

Consider that Plone is classified under Web Content Management (Blue Line), Enterprise Portal (Green Line), and Social Software & Collaboration (Red Line).  What other systems share this rare combination of features?

Turns out its very, very few and they are heavy hitters on the commercial side:  IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle/Sun. 

Taking Plone's strengths and looking at them pair-wise, we have Red-Blue, Blue-Green, and Red-Green.  Where are these combinations found?

Red-Blue is found (exclusive of the triple combo systems above) only in Drupal and FatWire.  Oddly, Drupal is found in the absolute lower-left corner while FatWire is in the lower right.  One would think these two would be placed near one another. 

Blue-Green is a very unique combination, only found otherwise in Open Text/Vignette.  It differs from IBM and Microsoft only in lacking the Social Software & Collaboration (Red) line. 

Finally, Red-Green is extremely interesting in that only Plone and the big three commercial vendors hold that combination.  Red-Green is as diagnostic as Red-Green-Blue in classifying this group of four technologies.  Of course, only Plone is open source, so it is very distinctive. 

If your organization needs an enterprise-level portal for web content publishing that features strong collaboration tools, Plone is your system.  When you take into account its secure, open source architecture and total cost of ownership, Plone is a winner.  In fact, those last two sentences exactly articulate why I use Plone for our cooperative international programs in my day-job. 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

CMS Watch Subway Map

The 2010 Content Technology Subway Map just came out (thanks, CMS Watch).  The format is superficially changed, but by and large its the same concept just cast perhaps in the style of a different city's public transport map.  (Anyone know the basis for this year's map?  Toyko?  Vienna?  DC?  London?  Please comment.)

There's been a surprising amount of discussion over on the Evangelism Forum about Plone's position.  The short answer is that since the 2009 map came out Plone and its neighbors haven't moved an iota.  Then there's the long answer... (do I ever have a short answer?). 

The significant changes comparing 2010 to 2009 are the addition of a line between Yahoo! and Adobe (the Lime Line--Web Analytics) as well as a link between Reccomend to Adobe (Orange Line--Search & Information Access).  There has been an extension to the Brown line with Fabasoft, Docuware, and Objective.  Vignette has been added to Open Text on the main line.  Vyre has been added on the Purple and Blue lines (between Open Text and Day).  Cisco has been removed from the Red line and Jboss is now JBoss/Exo (moved to a new spot on the Green line between MS and Oracle). 

Of more interest to Plone are changes in the lower left quadrant.  Exo has been added on the Green Line (Enterprise Portal) and OpenCMS has been added on the Blue Line (Web Content Management).  Plone is still a triple threat CMS--Enterprise Portal, Web Content Management, and Social Software & Collaboration systems.