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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Great Backyard Plone Count 2010

I'm gearing up for this year's GBPC, The Great Backyard Plone Count in only 14 more days.  This year's event corresponds with The Great Backyard Bird Count, also taking place on the same long weekend, 12-15 February, 2010.

Last year, our first ever, we took in 184 sightings of Plone sites. Thanks to every one who participated especially to Matt Hamilton (30 sites) and D. Thomas (27 sites), who were our top contributors.  If you contributed last year, we'll set up a simple mechanism for you to simply confirm that they are still active sites without having to re-enter any data. 

One important change this year is the addition of a usability question, inspired by Jukka Ojaniemi's Plone research.  It's just a quick 1-3 scale (awful to alright to awesome), but it will help define the span of Plone quality.

Some of the tools we'll set up will include Google Docs mechanisms to: 
  • Use the 2010 Data Form  (active only 12-15 Feb.)
  • Download the Plone Checklist (download an empty table, fill in all your sites at once)
  • Submit Your Plone Checklist (upload a bulk list to an e-mail address--active only 12-15 Feb.) 
  • Confirm last year's sites (via e-mail notification--active only 12-15 Feb--you may still add new site sightings)
Considering that Plone.net lists 1950 sites, being able to track about 10% of that number, especially intranets that are otherwise invisible behind firewalls is very helpful to those of us who watch the numbers.

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Plone and Disaster Relief

    Watching the Hope for Haiti Now telethon, I'm reminded that one reason my shop uses Plone harkens back to the Sumatran earthquake and tsunami back in Dec. 2004.  We were babes in arms, futzing around with various home-built Python and Zope concoctions for interactive websites.  Plone 2.0.1 had come up on my radar as a promising alternative to home cooking our portals. 

    Meanwhile, Oxfam America had just retooled their website using Plone with the help of Enfold Systems.  December 26 the disaster in Sumatra struck.  In a single month the new Oxfam America site processed something on the order of $14 million in charitable donations, an amazing amount.  Obviously Plone could handle the scalability problem.  (See how they did it.)  Oxfam America continues its next-generation site with the help of Jazcarta.

    With that vote of confidence, we forged ahead, building numerous small to medium portals, upgrading to 2.5, and basically getting steadily smarter about the whole Python-Zope-Plone stack.  Just yesterday we retired our first portal, Sandia's Training Course on Cooperative Monitoring, due to budget reductions.  However, our second, a water monitoring and hydrogeological modeling site, continues to this day. 

    Now, with the Haitian earthquake crisis, I'm reminded that catastrophes continue to plague the world and Plone continues to play a role.  Go to Oxfam America and give whatever you are able to.  If you can, give a monthly gift to help sustain their continuing efforts worldwide. 

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    CMS PageRanks

    Alexander Limi pointed out in a tweet back in late December that Plone.org was one of only 148 websites with a Google pagerank of 9 or higher.  Interestingly, only WordPress and Mambo of other CMS make it onto the list.

    That said, some pseudo-pagerank estimators include Joomla and Drupal in the pagerank 9 levels.  At the same time, sites such as Alfresco.com and Interwoven.com have only a PR of 7, while Vignette.com (OpenText) has an 8.  Fatwire.com drags in with a 6. 

    Oracle and some other big names turn up, but probably due to their mainline software, not necessarily their CMS.  Microsoft.com has a PR of  9 but their SharePoint site only pulls in a 7.  Oracle's WebCenter Suite scores a 6. 

    Like Amazon sales ranks, the data is dynamic along several axes:  when and which Google data center is being queried.  iWebTools shows 33 different data centers where for Drupal.org most list a PR of 0 at the moment even while Plone.org rocks on with a 9. This may be a measure of a CMS's search engine optimization more than anything else, in which case Plone is one of the leaders. 

    In closing I'd like to mention that one of my favorite Plone sites, the Great Backyard Bird Count, shows this year's event scheduled for February 12-15, 2010.  Get your binoculars out!

    And that means that the Great Backyard Plone Count is on for that same 96-hour period.  Stand by for details, including instructions on CMS spotting.  Tip o' the hat to Seth Gottlieb at content here for publicizing last year's event.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    A New Look--A New Year

    After fussing around with my blogger template for altogether too long, I've moved on to a new template.  Hopefully, this one is pleasing to the eye and easy to read.

    I've taken this opportunity to start off the new year with my quarterly Amazon sales rank statistics.  As is often the case, the values are bouncing around quite a bit.  New titles like Rose's Plone 3 for Education and Williams' Plone 3 Theming are doing well.  Aspeli's Professional Plone Development is still holding its own.  Plone Live (Pelletier & Shariff) is at the top of the graph, but that's an artifact of their online sales that bypass Amazon.  In fact, many Plone titles are published and sold by Packt directly, which probably dilutes their sales ranks.