Business owners, more or less, have accepted blogs as a necessary part of the marketing mix and some have even come to the realization that this blogging is a good thing.
So, what’s next you ask? I think it’s time to move beyond the notion that a blog is part of a website, an appendage of sorts, where blog posting is done. The idea that makes blogs so powerful is that they enable anyone in the organization to easily create education based, search-engine friendly content at the drop of a hat.
Now it’s time to amp this power up and start utilizing what we’ve learned about blogs to create fully functioning content management systems (CMS) that give businesses the power to dominate search results through massive content creation, cross purposing, and keyword-rich aggregation and filtering.
Now, before you flip out and curse me for suggesting that blogs are so last year – understand that a blog, WordPress for example, is a simple form of a CMS. Content is easily created, stored in a database, delivered to a designated page, tagged, and searchable. All the primary elements of CMS are there, but it’s set-up mostly for the individual author instead of the group or organization.
A host of applications, some old, some new, are gaining favor in the newer “group content creation for the greater good” mindset. By the way CMS has been around for a long time, but mostly as an internal tool for large organizations.
I would like to suggest that a robust, group centric, CMS platform is the next wave for business blogging – but not blogging and “we have a blog” – blogging as a fully integrated web strategy.
Here’s a list of some of the major players, with descriptions from their sites, to get you started. Many are open source, free and require Linux, PHP and mySql (much like a WordPress install)
Some simple CMS tools
- Textpattern – A flexible, elegant and easy-to-use content management system. Textpattern is both free and open source.
- Alfresco – Alfresco is the Open Source Alternative for Enterprise Content Management (ECM), providing Document Management, Collaboration, Records Management, Knowledge Management, Web Content Management and Imaging
- Pligg – Pligg is an open source content management system available for download at no cost.
An LMS for CMS
- Moodle – a favorite among educators and considered a Learning Management System (I’m using it to build Duct Tape University, but more on that later.)
The Biggies with lots of add-ons, templates, and examples
- Joomla – Joomla! is one of the most powerful Open Source Content Management Systems on the planet.
- Drupal – Drupal is a free software package that allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website.
One built for small business marketers
- Compendium Blogware – a relatively new player with an interesting twist. This is essentially a tool for group blogging that automatically structures blog content across the group for maximum search engine optimization. I’ll do a full review of this tool after some testing.
This CMS Matrix – allows you compare features of dozens of CMS offerings side by side.
Any small business folks out there want to share their implementations of a CMS?