Last week I wrote a post on why people have few nice things to say about their CMS. I titled it Content Management and the Problem of Scale. That title sucks. I mean really, who but a handful of content management geeks would be inspired to read a blog post titled Content Management and the Problem of Scale? What was I thinking?
Today, Alan Houser (@arh) tweeted:
Before I die, I want to hear somebody speak well of their CMS. Especially in #techcomm. Surely somebody must be happy with theirs.
To which I (@mbakeranalecta) replied:
Indeed, but the CMS model is wrong. Can’t manage large data sets on desktop model. Can’t have good implementation of a broken model.
Which needs more explanation than 140 characters allows. So here goes. The problem with CMS generally is that they apply one scale of solution to a different scale of problem.
As I have argued previously, Every Page is Page One is the new fact of information seeking behavior. Whether a reader finds information by searching, or by surfing links on other pages, or even by browsing the landing page of a website, the page they arrive at is page one for them. And when they are done with that page, the next page that they arrive at, whether they do a new search or follow a link, the next page they arrive at is not page two, logically following from the page one they have just read. It is a brand new page one.
This afternoon, I watched Scott Abel’s webinar What’s Next? Socially-Enabled User Assistance, Interactive Documentation, and Location-Aware Help. It was a tour de force tour of the past, present, and potential future of computer mediated help. But despite all the cool stuff that Scott covered — and he covered a lot of cool stuff — I found myself asking this: how is Help 2.0 different from Usenet 1.0?
Links are expensive. That’s a problem, because the web is, and always has been, a hypertext medium, a medium of links. Links, as I have argued previously, are the last mile of findability. Links are how readers move around in your content. More importantly, links are what keep readers in your content, rather than Googling off to who knows where. SEO is how you get eyes on your content; links are how you keep them there.
What if you could create more links in less time? You can. I call it soft linking.