RIP Content Management

Session with Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal.

Going to be a good counterpoint to the last session, it seems.

Couple of problems all businesses face:

Webmasters don’t scale.

Your proprietary CMS is slow to innovate.

Your users are your content creators.

Trying to control content is daunting.

Choosing a closed-source vendor is risky, depending on the vendor. What happens when they go away?

So Buytaert recommends open source software [surprise!]. It allows you infinite control, and it’s cheaper. Another key advantage is the level of innovation that happens with open-source.

OMG. He’s showing a really hysterical slideshow of crazy ways that people demonstrate their love for Drupal. Naked bike riding is involved.

OK, so how does Drupal address your problems?

Redefines the role of the web developer. It’s now often more about assembly, instead of writing code from scratch every time you need to do something.

Also helps your website scale. Some large websites running Drupal:

CMS can be slow to innovate. Buytaert gives a funny example of AOL, which was negotiating with a commercial CMS vendor, and while talks dragged on, AOL developers built a site in Drupal and so they went with that.

Users provide your content. Drupal makes it easy to build communities. My question: I have found Drupal sites to be powerful but not always intuitive to your average user. I need to check out some more of the sites that Buytaert recommends. Perhaps it’s just the implementations I’ve seen?

Great question from audience: If we choose Drupal now, how do we know that the developers will be there to support us? Buytaert’s answer is OK, but doesn’t go beyond, we have to train more people.

Another question: How will you stay flexible with your install base growing so rapidly? Buytaert: We don’t maintain backwards compatibility. Yowza. He acknowledges this is a good thing and a bad thing.