March 2009
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Celebrity CMS Deathmatch – The Beginning

“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief,
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth,
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.”
- ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER

Part 1: The Beginning
Part 2: The Meme Spreads
Part 3: The Aftermath

Now it is really getting interesting. When I first read the “A reality checklist for vendors” article by Kas Thomas, I didn’t pay too much attention. Seemed like a nice article about common sense. The article outlines 15 items in a checklist which Kas believes all CMS Vendors should comply with. But it seems to have sparked off something which has a whole load of potential.

CMS Vendor Day has responded to this in the “CMS Vendor Meme“, and challenging other vendors to do the same. They “called out” the vendors they consider to be their main competitors – OpenText, Coremedia, Interwoven, Vignette, Fatwire, Nuxeo, Magnolia and Tridion. I won’t repeat the rules of the challenge, which are outlined on all of the vendor sites linked to below. But the general idea is that the vendor rates their own product against the 15 categories, giving themselves a total score out of 45.

This feels like it is done in a very different spirit to the recent CMS Showdown at South by Southwest. The SXSW event involved three Open Source Vendors (Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress) competing in a good humoured manner, with the general feeling being that all three entries, and Open Source CMS in general, were the winners. The Day Challenge feels more like a declaration of war.

I think I really like this. According to the Daily Show tonight (the UK is a day behind the US), “angry popularism is all the rage”. I think that the community should put pressure onto the other vendors to respond to the checklist, and let the Herd decide how honest the answers are. Any vendor that elects not to rise to the challenge should be given a mental black mark. The response from Day is shown below. Very cheeky giving themselves a 3 star rating for Reality and justifying it with a smiley face only.

Day's Self Evaluation

I’m not for a second saying that I agree with Day’s self evaluation, but that isn’t the point. It’s quite brave of them to put their thoughts out there. It didn’t take Open Source Vendor Magnolia long to trump the 40/45 from Day with 42/45.

Magnolia Responds

Magnolia Responds

Magnolia also tagged Alfresco (and many other open source vendors), who responded extremely quickly. They decided (wisely) that the Magnolia score was verging on the incredible, so toned it down a notch giving themselves an average 41/45. I like their honesty on the Help & Docs front. [ UPDATE: They have just lowered their score to 40. ]

Alfresco's Response

I’m sure that this thread has a lot of life in it left, and hopefully more vendors will join in and someone will tabulate the results. And the crowds will tear into any responses they feel are not as true as they could be. Maybe the vendors could go a step further and put some votes or surveys on their sites to see if the users believe their answers. I am really hoping on of the big 3 (OpenText, Interwoven or Vignette) respond to this. I think this kind of honesty (if it is honesty) is more difficult for them.

I’m going to leave it at that for now. But I am wishing that I hadn’t stuck with my Bob Dylan song lyrics theme for post entries, and could use something like Guns and Roses’ Get In The Ring.

Tagging with Meme ID: 9c56d0fcf93175d70e1c9b9d188167cf

Part 1: The Beginning
Part 2: The Meme Spreads
Part 3: The Aftermath

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4,684 comments to Celebrity CMS Deathmatch – The Beginning