The Case Against Content Management Systems

Decentralized web teams rarely reflect a professional approach to web management. They tend to be a cost reduction tactic.


Content creators are continually juggling their own work along with technology that is often non-intuitive for them thanks to decentralized Web structures that have become the industry standard.
(Photo of Erik Klocker trying for the world record in axe juggling in 2012 by Whoisdavemstaine/ Wikimedia Commons.)

That’s how Web guru Gerry McGovern started his Feb. 17, 2013 “New Thinking” missive. It gave me pause. Why was this how he was framing the debate? I read on.

Once bought, employees throughout the organization were given a couple of training sessions on this [content management] software. According to this distributed / decentralized model, there was no need for a central team or any dedicated, professional resources. It was publishing on the cheap and it sounded great in theory.

I thought about that. What a genius observation. McGovern contends that most organizations without content management systems are better off than those with them because it forces people to do the things they are good at, not the things that management may want them to do.

Think about this. I know it runs counter to prevailing wisdom about managing an effective modern website, but it’s a very, very important insight.

Have you ever had to post a piece of your own content — or an asset — that did not behave the way you wanted it to? How much of your time did you unnecessarily spend doing that because you were trying to figure out the tech end because there were no tech people to do it for you?

Content creators are just that. No one should be asking them — us — to fiddle with the tech. The tech folks should do that. If we had them, we could get back to creating new, better, more innovative and, most importantly, more relevant copy for our audiences.

McGovern’s contention that a centralized Web team should be paired with the people who have the most customer interaction is simply bang on. And what’s stopping this from happening? McGovern and I are of one brain on this: it’s senior management throwing up the roadblock. It’s ALWAYS senior management.

Read McGovern’s full piece HERE.


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