Social flavours - reloaded
Thursday 04 August 2011 9:58:37 pm
This topic was actually my presentation on eZ Conference in London but due to very short time available and very broad subject I was not able to present everything I wanted. So lets try again, but with a blog post :)
My claim was, and still is, that a modern CMS, besides being capable of usual content management, needs to:
- be able to distribute content across more channels for more people to engage,
- support content optimization via analytics and testing to increase the chance for engagement,
- persuade users to engage with better usability.
So social flavoured is not just about tweeting about an article, it is about the process of engagement: how to help editors to setup the engagement, how to help users to engage and how to help editors again to measure the engagement.
In short, a modern CMS should support WEM (web engagement management) as much as possible.
Why, you ask?
A CMS is the logical platform to implement WEM tools as the content creation and consumption are done there. Lets imagine following scenario:
- An editor adds some content to a CMS
- At the same time editor decides to publish the content on several channels (with several variations per channel for A/B testing)
- Readers consume the content and react upon: could be just a “like”, or commenting, subscribing, buying, etc.
- CMS collects all the engagement data on all channels and all variations
- With that stats it can suggest better variations or even things like keywords to the editor while creating new content
Now that would be a killer CMS :) I would like too see this in eZ soon.
In the past web sites had some control over the stats, everyone can remember CGI visit counters :). In the meanwhile, engagement “left the house”:
- visit data usually resides in Google Analytics or similar services
- sharing data resides in Twitter, Facebook, Reedit, etc.
- commenting data resides in Facebook, Disqus, Google+, etc.
- subscribing data resides in Mailchimp, Feedburner, etc.
Surely, there are even more examples to show the trend, useful data is scattered all over Internet.
So to reach even better engagement we need that data in the CMS to process it and make some usable suggestions for the editor.
Corner stone of any engagement is usability. Super powerful features with a complex UI will be less accepted with users than less-featured simple systems. We can see it every day: from Google search to iPhone and beyond. So when making new features developers should take special care of usability, for editors and end users.
We at Netgen try to do it with every extension we share:
- eztags - easier content creation
- ngpush - easier distribution, integration with twitter and facebook, ready to evolve to other platforms
- ngopengraph - closer integration with facebook
- ngconnect - easier engagement with simpler login
- ngcomments - easier engagement with AJAX based eZ Comments
There is a lot of effort in the eZ community which goes in the right direction.
I will list here several projects that I find interesting and worth checking out. They are not sorted in any particular order. Also, I did not use them all, some of them I just checked briefly. There could be more interesting extension too, so take this list just as a starting point.
Here we go, some of the social flavored eZ extensions:
- http://projects.ez.no/dappsocial - community management of eZ users on top of eZFlow
- http://projects.ez.no/janrainauth - authenticates users from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, etc, seems something like ngconnect
- http://projects.ez.no/xrowsocial - pushing content to Facebook and twitter, seems something like ngpush :)
- http://projects.ez.no/xrowforum - more advanced forum
- http://www.wascou.org/eng/Software/Status - community features like following, private messaging, status, etc. looks like a twitter :)
- http://ez.no/market/eZ-Content-Cockpit - engagement monitoring, looks very useful
- http://ez.no/market/yoochoose - recommendation engine
- http://projects.ez.no/cjw_contexthelp - context help, simple but helpful
- http://projects.ez.no/oplightbox2 - probably not the only lightbox extension, but need to mention at least one, can be used on almost every site
- http://projects.ez.no/pageflip - page flipping for online magazines, would be nice to have an HTML5 version
- http://projects.ez.no/ggwebservices - not directly connected to engagement and usability, but very helpful for integration with other services, thus help to not reinvent the wheel :)
- http://ez.no/market/eZ-odoscope - integration to a complex web site statistics system, worth checking out for large sites
- http://projects.ez.no/ezslideshare - small thing but in the spirit of the post
- http://projects.ez.no/all2edfp - integration with Google DoubleClick for Publishers
- http://ez.no/market/CJW-Newsletter - last but not least, excellent newsletter extension (email is not dead yet)
So to conclude, for eZ Publish to become a CMS for the future we need features that are “engagement ready”, developed with usability in mind so the editors and end-users get most out of it.