RE: A market survey (sort of)

Subject: RE: A market survey (sort of)
From: "Sarah Stegall" <sstegall -at- bivio -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2010 14:07:52 -0700



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+sstegall=bivio -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+sstegall=bivio -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Keith Hood
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2010 8:13 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: A market survey (sort of)

I have to make some decisions on software buying and some other things, and I could really use some input.  I would be very appreciative if you folks could provide responses to these questions:

Have you ever used a content management system?  How did it perform?

**No. It didn't.

Have you used any commercially available plugins for conditional text in MS Word?  How well did they work for you? 

**No. Not applicable. I use OpenOffice, and the conditional text mechanism in that software works just fine.

If you have used these systems, what where their benefits and flaws?

**We decided not to use a CMS because the learning curve --and the costs -- were outrageous.

About CMS software - in what situations do you think they are or are not useful?

**I am not persuaded they are useful in ANY situation. I have investigated many of them. I have been to Joann Hackos' seminars. I have tried out trial versions. In every case, the enormous amount of front-end work required to convert documents to a rigid format, train users (including engineers!) in the proper formats, and the high cost of professional systems made them impractical. I am hard pressed to think of a situation which CMSs promise to alleviate, which cannot also be addressed with a little ingenuity, some imagination, and free or cheap software.

If you do not use a CMS or conditional text plugin, would you like to?  What would you need to know about it to decide you?

**At this point, it would take the threat of firing to make me adopt a commercial CMS, and even then I would think long and hard about it. I continue to view CMS as a trend, a passing fancy, a solution looking for a problem.

Sarah

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References:
A market survey (sort of): From: Keith Hood

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