I've been thinking about an issue for a new breed of online publisher, one that starts as a blog, then grows into a real, commercial, multimedia-enabled web site -- with all the other accoutrements -- e.g., hyper-distribution of its content through widgets, etc. -- that one often sees today. The issue is the difficulty of finding a third-party content management system (CMS) that is adequately flexible and scales with the success of the business -- in all dimensions: traffic, media file types available on the site, content distribution, etc. While this may betray some subtle bias in the sample, most online publishers I know, even smallish ones, end up "rolling their own" CMS because they can't get third-party offerings to work in the way they need.
A company that illustrates this dilemma is Halogen Guides (www.halogenguides.com) -- (full disclosure: I'm involved in Halogen Guides), about which more over the next several posts.
There are, of course, several "off the shelf" low-end CMS's: Moveable Type and Wordpress are two of the better known. At the high-end, one finds Interwoven and Vignette as big enterprise-level solutions. But in the case of Halogen Guides, as well as most of the major, large online publishers vis-a-vis Interwoven or Vignette (or other similar offerings), the platforms offered by third-party vendors were not adequate to the task as the business grew, and grew more complex, and the online publishers, big and small, ended up developing their own CMS.
Over the next couple of posts, I'm hoping to explore this phenomenon in a little more detail, and would love to hear from readers about their experiences in this regard.