Thanks to all of you who attended my Cutting Edge Web roundtable discussion. Wow, there were some really great questions, and I learned much from many of you as well.
Below I’ll try and provide more information regarding some of the topics that were brought up:
ok, there was a lot of questions and feedback regarding using and choosing a CMS (Content Management System) during both sessions. A CMS is a huge investment, both time and financially, and not a decision that should be taken lightly.
A great point that was brought up and one that I cannot stress enough is that multiple parties should always be involved when choosing a CMS. The content managers, the folks in IT who will be installing and deploying it, and any other parties. It’s important that the content managers are comfortable using the CMS, so always test drive it thoroughly before committing. Many have demo accounts that you can login to, or if possible install one locally and kick it’s tires.
I also feel that it’s very important that the CMS can easily be expanded by a developer. Even if you don’t have a developer on staff today, you want a system that can be expanded should the need arise. Don’t be tied to propriety software and await new features to become available when the manufacturer gets around to it. Rarely do these companies roll out new features at a pace that will keep up with your needs.
There are some great open source CMS systems out today that are very stable and ready for production use. Setup and maintenance, will require a developer(s) on staff however. These two are my favorites:
The use of flickr was also a very popular topic. I love flickr and $24.95 a year for unlimited storage is one of the best deals you’ll find anywhere. It’s a great resource to share photos, both for internal and external needs.
The flickr uploadr tool is a free tool that makes uploading large amounts of photos a breeze. Download this, it’s simple and does the job.
Be sure to tag your photos, for easy sorting. Tagging really makes navigating through thousands of photos a breeze rather than a tedious chore.
There’s also a free flickr badge that you can easily create and then paste into your website. This is pretty cool and a very easy way to incorporate your flickr photostream with a website. There’s also an amazing API available too.
Easy Widget Generation
I mentioned some easy and free widget generators to incorporate popular web services into your existing site.
Meta Tag and Search Engine Ranking
Google does not use the Meta keyword tag in ranking. It’s still good practice to use meta keywords on your site, however don’t go crazy in hopes of increasing search engine ranking with it.
Google Webmaster Tools provides a great list of guidelines to follow for accurate search results.
Flip Video Camcorder
The Flip Video Camcorder(s) are a really affordable way to capture, edit and share web quality video. They’re tiny, transfer video to your computer via a built in USB jack, have built in editing software (I prefer iMovie) and shoot very good video for their low price ($150-230).
Please let me know if there’s anything other questions or if you have something more to share!