Content Management Systems or CMS are layers of software to help authors concentrate on their content or message instead of the programming details of a traditional website approach. A CMS can give you an advantage in the time spent updating your site. To better appreciate the advantages of a CMS over a static site we need to lift the hood a bit to see what is different about the platforms. You can think of a traditional website as an electronic billboard. The sign painters for your electronic billboard use a language called HyperText Markup Language or HTML. This is the language of all browsers and is the avenue for making your screen come to life on a website. Early websites had to be coded in HTML. Quickly WYSIWYG or What You See Is What You Get editors started to emerge to make the coding of HTML more palatable. The next steps were to develop bigger chunks of code that required less coding and more configuration. These evolved into Content Management Systems where the code allows you to fill in forms that drive the behavior of your website. With the information of the forms in a database the look and feel can be quickly and easily transformed to something else. Styling rules drive what the content will look like. WordPress is a CMS that has caught on with developers making styling setups called themes and functional chunks called plugins. WordPress.org is the clearinghouse for free themes and plugins. WordPress.com is a site where you can set up a free blog. The engine is basically the same in both cases. The top reason for a small business to consider WordPress for their web presence is how easy it is to update the site. Here at the Cyber Wigwam we continually run into people who are having a hard time getting a response from their webmaster. Even the simplest things like phone numbers or addresses or dates take 3 or 4 phone calls to get changed. Small business owners can take the reins with WordPress, updating easily with a respectable looking site that didn’t take a lot of programming. At lept Like A Blog we have classes and tutorials for people to quickly come up to speed.
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal Mills and Ottino make an analogy to drivers of growth in the last century. The advent of the automobile, telephone, and electricity paved the way for a century of amazing progress. In this century they predict wireless connectivity, smart manufacturing and material developments catalyzing a new raft of technological developments in this century. Under smart manufacturing they highlight the advances in 3d printing. 3d printing, traditionally in the realm of inorganic materials has spilled over to the organic world. Scaffolds printed from organic material have been used in regenerative medicine to replicate postage stamp sized swatches into replacement organs. You can read about some of these advances at Tom’s blog. Also, 3d printing has made its way to an appliance level device. Now you can acquire a unit that sits on your desktop and links to your computer wirelessly. Download some files and you can realize a 3d object right on your desktop! The Cubify unit was rolled out at CES 2012. Read Zagg’s account here.
Necessity is the mother of invention
In 1912 Leon Leonwood Bean developed the Maine hunting shoe primarily to keep his feet dry while hunting. An interesting story unfolds from that humble beginning to one of America’s biggest mail order retailers. I had the opportunity to listen to the book, In search of L.L.Bean at a time when their journey of marketing discovery hit a resonant chord with me. I vividly remember listening to an audio version of the book in the car on a long trip. When we’d have to make a bathroom break, we literally ran back to the car to catch the story again. In today’s world of blogs and internet the search for the best mail order marketing seems a little old school. In our blogging club in Rockford we have seen how social media is all about telling the story of your business. Better yet, how do you tell the story of what you do for your customers. What do they get? What’s the results of your efforts for them? What will be the Maine hunting shoe of this century?