For years I've watched publishers and marketers struggle with sub-par CMS options, including difficult-to-manage, home-grown legacy solutions; open source applications that are often obtuse and sorely lacking in features, flexibility, and basic documentation; and enterprise offerings that do some things very well and others poorly or not at all.
Thankfully, the field is changing.
A "pubOS" is emerging as a set of best practices and tools for the cloud-based technology / media stack. PubOS is shorthand for "publisher operating system." More and more organizations that use one form of publishing or another to connect with an audience are moving towards customized systems based on the precepts of the pubOS.
How'd we get here? There's simply so much more to publishing than there used to be: more media types, devices, form factors, audience segments, features, browsers, and distribution channels. Media volume and velocity keep ratcheting up, too.
Erin Griffith wrote an insightful piece in AdWeek.com wherein she outlined the challenges publishers and marketers face where technology investments are involved.
"No publication has a better story about back-end chaos than BusinessWeek. Before it was acquired by Bloomberg LP, the publication sank a shocking $20 million into the back-end development of Business Exchange, a professional social networking site being built atop a proprietary content management system. Employees blamed BusinessWeek's bloated tech investment for the company's financial demise and eventual fire sale to Bloomberg..."
This doesn't have to be you. Many publishers and marketing organizations are moving to open source CMS solutions such as Drupal and Joomla. Still others, like The Huffington Post, use customized instances of turnkey, cloud-based solutions like Moveable Type and WordPress that work very well at a low overall cost.
Other cloud-based offerings, like the Daylife Publisher Suite, deliver solutions that are CMS-agnostic and solve many of the systemic problems publishers and brands face daily with legacy (and hard-to-replace) CMSes.
So now a publisher can invest in what they do best - building a proposition for advertisers, audiences or consumers - and outsource the rest.
Soon the media technology stack will resemble the flexible, nimble, efficient cloud-based advertising technology stack we all take for granted today. As a result, I hope to see the rise of new "love / love" relationships in the publishing and content marketing worlds soon!