Interwoven on WordPress

Disclosure: I am on Interwoven’s customer advisory board

I’ve known Tom Wentworth at Interwoven since 2005 when I was part of the team bringing Interwoven Teamsite (a very capable enterprise level content management system) into CXO Media at IDG.

I’ve posted in the past on the impact of WordPress — the leading open blogging environment — as a free CMS alternative. I was happy to see Tom tackle this topic in a Dec 30 post:

“As a blogging platform, it’s amazing.  Having been in the CMS space at Interwoven for roughly 8 years I really appreciate it any time I see innovation in or around the CMS market.  WordPress is one of the most innovative and impressive applications I’ve used in quite some time- WordPress changed the game for blogging.   I’ve spent a lot of time with WordPress and although I’m not an expert- I’ve spent enough time with it to get a good feel for what it can (and can’t) do.


So- is WordPress a CMS?  Well, no.  Although Matt Mullenweg might disagree, WordPress is not a CMS- at least not an enterprise CMS.   I won’t get into the limitations in this post but suffice it to say that WordPress isn’t ready to tackle the content challenges faced by Interwoven customers.  But as a blogging platform, WordPress does many things well.  Here are four things I think CMS vendors can learn from WordPress: …

Hat’s off to Tom for tackling the elephant in the room. I need to post in the future from the point of view of a global enterprise customer concerned with expense challenges and asked, on a regular basis, if there is an open (read “free”) alternative to things like metrics and analytics engines and content management systems. Right now, open isn’t ready for prime time, but for SMB and mid-market, the open allure is undeniable.

In North Carolina for the snow …

Snow in the south apparently causes total pandemonium so I came down to Morrisville a day early. I think there is one snow plow and there are already preemptive school closings and cries to batten down the hatches.

This ought to be interesting.

Broken rib

Thursday afternoon, snow storm on Cape Cod, nice fluffy pretty snow flakes. The birds are standing around the grape arbor looking dismal and hungry, so out I go to fill the feeders from the barrels of seed in the garage. As I walked across the driveway I spaced out on the fact that most of the yard is covered by four inches of solid shiny ice deposited there by a big rain storm on Tuesday night. Fluffy snow + black ice = slapstick fun.

One second I am shuffling along in the crisp New England air, three birdfeeders in my hands. The next I am on my back, staring at the sky, my mouth filled with black thistle seeds.

I look to my right and the thistle tube is shattered. I realize, in order:
a) my head really hurts and I do indeed see stars.
b) my left elbow won’t bend
c) my left knee hurts
d) I feel something very wrong on the right side of my back.

So I slowly stand up. Look around, think, “That must be what it’s like to get run over by a car.”

And I hobbled inside, covered with snow, to tweet: “just absolutely nuked myself – slipped on icy driveway, flipped in air, landed on head …. chugging advil”

Friday morning I woke up feeling very beaten and bruised, but it wasn’t until I sneezed that I realized there was something significantly wrong with my rib-cage somewhere low on my back. The pain was cosmic. So I called the doctor, went to see him, and yep, broken rib.

How broken? When I move I can feel the broken ends grind against each other.

Impact on life? No CRASH-B sprints in February. No serious exercise. Too many pain killers. And I’m pissed off.

But the birds got their bird seed.

Whereabouts – week of 1.19

Monday – 1.19 Cotuit
Tuesday – Friday 1.20-1.23, Morrisville, NC
Busy week, re-org work, 2009 agenda setting, then back to chilly NE. NYC to follow in early Feb. — otherwise, no significant air miles expected to be logged

To hell with punching the monkey, let’s shoot a sausage cow

In the world of advertising, the “Call to Action” is what you want the customer to do after viewing or suffering through your ad.

“Call now!”

“Mention WMVY and receive 10% off”


In the web world, it used to be called “CHA” for “click here a$$hole.”

Then it was punch the monkey.

Now Microsoft gives us ….

The Dour Marketer’s Reading List

As part of the occasional series of how to survive this evil, ugly economy with digital marketing, let me acknowledge the need of a lot of experienced marketers, to get smart — and fast — on all this Digital Stuff. Because a colleague just asked me for a bibliography to help teach himself digital, I figured a blog post and an invitation to you dear reader to suggest some additions would kill several birds with the same post.

Let’s start by saying I am not a fan of  “business” books. Sure, I’ve read Tipping Point and Execution and Blue Ocean/Red Ocean … I was even  involved in the writing of a business book when I was associated with Gartner’s editorial board in 2004.  (Multisourcing) I tend to order and read a so-called “business book” only when I need to, and then only if I need to get smart fast on a specific function.

There is no omnibus guide to digital marketing. Maybe I should write one, but it would be out of date before it was even outlined: for the future is here, it’s just unevenly distributed.*

Later on I will try to compile a blog roll of essential digital marketing blogs, but the genre of digital marketing blogs is a mess, and I’d say I personally only can read three or four on an ongoing basis.

This is a only a bibliography. Here is an “aStore” in Amazon if you want to buy them.


Where to begin? Let’s begin at the center of digital, the very hub of where it all begins, and that is search. If you don’t understand search and how it works, then digital marketing in all of its forms and variants is going to be lost on you.

The best explanation of the history, the process, and the impact of search was written several years ago, but still is valid, and that’s John Battelle’s The Search. Trust me, but if you want to understand digital marketing you must understand search. Everything digital starts with a search.

Battelle gives you the history and theory, Moran and Hunt give you the nuts and bolts of how to run a search campaign from both the paid (SEM) and the organic (SEO) side. Search Engine Marketing, Inc. is out in a revised edition and gives a strong step-by-step cookbook for running a paid search campaign and developing a website that will rank high in any search engine’s organic rankings.


The heart of digital marketing, the reason we care about it, is its accountability through metrics. One strong recommendation here is Avinash Kaushik’s Web Analytics: An Hour a Day. There are also some specific titles around Google Analytics, which isn’t a bad idea for some trying to master that environment specificially. Avinash is where you start.

Landing Pages

Tim Ash has a decent book on landing pages and the art/science of optimization.  Landing pages make the world go round in terms of improving “cse” or customer success events, so take some time and read Tim’s Landing Page Optimization

Display and banner media

I don’t know of a single book in this genre, but I would say that there is lot of good stuff at the Internet Advertising Bureau’s site. Especially on standards and practices.

If you are trying to make a case to stop doing dumb-ass traditional advertising and move it online, then read Joseph Jaffe’s Life After the 30-Second Spot.

Online branding

There a few good books out there on this topic. Allen Adamson quotes me in BrandDigital. Andy Beal quotes me in Radically Transparent, a good book on reputation monitoring and management. Rohit Bhargava’s Personality Not Included is a good read. Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s Groundswell. Scoble and Israel’s Naked Conversations is worth mentioning in the context of corporate blogging … so many books, so little time. Seth Godin is an industry unto himself. Meatball Sundae is a good change-agent manifesto, but the granddaddy of all manifestos is Cluetrain.

I’ll tackle blogs later. This is just a quick lunchtime post for a colleague. I’ll revise this as time goes by — please give me some recommendations in the comments and be sure to only suggest books that you’ve actually read and would force me to read.


This is a weird suggestion, but it did have an impact on me back in 1995 when I was developing and designing my first two sites: Reel-Time and That is A Pattern Language, by Christopher Alexander. Richard Duffy, a friend from PC Week and the early early days of Forbes Digital Media recommended that book and it had more of an effect on how I think about functionality and usability than anything that followed.

*: William Gibson

This guy is a stud

Capt. C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot who made an emergency landing in the Hudson River.

As soon as I heard on the car radio I turned to my son and said, “Betcha he was a fighter pilot.”

From his LinkedIn profile:

“USAF officer and fighter pilot on F-4 aircraft. Experience in Europe, Asia and at Nellis AFB, Nevada, where I served as Blue Force Mission Commander in Red Flag joint exercises. Was a member of a USAF aircraft accident investigation board. Served as a flight training officer and unit deployment and war plans officer. Commended for writing wing after action report.”

Whereabouts – week of Jan 12, 2009

Monday – Sunday, Jan 12-19 Cotuit
Week following — Morrisville, NC. No other travel on the horizon which is a good thing because it is black ice and blizzard season in eastern Massachusetts and I seem to travel in my own personal version of a snow-globe paperweight.

CES finis

Writing from the airport with blessedly free wifi but no AC power, I get ready for that middle seat back to Boston and an alleged snow storm. Last night’s blogger dinner went well. I got to meet Greg Verdino, Steve Garfield,  and Joseph Jaffe in person. Had some interesting conversations about monitoring, advertising, media, new products, clouds, gadgets, porn stars and old french brandy.

I demoed a few products, but more importantly received some great feedback from Jaffe on the art of hosting a blogger event.

  1. Involve a strong connector. The Social Media Club was looking for a sponsor of a blogger dinner. I had a restaurant that needed some bloggers. That is an easy win.
  2. Work the invite list. I should have been more involved in lighting up my network and doing a lot of investigation of who would be blogging from CES. We had a list provided by the show’s press office, there were the obvious people to consider (I need to do a detailed post on the ever-shifting definition of a blogger as the blog CMS revolution and the ascent of the big gadget blogs makes some “blogs” more “media” than ever before, with large staffss and operations, versus one man bloggers like yours truly). We missed some good people, I should have been a little more involved, but ….
  3. Don’t be a dickhead with the agenda. Inviting people to hang out doesn’t mean asking them at some point to shush and listen to an executive suit with the microphone. When I was a reporter I hated the dog and pony aspect of marketing “parties.”
  4. The loud CPR music? Loud music in a bar or nightclub is an attempt by the owner of said establishment to make civil conversation impossible. After a few dozen attempts to communicate with someone interesting the frustrated person gives up and does one of two things:  orders a drink or dances, gets thirsty, and orders a drink.
  5. It never hurts to have one’s products lying around to be touched. Don’t have a bunch of over helpful people hovering with the old “may I help you?” Let people discover stuff on their own and if they have a question, be available to answer it.

Just read a good post by Rob O’Regan at Magnosticism about budget cuts and social giving way to the tried and true world of demand generation. He makes good points which I pledge won’t become the rule at Lenovo. The point of the post — survey shows marketers are sick of hearing Web 2.0 buzzwords but still feel the need to know more.

Which reminds me — a new role for me at the company. I’m now more focused on social media, less on “demand” generation (paid search, banners, metrics) and a project I can’t talk about. So, will my title change from VP of Global Web Marketing to something else? I dunno. Not a title person. Basically if it happens in web 2.0 it is my problem.

So I have that going for me.

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