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An Open Source Content Management System

My first choice here jumps right to WordPress. It is simply put a fast, efficient, light and easily scalable content management system that can meet the needs of a small blog all the way up to cnn.com official blogs. It also has a fleet of plug-ins and other goodies that allow an almost limitless level of customisation. Finally, the code is fairly straightforward, accessible and well documented php which is quick to modify should you ever require to. Kind of like a modern Gutenberg press, wordpress allows rapid dissemination of information in a cleanly produced, printed manner, that is up to date and up to speed with current standards: whether these be RSS feeds, XML exports, or the latest CSS style additions. The benefit of using an open standard, beyond its configurable layer and ease of use, is its rapid integration with almost any other IT asset.

As a matter of fact, if you happen to run another blog elsewhere on an external provider then wordpress can almost automatically download over all your data and recreate your required data architecture allowing for a rapid build and deploy lifecycle. So how fast is fast and how easy is easy, well, on my clock it was down to under 3 minutes: from package download, to copy-paste into my server directory and then opening up the control panel from my web-browser. WordPress is a bit more cautious and they time the process to 5 minutes, if you don’t believe me then try it for yourself: World Famous WordPress 5 minute installation.

So there you have it, a completely functional enterprise grade server, running from your computer and broadcasting to the world. Now of course if you reach the likes of digg or slashdot, then scaleability will become a much more significant issue. Also, you do need to keep your computer on to maintain the service, but then again, you might have an old mac box lying around just waiting to be switched on again, after all, all an apple needs is a bit of love in order to keep it shining on.

In Summary

Oh, and in case you were wondering why I would write this whole documentation up free of charge and just post it out to the whole world, well, it’s a funny thing but it’s actually also common sense. I actually need to keep track of my own config and installation processes anyways: ergo, I need to create documentation. Much of my knowledge was gleaned from open sources: ergo I used a lot of other HOW-TOs to get to this stage. I didn’t find exactly what I needed in those documents: ergo there was a demand for my knowledge that was unmet by supply. So, logically, I am just behaving commercially and ensuring that my own excess capacity, the records management of my own configuration steps, can potentially meet an untapped demand in the market unmet by supply.
But either way, I hope this document has been of value to you, and hopefully this will also spur you to feed back into the cycle: the biggest benefit at the end of the day is the potential of this technology, so go ahead, produce and disseminate. I know I’m gaining from it.

Tariq Scherer

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