Category: Blogging

Celebrating more than 10 years covering open source ECM on

3728891766_ec7def01b7_mI started blogging back in 2001, stopped, then started again in 2002. Those early posts were all over the map, topic-wise, and they were often very short blurbs on really random stuff. I was scratching a creative itch–I just wanted to write and I didn’t care too much about what. It wasn’t until 2005, when Alfresco was first released, that I started to narrow my focus and really find my voice.

I’m often uncomfortable singing my own praises, but over the last ten plus years I’ve heard from so many of you–in person, via email, in comments, and forums–that what I’ve written has made a significant difference in your professional lives. For some it simply helped you fix an annoying issue. For others it saved a project. And multiple people have credited it with giving them the confidence to make a career change into jobs where they could follow their passion. Regardless of the significance, each of those stories makes me very happy.

I started this blog selfishly, as a way of keeping track of what I was learning about open source ECM, search, and workflow, and documenting that for my teammates and clients. I figured why not make the knowledge available to the public–maybe a few others outside of those circles would derive benefit from it.

What I didn’t know at the time was that my blog would eventually:

  • Lead to a new job at what was then an open source-focused consulting firm
  • Result in a book deal and then another book deal
  • Launch a temporary career experiment in community leadership in a C-level position
  • Become a go-to reference for half a million technologists and business users from all over the world (true, that’s not “unique users”, but still).

I realize I’m not solving world peace. And this is one of many tech blogs focused on ECM and related technologies. But it’s kind of cool to see what ten years of picking a subject and writing about it when the mood strikes me ultimately turned into. So I wanted to take a minute to kind of appreciate that.

I also wanted to say thanks to you. To those reading this now, to anyone that’s ever left a comment, to anyone that’s ever stopped me and told me your story: Seriously, thank you. Your continued support means a lot.

What’s next for No idea. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been trying to mix it up a bit, to be less Alfresco-focused. That’s reflected in my client work, so it’s natural it comes through here as well. Ultimately, I suppose I’ll continue to write about what interests me, and hopefully you’ll continue to find it interesting and helpful as well.

If you have ideas on topics you think might be good to explore in this space, let me know in the comments.

ScribeFire’s blogging client is sweet

I am totally digging ScribeFire. It’s a Firefox extension that lets me write blog posts without leaving the web page I’m on. It can post to any blog server that can speak XML-RPC. For me the benefits are:

  • I don’t have to leave the page or open a new tab to log in to my blog or write a post.
  • I don’t have to give up any functionality like tagging or categorizing my posts.
  • The editor seems more reliable than the one built in to WordPress and Drupal.
  • I can easily write one post and publish it to both and

Regarding this last point, I try not to have much duplication between the two blogs. There is some overlap, but the purpose and audience of the two blogs are generally separate. Still, when I need to post in both places, ScribeFire saves me a lot of time. I can write the post once, categorize it for, post it, then tweak it if needed, categorize it for, then post it there, all in a single UI.

Roller leaves the nest

According to CMS Wire, Java-based blog server Roller has graduated from the Apache incubator. At Optaros, we’re doing some work for a client right now that involves implementing Roller as one component of the company’s Enterprise 2.0 initiative. Their Enterprise 2.0 stack includes Liferay for portal/presentation services, Alfresco for portal content, documement, and web content management, Roller for internal and public-facing blogs, and Confluence for internal wiki.

So far, Roller has been relatively straightforward to integrate with Liferay, but in the initial phase we’re doing very light integration. It essentially involves skinning the Roller UI so that the experience will be fairly seamless as portal users move from the RSS portlet to Roller (for example, when they comment on a blog post). In a later phase we hope to implement a much tighter integration, perhaps through Roller-specific Liferay portlets.

Major blog cleanup

I spent some time doing the big tidy-up on today. If you subscribe to my feed, you may be getting a bunch of old posts in your aggregator because I updated several old posts where titles were missing or where categories were set to “Uncategorized”. (I’m not sure I made the situation much better–I categorized most of those under “General”).

I also installed a new WordPress Theme–Ed Merritt‘s Ocean Mist. Most people get by on the feeds in their aggregator but for those who happen to drop by the site itself, Ed’s theme is obviously a huge improvement over the default.

I tried to fix missing titles where I could (posts from my Radio UserLand days are often missing titles), but it’s a daunting task to undertake manually. I might have to see if someone’s already written a script to take care of it.

Last, I implemented some anti-spam counter-measures. I may start turning comments on for selected posts. Posts in which I had accidentally left comments turned on had attracted several hundred spam comments so hopefully the new plug-in will keep it to a minimum.

Blogging as the next big thing

Blogging – The Next Big Thing?.

Micah Alpern…said he was happy to see Blogging on my list of “the next big things” but he was disappointed in the page I had linked to. The page he refers to was a very basic page I had created to define some of the basics of blogging — primarily for newbies. Micah correctly points out that it didn’t do much to explain the significance of blogging…Micah has done a good job explaining how blogging has been significant for him personally and it is a worthwhile read. [John Patrick’s weblog]