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This group was unlike any other. Participants had contempt for the views of their opponents. Debates raged, and supporting data flew everywhere. Venom surged from each retort, leaving the opposing thought bruised and bloody. What is this? A political rally? A Yankee vs. Red Sox brawl? No, it’s a blog thread about content management systems.
Honestly, folks, what is it about a CMS debate that brings out the inner warrior? Advocates thump non-believers with hostility better reserved for a cage match. While passion exists in many arenas, the struggle between CMSs seems unique. As an ad gal, I’ve marketed everything from cars, condoms, and soda, to breakfast cereals, airlines, and mobile phones. Nowhere does a product debate rage as contentiously as with content management systems. You criticize at your own peril. Can you imagine similar debates about other consumer products? Say, spaghetti sauce? Here’s a REAL blog post to illustrate my point, with some adjustments: “What in H311 are you thinking!?!? I am one of the people who has never used Prego and have no intention of ever using a tomato based sauce. I started using pesto specifically because of the basil and garlic base I was building upon. It met needs that no other sauce could match. I have pasta that is right now ready, and getting cold, waiting for some sauce and you expect me to use Prego?”
So tell me, what is it about a CMS that makes it so personal? It’s akin to a religion. The attachment is strong. Is it a natural response to a bad personal experience, those with vested interests insulting the competitor, or something more primal? I recognize that mastering a CMS requires months or years of training on a particular platform. It’s a commitment. So, is an innocent CMS discussion truly a debate about which rival technology will reign supreme? Should one gain favor over another, a web developer could easily find themselves out in the cold. Their skills would become obsolete. Retraining would follow in short order leaving said developer at the bottom of the employment totem pole. Taking this further, it could be said that when someone criticizes a CMS they are—in reality—trying to steal bread out of someone else’s mouth. Am I right here? What say you? What is it about a CMS debate that engenders so much passion and fury?
Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellbailey/3835281426/">KellBailey</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>
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