Web Content Management….

Let me get this down for posterity: as of this point in time, I am taking a Web Content Management course. It is NOT even required to complete my degree!

When I began my journey of completing my degree, I wanted to take this class right away. It was not available. I kept watching for it. Here it is, my final semester, and I FINALLY get to take this class – I am very excited!

I have manipulated content in many ways over the years, both for print and electronic mediums.

I have pasted gallies. I have flowed columns. I have produced training manuals. I have proofread and edited. I have used software that is no longer around, others that have been swallowed by huge software companies (and integrated into their top-selling programs), and still others that are owned by the original creators. I was there to personally witness the transition from actual 35mm film slides through the process of digital conversion (using 35mm Xpress software and a slide scanner) into both Mac’s and PC’s (before there were mice or Windows – yes, I used DOS), to creating purely electronic slides – I used “Presentations” by WordPerfect before PowerPoint was even a blip of an idea.

Been there, done that, still have my t-shirt – I can take a picture of it (either digitally or traditionally) if you wish.

For me, the digital realm is fascinating. I see it as a wonderful TOOL – but it is not my reality.

To learn the caveats and terminology and concepts of an interconnected computer network is very exciting! I love learning new things, tips, techniques, and software. It tickles my brain and makes me happy.

The very best part is this: I don’t care who I learn things from – older, younger, same age. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as I learn.

I am learning about an entirely new realm. I have watched many movies about the pro’s and con’s of AI (artificial intelligence), the inner world of the computer, the dangers of immersing too deeply into all things digital (the internet could very possibly be the beginning of Skynet), and the effects the digital world has on biologic entities. We have no idea what the impact is, because it is still in its infancy.

The textbook we are using in class is the “Content Management Bible” 2nd edition, by Bob Boiko (Bob Boiko’s web page about his book). All content within this page is referencing content from Bob’s book. Where possible, I have included specific page numbers.

The way content management works is actually very clever:

  • Hardware used: web server
  • Software used: database, web browser

A content management system (CMS) is a tad different. You can set up a website using a CMS, but that is not all it can do. A CMS can produce any kind of publication you want:
a website, a company newsletter, a corporate portal, etc. It can also be a place to store information to be shared in different formats such as on a computer, a smartphone, a tablet, an app, etc.

For now, let’s focus on using a CMS for a website.

You can have a static website, a dynamic website, or a combination of both (which is actually kind of the “ideal” setup).

A static website is one where the content is pre-built. They are NOT created on the fly or personalized in any way. To update content, you replace the page with a new one. (p.75, Boiko).

Here is a simple breakdown of a static website setup:

  • People: contributors
  • Software: database, CMS, HTML files, web browser
  • Hardware: web server

A dynamic website is one where the content is created on the fly and personalized. To update content, you update the information in the database. (p.75-76, Boiko).

Here is a simple breakdown of a dynamic website setup:

  • People: contributors
  • Software: main database, non-CMS database, CMS-generated database, CMS, HTML files, connector code, web browser
  • Hardware: web server

Notice all of the databases? I sure did. Now I understand why there are so many open positions for “Database Administrators” in the employment ads.

As I progress through this course, I will post more revelations here. Stay Tuned….

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