Top 25

It's a New Year -- the perfect time to take one more long, analytical look back at 2013 -- through a sampling of 25 of the most popular CMSWire stories of the year.

We have selected some of the best of the best stories, based on reader interest. The list does not include SharePoint related stories, a topic that warranted the separate ranking we shared with you yesterday.

So sit back, relax and catch up on all your favorite CMSWire content as you map your strategy for a successful 2014. 

The Top 10 of the Year

1) Anthony Myers (@xanthonysfx) caught the attention of many readers with an interest in content management systems (CMS) with a practical examination of 5 Alternatives to WordPress.

If there is such a thing as a mainstream Web CMS, WordPress may be it. If it's not already obvious, there are dozens of other choices available, but we won't go too deep on issues like open source versus proprietary, for example. Instead, we'll lay out the case for a few options that might also fit if you are considering a choice like WordPress."

2) Virginia Backaitis (@actbrilliant) laid out the pros and cons of two options in Open Source vs. Proprietary Software: There Is No Clear Winner.

Everyone loves the promise of Open Source Software (OSS). It’s free (or almost free); it’s built by passionate communities of developers; you can 'look under the hood'; and there’s no vendor lock-in. Add to that, that the rate of innovation is supposed to be faster with OSS — why would anyone choose to work with anything else?"

3) Chris Knight (@ChrisKnightcms) captured the growing interest in mobile devices of all kinds — and the attention of readers who wanted a sneak peak at some new iPhone models — in As More iPhone 6 Photos Emerge, Apple's Fall Line-up Comes Into Focus.

As Apple tries to keep its hardware efforts firmly under wraps, those pesky Chinese websites keep bombarding us with potential images of components, obscure plastic elements and other teases."

4) David Diamond (@DAMSurvival) capitalized on his experience in Digital Asset Management (DAM) software marketing to give readers 5 Good Reasons to Avoid DAM Software.

Virtually any organization could function without digital asset management software. For some it would be a lot more difficult than for others, but DAM software serves no function that couldn’t be duplicated, at least in part, through manual file management processes. In other words, DAM ain’t Photoshop."

5) David Roe (@druadh20) dug into a Gartner report to identify 5 Cool Vendors in Content Management Focus on Mobile, Enterprise Collaboration.

So who are ‘Cool’ Vendors this year? In the content management space they are vendors that provide innovative solutions to users to offer them better and more efficient access to information. The emergence of mobile devices and applications, combined with the need to create and socialize content while mobile, has forced vendors to consider new tools and infrastructure."

6) Marianne Kay (@marianne_ua) satisfied the curiosity of readers interested in the details of a content management system with Web CMS Quick Take Review: Concrete5.

Concrete5 aspires to compete with enterprise level systems but its enterprise features require significant improvements before the system can be a good fit for large or highly regulated organizations."

7) Tom Lowery (@tal62) asked whether the hype about social media is turning us all into "narcissists, egomaniacs and internet drug-addicts" in Why Social Media Is So Addictive (And Why Marketers Should Care).

What drives us to use social media in the way we use it has less to do with social media platforms and more to do with psychology. Brands must realize that they no longer hold the reigns as to what people want to see, think or buy. Understanding how and why this balance has shifted can make or break a social marketing campaign."

8) Amit Kumawat (@amitechie) looked at Cloud Service Models (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS) + How Microsoft Office 365, Azure Fit In.

One of the biggest benefits of IaaS is that it provides granular control, where you can choose the core components for your infrastructure. By pooling your computing and storage resources you can scale with ease and speed to meet the infrastructure needs of your entire organization or individual departments, globally or locally."

9) Harry Blodgett (@harryqblodgett) invited readers to Think Beyond Responsive Design to the Responsive Experience.

Great design should seek to create an experience responsive to who you are, what you need and where you’re coming from. In short RE calls for crafting online experiences that are responsive to individuals, not just segments or averages.

10) Marisa Peacock (@marisacp51) piqued the interest of readers with a story on 5 Free Alternatives to Google Alerts.

At first, you might think that finding an alternative to Google Alerts will be easy. Surely there must be other free, easy to use tools? A quick search reveals that this was true — in 2008. Since then, many of the tools that ranked high on the 'must have social media monitoring tools' have shut down, been acquired or have transformed into something much different."

More Popular Posts

11) Loni Kao Stark (@lonistark) shared 4 Web Content Management Trends in 2013 Every Marketer Needs to Know.

In 2013, the hot trends — mobile, social, cloud and content relevance — will continue to dominate the world of Web content management. The difference is the wonderment of 2012 will be replaced with a pragmatic focus on efforts that deliver on the bottom-line goals of businesses and the public sector."

12) Barry Schaeffer (Content Life-cycle Consulting) gave readers more for their money in Thoughts on the New Cashless Society.

While once based on lofty or pecuniary considerations, today’s interest in a cashless society appears to be largely driven by convenience. People, especially a younger generation weaned on 'anywhere-anytime' automation, like being able to do things instantaneously wherever they happen to be."

13) Jim Belosic (@ShortStackLab) thinks Facebook Advertising Works … If You Don't Make These 3 Mistakes.

Luring new fans in with advertising incentives, like seasonal deals and giveaways — and asking them to Like your page in order to access the deals — is effective, but it’s not a solid long-term marketing plan. Providing value to fans shouldn’t be a one-time thing, but rather an ongoing effort implemented by your brand."

14) Katie Ingram (@katieyingram) discovered plenty of readers were interested in a report on User Demographics for Popular Social Media Sites Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.

Initially, social media may have been a way to connect with friends, colleagues and family, but now it has become much more than that. Over the past few years, these networks have redefined themselves and changed how people can interact, share and market in a digital atmosphere."

15) Tommy Landry (@tommy_landry) explored ways to optimize websites in a story on the Mobile Web: Responsive Design or Separate Mobile Site, App.

If you haven’t already figured out how to attack mobile with your own website, you simply cannot wait any longer to get serious about it. This goes beyond simply cobbling together a mobile app — it must affect the very architecture and approach of the website itself."

16) Bruce Temkin (@btemkin) told readers they should Use Customer Journey Maps to Combat Self-Centeredness —  "a basic reality of life."

Employees also have their individual frames of reference; which often includes a deeper understanding of products, company organization and subject matter than do customers."

17) Deb Lavoy (@deb_lavoy) took a more cynical view of social business in a story that argued Collaboration Isn't Working: What We Have Here is a Chasm.

Can you feel it? It's the subtle loosening of gravity’s pull as we pause at the peak of the hype apex before we thunder down into the trough of disillusionment (with apologies to Gartner). Social collaboration isn't working very well, but must we go gently into that good night?"

18) Barry Levine (@xBarryLevine) dug through a Forrester Report to explain The Social Media Habits of B2B Customers.

All business customers can be reached by social channels, and 98 percent of business decision-makers also read blogs, watch videos or listen to podcasts. 'It's no longer a question of whether you should use social, but how,' the report said. Just as B2B marketers target their customers for different stages of their customer lifecycle, so they now must factor in how social media is used in those stages."

19) Kris Duggan (@kduggan), the founder of Badgeville, played around with Gamification: The Secret Weapon of Employee Engagement.

Companies are under immense pressure to find new, effective ways to engage employees — and keep them engaged — to spur growth, reduce turnover, preserve talent and maintain a competitive advantage. Many have turned to software to help create the spark and transform into true digital operations, but a large number of these projects are failing."

Wrapping Up

20) Dion Hinchcliffe (@dhinchcliffe) was Looked at Digital Business in 2013, and shared his observations on the rapid transformation.

The customer journey is in the process of one of the biggest overhauls in at least a generation, yet businesses are having a very difficult time keeping abreast of the Big 5 trends that are reshaping the global marketplace today. The reasons are complex, but generally boil down to a misalignment of culture, inclination and core competencies."

21) Erik Hartman (@erikmhartman) explained How to Design Your Content Strategy in 12 Steps.

It is awkward to speak of a 'social media strategy' or an 'intranet strategy,' because these imply the use of a particular tool, when which tool you will need to achieve your goals has yet to be decided." 

22) Dan Berthiaume (@DanBerthiaume1) sifted through a Forrester Report that suggested we Ditch the Funnel and Go for the Customer Life Cycle.

Forrester states that only the companies that 'obsess' over customers and combine engagement via new digital channels with traditional marketing methods to create complete brand experiences will succeed in the modern customer environment."

23) Jayakrishnan Sasidharan (jayakrishnan.sasidharan) asked How Customer Experience Management Will Keep Up with Channel Independence?

Enterprises today are struggling to keep up with the various ways consumers are accessing their products and services, through both physical and digital channels. Often, CXM, remains siloed within the organization, usually in marketing and customer service."

24) Darin Bartik (@simpleisbetter) explored two sides of the coin in Why Most Big Data Projects Fail + How to Make Yours Succeed.

Taming big data and being able to get the business insight you need is a daunting task all by itself; but if everyone isn't on the same page when it comes to defining the scope of the project and all the right pieces aren't in place, the project is destined to fail."

25) Oscar Berg (@oscarberg) told us 6 Things to Expect from Your Intranet, including building workplace awareness.

Being a knowledge worker, I myself have quite high expectations on my digital work environment and the tools I need to have to get my work done. If an intranet is to become the centerpiece of my digital workplace, it should — at the very least — help me do the following six things really well."

Ta-dah! Plenty of great material for you to enjoy in these early hours of the year, with some left over to kick off 2014 as you head back to work tomorrow. We hope we continue to provide you with insight, enlightenment and entertainment in the next 12 months. Happy New Year!