SxSW 2009The registration booths don't open for another 10 days and the moment of truth for what is being called the Ultimate Showdown of Content Management System Destiny is not until 11:30am on March 16th. Nevertheless, the teams competing for the prized moment of Web CMS glory have had their sleeves rolled-up for a while now, and their competition websites have just been turned in and are now available for public viewing and, of course, critiquing. 

The Showdown

At the 2009 SxSW event our dear CMS topic is getting a rare moment in the spotlight. This year a little CMS pit fight has been cooked up, Iron Chef style.

We're pretty far from convinced that such events are very useful to customers trying to select a new content management system, but like the web idol events CMSWire readers are familiar with, they can be a little educational. Mostly though they're just a bit of fun and a good opportunity for vendors, open source projects or consulting shops to strut their latest stuff.

The content management showdown -- a concept put together by George DeMet, owner of interactive firm -- is a face off with three teams of web developers from the Drupal (news, site), Joomla! (news, site) and WordPress (news, site) communities competing against each other. The task is to develop the same website with each of their chosen open source web content management systems.

ExpressionEngine (news, site) was originally slated to be included as well, but for reasons unknown to us -- perhaps because EE is not open source -- they are not in the current line-up.

As an aside, the EE team does appear to be readying their 2.0 version for an near beta sneek peek at SxSW. That should be interesting for PHP CMS geeks as well.

The Teams

The three teams are being led by Colleen Carroll (Drupal), Arno Zjilstra (Joomla!), and Matt Mullenweg (WordPress). They will also be panelists for the SXSW presentation.

Other participants include Drupal team members Jeff Eaton, Larry Garfield, and John Wilkins, and Joomla! team members Ryan Ozimek, Amy Stephen, and Alex Kempens. Tiffany Farriss has also been assisting with the project specification/requirements, and the site's design concepts were developed by renowned interactive designer Mark Boulton, author of the recently published “Five Simple Steps: A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web”.

The Panelists

The Evaluation

Once all the teams have finished building their sites, they will be turned over to Mark Boulton, who will evaluate how well each team articulated the design concept, as well as to the community leadership consultant, who will evaluate how easy each site is to use.