CMS Expo is Coming; Here's What's on Tap
If you're in the process of deciding which open source CMS-related conference to attend this year, here's the down-low on what's coming for CMS Expo (news, site) 2010, from May 3 - 5 in Chicago.

CMS Expo Basics

CMS Expo is a three-day conference aimed at "all members of the Content Team - Administrators, Businesspeople, Creatives and Developers" from basic to advanced levels of expertise. In its fourth year, the conference offers seven tracks, with three aimed at different user levels and four aimed at specific CMS's:

  • Business Track: Focuses on how to "run, promote and structure your web business for maximum success ... and ROI."
  • Foundations Track: A CMS-agnostic look at foundation-level tools and skills need to create and manage sites.
  • Power Track: Focuses on third party add-ons and apps to extend the core CMS's.
  • Drupal, Joomla!, Plone and WordPress Tracks: Each of these tracks focus on helping attendees get up to speed with Drupal (news, site), Joomla! (news, site), Plone (news, site) or WordPress (news, site).

It's important to note that this conference focuses almost entirely on the four CMS's named above. If your interests lie elsewhere, you'll need to campaign the conference organizers to offer sessions for your CMS next year.

Content Preview

Rather than opening with a traditional keynote on the first day, the first session offers a keynote interactive panel, "CMS Head-to-Head." Led by Tony White of Ars Logica and John Coonen of the CMS Association. The panel begins with White discussing:

  • The last 2-3 years of CMS market evolution and why it's relevant
  • Why today is such an interesting time for CMS, thanks to the economy "squeezing commercial vendors [and] the drastic improvement of open source products"
  • White's own adventure "in producing the Compass Guide to WCM, a evaluation series covering 35+ vendors that took me well in excess of 100,000 miles traveling across the U.S. and Europe to do hands-on product testing"

The discussion then turns to the panel members, who include:

  • Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal
  • Ryan Ozimek, Board Member of Joomla's Open Source Matters
  • Alan Runyan, Co-Founder of Plone
  • Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress

From there, the four CMS-specific tracks begin with sessions on the future roadmaps for Drupal, Joomla!, Plone and WordPress.

The afternoon brings all seven tracks into swing, with each track following fairly parallel arcs of building from beginning toward more advanced materials in the four CMS-specific tracks, and less of a linear progression in the CMS-neutral tracks.

On the third and final day, each of the CMS-specific tracks ends with their own interactive panels, offering a recap of what's been learned throughout the expo and touching on other advanced topics as requested by the audience.

All in all, if you're diving into the CMS deep end and know you'll end up with one or more of these four, or if you already work with one or more of these and want to learn how to use them more in depth, this show is worth checking out. Take a look at the sessions, see if they'll scratch your proverbial itches, and let us know what you think in the end.