We are moving off our Windows servers over to a LAMP environment. You know how when you move you not only move your stuff, you start re-thinking Things In General?
So, one of the things we've been thinking about is a fundamental change in how web presence is managed. Put simply, there is a move from client-side to server-side. In the older model, people ftp files down to their desktop, use an editor to make changes, ftp the files back to the server, and view them. Rinse and repeat.
In the newer model, people edit their files directly on the server, whether through a CMS or a blog or in social networking milieus. It is perhaps readily apparent that the newer model is simpler (and cheaper), there are other effects consequent on the change.
The most striking is plugins. When you edit on the server, you can now consider plugins to your environment to add functionality. We could get plugins to Dreamweaver too, but they are all about facilitating the editing process. With site plugins (as I'll call them), it's all about adding functionality to the site itself.
The term current in the WordPress world is site management system. It is short of content management because there's no sharing of objects across sites. It really is focused on each site separately, but with the same management software serving out those myriad sites. Others will follow this road, but so far WordPress is the pioneer here.
We already know WP is easy to use, satisfies the needs of most users, etc. Unknown at this point is how well it will handle the many specialty needs of our diverse users. But hey, for special needs we can still use flat files and traditional programming.
In a little while my colleague and myself will be pitching this to our campus web group. I expect to hear lots of interest and lots of "when can we start" (answer: not yet!). I'm really more interested in hearing the buzz in, say, six months.
One last item. I think, but I don't yet know, that WP on campus may mean an end to the site makeover. That alone would be a huge boost in productivity. Leastways, that's one of the pitches to management! :-)