[Evangelism] Water and Stone Open Source CMS report

Ken Wasetis [Contextual Corp.] ken.wasetis at contextualcorp.com
Wed Nov 30 01:07:22 UTC 2011

Yet another 'popularity contest' report (on the heals of the PacktPub 
open source awards ( http://www.packtpub.com/open-source-awards-home ), 
which is merely a vote for your favorite CMS, not any evaluation of 
which CMS tools do XYZ better than the others out there.

Unfortunately, to some degree we do have to fight the popularity wars 
too, but I don't see Plone ever being a popular as the 
point-and-click-$5/mo-and-here-is-your-blog Wordpress generators out there.

I think that for the plone.com site and when marketing Plone in general, 
we have to be sure to point out that while you certainly can use it for 
the 5-10 page brochure site, it's much more powerful than that - that 
numerous other CMS tools can't compare in terms of security, 
scalability, fine-grained permission management, workflow, check-in/out 
support, audit trail, etc., etc.

To help fight this particular PR battle (with the producers of this 
report, which I believe I've seen in previous years), I suggest that we 
get in contact with its author and work to get included in the process 
for their next report to help them get a large enough sample size and 
help fight the reports built-in bias.  The author (information on last 
page of report) has published PHP-based CMS books on WP, Joomla, and the 

Visiting Water and Stone's website, it appears all they do is churn out 
Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal sites, so there is other concern for bias.

As mentioned early on and throughout the report, there is some 
self-admitted concern over their data due to the lack of marketing of 
the survey within some project communities.  Is that really the way to 
get a well-balanced set of data?  To solicit the specific CMS 
communities to pine for their favorite tool?  No, it isn't, but as long 
as their are dolts out there who follow popularity reports when making 
software selections, we need to get into the game and submit surveys 
from our own community as well.

We could also ask the author to 'explain more fully' some of the metrics 
represented in the report - some which seem conflicting on the surface, 
such as:  If there is such a low awareness of Plone by respondents (one 
graphic), then how is it that so many of them are stating they are 
abandoning Plone (another graphic)?  And if so few have any awareness of 
Plone, how is it there are so many who have evaluated it, but decided to 
use something else?

In the section toward the end where Plone and Joomla are mentioned as 
tools for 'concern', the author admits that a few things don't quite add 
up.  That while the brand reputation metric that Plone supposedly does 
so poorly in is so low, it doesn't explain how it is that Plone is in 
the top 4 tools for # downloads or in the top half for installs, and 
other metrics they measured.

Perhaps if they attempted to have survey respondents who were outside of 
their own client base who seem to mostly use WP/Drupal/Joomla, they'd 
see more accurate results.  Then again, I'm not convinced this report 
attempts to get accurate results.  But at least it's something for the 
web manager dipping their toes into the open source CMS market where 
there are only so many good evaluation reports freely available, like 
this one.

Cheers all,


On 11/29/11 11:45 AM, Carsten Senger wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Hi Folks,
> Water and Stone published a report about the Open Source CMS market
> that features Plone. In short Plone performs well, regarding some
> criteria very well, beside others Downloads, Developers, running
> installations, # of sites in the search engine top 5/10 for certain
> common keywords and social networks activity.
> But they also list Plone in the "Cause of Concern" section because of:
> * Brand strength (search engine visibility, site popularity, mindshare,
>    reputation).
> * evaluation->usage conversion rate
> * Abandonment rate - number of users that do not use Plone any
>    longer
> Mindshare (who knows Plone), conversion rate and abandonment numbers
> where taken from their own users survey with 2500 participants. The
> rest are various metrics from search engines and external sites.
> But see yourself, the report is available here:
> http://www.waterandstone.com/book/2011-open-source-cms-market-share-report
> Cheers,
> ..Carsten
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)
> Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/
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