Providing services on Newscoop - it's easier than you think.
I recently had to do a round of "speed geeking" at a conference. "Speed geeking" is a play on "speed dating," where you get two minutes to pitch for a software project and hope that it resonates with people. While making my pitch, one speedy geek asked me, "Newscoop is cool, but why should I invest time and effort into learning it when I've already invested a great deal of time and effort in learning how to develop for <$CMS_name>?"
My very short answer was: "Because it's not about your needs. It's about your client's needs."
Let's unpack this and the assumptions behind it, because it deserves examination. Web developers have a bewildering number of platform choices available to them. After all, there are more than 300 open source content management systems out there. By default, they gravitate to the solutions that will provide them with the greatest number of potential clients with the least amount of effort. And that's fine, provided the projects are relatively similar to one another - after all, most website projects are rather similar to one another - there's an "About" page, a "Contacts" page, a "Products" page, and so on, whether the client makes toothpicks, telephone poles or space elevators.
There is, however, a different class of client which requires a greater level of engagement. These clients require things that go beyond the basic functions provided by most CMSs, and usually this is where the number of potential solutions starts to dwindle and the allure of making a proprietary solution starts to get stronger and stronger.
Media clients - newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, online news sites - are a very specialized type of client. Media clients have multiple authors, multiple photographers, wire services, multimedia, and so on, and it all comes together in an institution called the newsroom - something many web developers wish would disappear entirely because their CMSs don't exactly know how to handle it. And because their CMSs can't deal with the newsroom, they ignore it, instead of placing it at the center of their client's operation. Or even worse, they pick a magazine theme and hope the client won't notice that something is missing from the backend. By doing so, I think they're doing their clients a great disservice. A magazine theme does not a magazine make.
Our products were born in the newsroom.
They were made by journalists for journalists. And because we have this fundamental understanding woven into our products, they do far more in this sphere than a typical cookie-cutter CMS. They are a specialized solution for a specialized class of client.
Learning how to implement media sites using Newscoop will probably take a web developer far less time and effort than it would take to extend their favorite general-purpose CMS to do the same functions. Many have tried and failed in this regard, and either end up spending months or years extending it to within an inch of its life or forking their CMS entirely. The installation is straightforward and cross-platform, and the templates are written in the Smarty PHP templating framework; if you're familiar with Smarty you'll be up and running with Newscoop in very little time.
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