How can we gain more exposure for SilverStripe?
- Thursday, April 19th, 2012
- Posted in News
SilverStripe Meetup - 17/04/2012
At the latest London SilverStripe meetup we did things a little differently. Instead of presentations and discussions about aspects of SilverStripe, we assembled group of core SilverStripe users to discuss how we can promote SilverStripe in London and around the UK. How can we help SilverStripe gain the traction it deserves in the current CMS market? How can SilverStripe compete with the more heavily-resourced alternatives, such as Drupal and Wordpress? We had a few ideas.
We talked about how we can promote SilverStripe and although the session covered a lot of areas, the discussion focused on three main ones: Marketing, Clients and Developers.
Whether part of a company or individual developer initiative, we all agreed that marketing would definitely bring benefits. Actively promoting SilverStripe at other meetups and developing the existing SilverStripe meetup to more openly expound the strengths of SilverStripe more were some of the ideas mentioned.
SilverStripe awards could be handy for developers and agencies selling SilverStripe to clients. We already have Aram Balakjian’s SSBits Site of the Month award [http://www.ssbits.com]. Could this be leveraged to create a more purposeful marketing-orientated award?
Of course, in our day-to-day work we interact with clients regularly. During the consultation phases we try sell clients on the SilverStripe CMS (if appropriate for the project). So what can we do to help our clients see the benefits of SilverStripe?
We could collate and provide more information regarding how many companies and what kind of companies use SilverStripe. For clients, the fact that White House website [http://www.whitehouse.gov/] is built with Drupal lends that CMS a lot of credibility. If we could maintain a list of websites using SilverStripe then that would go a long way to convince clients of SilverStripe’s merits. Especially if those sites are high-security and high-traffic sites. We know that big brands such as Debenhams, TalkTalk, the NHS and Activision (Guitar Hero) use SilverStripe and this is knowledge that we should promote much more actively as a community.
Another useful resource would be a detailed CMS / framework comparison website listing the benefits of SilverStripe vs other CMS systems. This could help clients as well as other developers see at a glance how SilverStripe compared to other systems.
Perhaps most importantly, there are the developers - the biggest part of the SilverStripe community. We spend most of the session discussing how we could encourage and promote SilverStripe to other developers that may not have used SilverStripe before. Some of the points put forward were:
- More developer-friendly documentation and resources would make it a much more attractive option
- Promoting SilverStripe to other developers and encourage them to ‘buy into’ it
- A clearer way to find and implement modules on SilverStripe.org
- Encourage the SilverStripe developer community to release modules
- Emphasis that what you put in is what you get out of the community
We also discussed other facets of SilverStripe, such as the imminent version 3 release and using the system to create Web applications. SilverStripe 3 will bring a much-needed separation between the framework and the CMS which will allow greater flexibility when building applications with entirely different structures - another draw-card for SilverStripe and something that other developers should be aware of.
Thanks to everyone who came along to the meetup and for adding your valuable thoughts and ideas. We got through a lot of discussion and we’re looking forward to seeing our ideas put into action and helping to grow the SilverStripe community in the UK. For those of you who didn’t make it – join us next time if you’d like to learn more about SilverStripe or if you want to help us spread the good word.