The Case for Killing 'WCM'

Blog Post created by pmonks2 on Dec 17, 2009
As if the gaudy Christmas lights, crass inflatable Santas and disturbing illuminated mechanical deer weren't enough, CMS Watch have loudly proclaimed the start of the silly season with their annual prognostication on the state of CMS for the coming year.

This has generated a range of responses from the usual suspects, but the response  that really caught my eye was Jon Marks' 'Visions of Jon: WCM is for losers'.

Considering myself a 'WCM guy', I took some umbrage at being called a loser (even by someone of Jon's pedigree!), but after digesting his proposal (along with a 'venti' serving of pre-season, 100-proof egg nog to help calm the nerves) the idea is beginning to grow on me.  That's the idea that WCM is a nonsense term - the jury is still out on whether I'm a loser or not! 

From one of Jon's comments:

I think the VCM and Drupal are fundamentally different, and neither are an ECM system.

This is a specific example of a general pattern I've observed for a while now.  Jon continues:

The problem we have at the moment is that both of them are called WCM systems. ... The fact that we have to put them both into the same WCM bucket kills me.

This really struck a chord with me, and had me rethinking my previous stance that WCM is a single product category with 2 major subdivisions.  Perhaps the problem is deeper than that, and CPS' and PMS' are so different that there's little justification for grouping them together into a single 'WCM' bucket?  If so we've arrived at the same conclusion as Jon: WCM is a meaningless term and deserves to be deprecated.

To start undoing the 15 years of mind share that the term 'WCM' has enjoyed, it's time to start thinking about new terminology that better describes these two functional categories.  For several years I've been throwing around the terms 'Content Production System' (CPS) and 'Presentation Management System' (PMS), and in their COPE strategy NPR uses the terms 'Content Management System' (CMS) and 'Web Publishing Tool' (WPT).

What terms do you use (or think could / should be used) to describe these two product categories?