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The CMS Awards — Honoring the Best

The second-annual CMS Awards and why you should care about them

Oscars in profileIt’s time once again for the glitz and glamor, the spotlights and the fanfare, the tears and the elaborate acceptance speeches — yes, I’m talking about the second-annual Critics Choice CMS Awards. (What did you think I was talking about?)

Whether your CMS of choice is sleek and stylish, modern, retro, clunky, open-source, or barely known, the CMS Awards gives them a chance to shine and be recognized.

It might be an obvious metaphor — hey, sometimes the obvious metaphors are best — but think of them like the Academy Awards, the 1,000-pound gorilla (in a red, strappy dress by Jason Wu, and matching pumps by Jimmy Choo) of awards ceremonies.

PQ - Managed - CMS Academy AwardsSure, the biggest movies (CMSs) backed by the studios (companies) with the deepest pockets (cash is king) and the largest reach (social media followers) are likely to win some of the awards, but every film (CMS) has its chance. Even the small little indie ones that almost no one knows about, but you still love.

And while the Academy Awards seem to get bigger and more ridiculous every year (why, oh why, did anyone think letting James Franco host was a good idea?), the CMS Awards belong to you, the community. They belong to the developers and the users. They’re still, for lack of a better word, “pure.”


And the Nominees are …

Oscars Quote posterYou don’t need to be a member of a specialized group to take part in the CMS Awards. You don’t have to look at the results and scratch your head wondering how some [expletive of your choice] member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted for a bloated, big-budget film that was full of flare but no substance.

The CMS Awards give out a Critics Choice Award that is selected by CMS Critic’s panel of industry judges, but they do more than that. The bulk of the awards are open to the public. Open to you. Most importantly, everyone in the CMS community has a vote.

This year, DotNetNuke was nominated for several categories. DNN Platform received nomination for “Best Open Source CMS Selection” (up against e107, Liferay, MODX, and Processwire); DNN Evoq Content is up for “Best Small to Midsize Business CMS” (facing off with Adobe Business Catalyst, Ingeniux, Percussion, and Sitefinity); and DNN Evoq Social was nominated in the category of “Best Social Networking Solution” (alongside fellow nominees Oxwall, PHPFox, SocialCore, and Social Engine).

CMS Critic LogoMike Johnston, editor-in-chief of CMS Critic, took some time out of his day to talk with us about the CMS Awards, and what he hopes they add to the community. After speaking with Johnston, it quickly becomes apparent that he genuinely loves the CMS community and hopes the CMS Awards fill a necessary niche for the all of those involved.


Here’s our Q&A with Mike Johnston

Q: Why did you start the CMS Awards?

Mike Johnston - Attribution BoxJohnston: For years, I’ve watched the same products win award after award, and to be completely frank, it started to get a bit old. What makes the CMS community so fun to be a part of is the diverse number of products on the market and the various niches they fill. One of my favorite things about this job is having the chance to see new products in action and the constant changes that are being made as the industry shifts to stay on top of changing trends.

The CMS awards were started to give all of the products on the market a chance to get equal recognition for the work they are doing. For this reason, you’ll see that we have categories that we created to try to cover a wider range of products than we normally see with other awards programs.

Since the term “CMS” is constantly evolving, it’s not realistic to compare something like a blog platform against an enterprise product and then choose which one is best. The results won’t be reasonable or realistic because they are both best at their own specific areas of focus.

To ensure this isn’t just a popularity contest, I chose to divide things up into two separate types of awards: People’s Choice and Critic’s Choice. This way, the people get a chance to voice their selections and a panel of judges chooses the ones they think best fit the various categories.

While nothing is ever perfect, I think the participation we’ve seen over the last two years shows that the awards are growing rapidly, and every day I see more and more participation. I feel good about what we’re doing here and I think the community feels the same.


CMS Critic Vote iconQ: What role do you hope the CMS Awards play in the CMS community?

Johnston: Good question! Ideally, I hope the role it plays is to offer better visibility to the market and to be used as a guideline in the selection process. I’d like to see participation increase year over year and, as we’ve seen this year, I think the most important thing is it gives companies something to strive for. It’s always great to have a goal, and perhaps some of the vendors out there will use the awards as theirs. One can only hope.

As I mentioned before, we’ve seen an enormous jump in participation this year, from small vendors all the way up to massive global enterprises. All of them are tweeting, writing and pushing their communities to get involved — and seeing that puts a smile on my face and tells me we are doing something right.


Q: How did the inaugural awards fare?
(Better? Worse than you hoped?)

Johnston: They were so well received that it blew my expectations out of the water; and this year we’ve seen double the participation — both in nominations and votes. It just keeps getting bigger!


Q: Is there anything you’ve changed for this year’s awards from last?

Johnston: We’ve added new categories to ensure better representation amongst all areas and niches, and really pushed the social media aspect. In all, I think it’s worked well. We’ve also moved to form-based submissions in order to eliminate duplicate votes and nominations.


PQ - Managed - Mike Johnston here to stayQ: Why do you think it’s important for people to take part in the CMS Awards?

Johnston: I’d like to think that the reason people participate is to get seen. We work hard to push the awards and to make sure that all those who participate get tons of exposure; and we’ve seen a number of new vendors jump on the bandwagon this year as a result. People are realizing that the first year wasn’t just a one-off. We are here to stay, and our goal is to get bigger and bigger and better organized each year.

Besides, who doesn’t like recognition?


Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say, or you’d like people to know about the CMS Awards? (Or even about CMS Critic in general?)

Johnston: I’d like to remind everyone that it’s up to each CMS to rally their communities and encourage supporters to nominate and vote for them in each category. We have had thousands upon thousands of nominations and votes every year; and everyone from small projects to large, multi-million dollar enterprises are tweeting, blogging, and asking for votes.

If you don’t see a brand present in the voting this year, we encourage you to speak up! Let them know and ask them to get involved.

Your Vote Counts CroppedNothing would make me happier than to continue to see it grow and expand.



Get out the vote

Editor’s Note: We’d like to extend a special thank you to Mike Johnston for taking the time to speak with us about the CMS Awards. Voting is open until October 1. Do your part, GO VOTE!

Editor's Note: Voting has ended for this year's awards.
You can view all of the winners here.




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