After spending over a decade with various content management systems, such as Wordpress (org and com), Ghost CMS, Medium (it acted more like a CMS back in the day), Substack, Paragraph, and more!
I have learned that most of them fall short. Either in the feature set, or completely as a CMS. They do not do what they need to do. Even Ghost, that I am using right now, I feel fails at doing any sort of frontend capabilities.
Introduction to PolyInContent - OmniContent CMS
This newsletter series came from my idea of creating a content ecosystem, as well as my strategy for creating multiplatform content. Both of which used the "PolyInContent" naming convention.
Note: Poly originates from the Greek words Pollus and Polloi, meaning much or many, hence the Polymath on this website a lot. So the POLY in Content, the much and many ways of creating and sharing content.
The CMS idea is that of a multi - format CMS, not just of blogs, but also videos and podcasts too. One would think it could be expandable to include ecommerce/products, and digital products too. Perhaps even courses. Now while there are platforms for courses, or for products, even for videos like Uscreen. There are no platforms that supports more than one type at once. Sometimes you can make a blog on the LMS tools, but its pretty bare. The closest I've seen is BlogHunch, but it is not quite there yet IMO.
WHY - Understanding the Need for OmniContent CMS
Think about any creator you love, MKBHD, for example. He has a prolific YouTube channel with videos. He also has his podcast now too. However he doesn't have a blog or website, even if he doesn't write, his posts could be turned into written content in a number of ways.
More importantly all 3 of his content types could be searched within one place, and he would own the distribution of his content on his site. Meaning if one of his videos gets taken down on YT, it will still be up on his site. While a simple way is to just embed a YT video link into a blog post, that is certainly viable. I think it still is important to have a host for your own content as well.
I have this problem with my content as well. I want you to be able to see everything on this site. Now while I may not make a post for every video or podcast, as many of them actually overlapped for a while with some series. I can make compilation posts as well.
Challenges with Current CMS Platforms
Unless you do some real jerryrigging like I did with Ghost to support a second post type (mine is podcasts), or in Wordpress with the custom post type plugins (which complicates the site map). Then you are not able to do more than just blogs on one website. It is crazy to me how we have so many creators out there, but none of them have really mentioned this.
The Rise of Multi-Format Content
Pretty much any big YouTuber has a podcast nowadays, and many of them started as bloggers as well. As I mentioned earlier you can have many ways of making your videos into viable blogs too.
Regardless of your preferred content type, you are more than likely going to have all 3 at some point. It is the progression of the greatest creators, and allows you to be omnichannel.
We need a home for all of the content to syndicate.
Conceptualizing the PolyInContent System
I'm thinking of the information architecture first and foremost, as the frontend would need to be a combination of sorts.
Think of a hero section at the top, beneath that you have a small grid of latest blog posts, under there is a carousel of latest videos, and perhaps off to the side bar or maybe a banner at the top there is the podcast feed.
Even now with some podcasts tools/plugins, and ways of adding your youtube to the site you can accomplish something similar. However with videos and podcasts being treated the same as blog posts in the CMS this would become a lot easier.
The Core Idea Behind PolyInContent
I made the PolyInContent series to maximize my omnichannel production of content. Creating episodic content for my entire ecosystem in every entry to the series.
Since I start out as a blog that would then turn into a video, cut out the audio for a podcast. From there chop it up into various short form pieces of content. In my blogs and videos I would specifically make a point for a highlightable moment. Meaning even if I didn't use an automatic tool like Opus Clip, I could still have a couple moments every episode that would make for good clips. I even started out making slidedecks as part of the visual component. Making the videos a bit more visually interesting, and it was good to put on slideshare/scribd. However I stopped seeing any ROI haha.
Key Features of the PolyInContent CMS
I want to have a place where you could view any of the content coming from a creator. That is the HUB for THAT creator. I think having a stories feature would be really interesting too, and that could auto post to various stories on social networks too.
Video Content Management
Quite similar to the blog management, but you would have different styles of viewing them. Such as playlists, and series.
They would display similarly to how blog posts come up. However in the back end it may be more akin to how YouTube Studio does their database.
Blog Content Management
Not much has to change here, but keep the tags. Forego the categories, as the categories are simply the content types.
Add the ability to make series, and you're good to go.
Podcast Content Management
This is one that I think is the most challenging ironically, despite there being plenty of precedent with all of the podcast hosts out there.
It would need to be incorporated into the CMS itself. Auto posting to Spotify and various outlets. I think Castos does an interesting job with this with Wordpress.
Social Media Management
I think one key overlooked thing is being able to share your posts to social media. Having to rely on separate tools, even good ones like Nuelink, that seems unnecessarily extra to me.
Why can't we just have a cron automation that sends out a post as soon as it is made? I know Automatic tried something with their Jetpack feature, but it was limited and paywalled. It should be built into the CMS. Also things like being able to share the posts, features that are usually hidden behind an extras category.
The Role of AI in CMS
It is only going to keep rising in usage and popularity. No point in fighting it, as what we should do is decide how we want to implement it.
As a writer I find it trashy to make purely AI generated articles only. However using AI to make your writing easier? Most definitely! I loathe having to write meta descriptions/TLDR portions. It is just something that makes me waste too much creative energy. So I use Ai from time to time to make that piece. Maybe a social post? Perhaps, even an outline to make the flow of a post easier to write?
Highlighted Tool of the Week: Waveroom
A tool that is a seemingly new in the market, as I hadn't seen it before. However they're doing something really interesting, going free for individual users!
Given how there are a lot of local remote recording tools out there, I think this is a great way to differentiate. As well as, gather a large user base, so that they can focus on the enterprise income.
As someone who does a ton of remote interviews. I'm looking forward to trying out this tool more.
What I really wanted from this post is to have you be able to imagine what a multi-format CMS would look like. I wanted to bring it to the forefront of your mind, so that as creators we can be vocal about our needs.
Not only do I think this is very much possible, and the idea that "jack of all trades, master of none" gets brought up a lot with this. That is false. By being all 3 you can be a master at all 3. The CMS can do all 3 well, you just need to know how the best platforms have done it. Personally I've used countless tools as well, for all 3 types, and I think I can make it work.
The Future of Content Management Systems
I hope that someone will come out with a poly-cms, that can handle all 3 types if not more. Maybe I'll just have to make it in a headless cms.