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August 25, 2008 / Boris Mann

Expression Engine Roadshow starts in Vancouver

I sat down last week with the folks at Hop Studios and Venn Communications to talk about their upcoming Expression Engine Roadshow training event.

First off, what is Expression Engine (or EE as it is fondly known), and why should you care?

Briefly, EE is a content management system (CMS). OK, there are lots of those. Next up, it’s a “beyond blogging” publishing platform. I use the term beyond blogging as a general system for flexible platforms that manage dynamic content beyond posts or pages – flexible data structures that can be created and updated from within such a beyond blogging platform. I spoke at length about the 3 stages of CMS at Web Directions North 08.

This type of functionality is invaluable for prototyping – or even running – many types of web applications. Drupal (with its content construction kit) is the only other widely used system that I know of which has this type of functionality. This is especially important for less technical founders: you can potentially put together the skeleton of a web app which does a lot more than a Powerpoint presentation in showing what kind of site/product/technology you’re trying to put together. EE should definitely be in your kit of potential startup tools.

Who should go to this event? Well, I have a fair amount of experience with the CMS marketplace. My view is that EE is perfect for design-centric web shops that want a supported, commercial product that can be used to build sites that go beyond content management. If you’re a web shop or aspiring designer that fits that description, you should go to this training event and get up to speed on Expression Engine. The event is on Friday, September 26th (right before BarCamp Vancouver kicks off) and tickets are $50. Register here »

Lastly, EE and I have a long history. Back when I was living in Ottawa is when I started blogging. I started with pMachine, the precursor to Expression Engine. I also started talking to Rick Ellis, CEO of Ellis Labs, the makers of Expression Engine. I doubt he remembers it, but I started trying to negotiate one click installs of pMachine for a hosting company I was working with. Small world 😛

P.S. Yes, I’m known as a frothing-at-the-mouth open source and Drupal evangelist. And really, I firmly believe that Ellis Labs could make Expression Engine open source and not change a single piece of their business model. They sell piece of mind, not bits.

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