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Sydney Morning Herald Review of CityDesk

Hi Joel,

I thought that the SMH piece provided a better explanation of what the CityDesk software is for than appears on your web site. I guess you wrote your own pages yourself, so I am sorry if this is upsetting to hear.

Maybe I am just thick, but I honestly had no idea what a Content Management System was. Over the last few months, I must have read over 50 pages of stuff about software development on your site, but on my first visit, when I glanced at

http://www.fogcreek.com/CityDesk/

it just didn't grab my interest at all. I scanned the first ffew lines, encountered

"CityDesk brings everybody the power of industrial-strength content management systems",

thought "WTF?", and hit the back button.

The SMH journo managed to stick an definition of CMS into the opening paragraph without it being boring, and made me realise that your software might be relevant to my work.

I'll go and download the demo now. Meanwhile, I suggest that you adapt the content of your CityDesk homepage to make it more like the SMH piece. After all, with your software that should be a quick and easy job, shouldn't it? ;-)

Best wishes,

Charles Monk

Charles Monk
Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Couldn't agree more. Joel may be the UI Jedi, but the Fog Creek crew sure could learn something about Marketing and Sales. Get CD onto magazine CD's. Have it reviewed in the computer press. Get the word out!

I was trying to get info about CityDesk before it was released - nada. No one would say anything. I've seldom seen develpers so reticent and users so excited about the product. Whether that excitement can translate into sales to Big Corporate Customers is still in the air. It's called a Content Management System, but it has no workflow management - so it lacks some of the key elements of a Content Management system. I don't know if the corporate crowd will really go for it for that reason alone. Marketing CD as "a Web site editor" may not be a bad idea.

There are several things that they could do with the site:

1. Make a "benefits" page as well as a "features" page. Benefits for non-techies. Features for techies. I suggested that months ago. No response.

2. Make a *real* "CityDesk for Geeks" page. http://www.fogcreek.com/CityDesk/fog0000000068.html is actually a "CityDesk for Beginners" page. I would expect a detailed description of the database in the "For Geeks" explanation.

While Joel has a Microsoft background, his company often seems to be totally in the dark about marketing and promotion.  See .Net. No one can explain what it is, but you are convinced from the marketing that it's somehow something great.

It's great to have such a wonderful product, but it's equally wonderful to tell people about it in an understandable way. I hope Fogcreek can achieve the success their thinking and technology deserves, while at the same time knowing that it ain't the companies with the best technology that have all the money . . .

Ryan
Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Gee, those Aussies are smart, no wonder they win all the Oscars.

Oz
Friday, March 22, 2002

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