Feel that buzz in the air? That electrifying post-holiday tingle?
That can only mean one thing: It’s Awards Season, baby!
Ah yes… Awards Season. That early chapter of the year when the media landscape is aflutter with statue-seeking celebs basking in red-carpet hype, unsealed envelopes, and excessively long acceptance speeches.
But oh, how we love the drama. The pomp. The play-by-play commentary of who’s wearing Vera Wang, or the host that crosses the comedic line. Who can forget Will Smith’s “slap heard ‘round the world” or Taylor Swift’s “knives out” glare at last night’s Golden Globes?
While the Swifties shake it off, it’s important to remember the real purpose of these events: celebrating excellence. But there’s more to it than that. When done right, an awards program can illuminate audiences, unite loyal fans, and give entire communities the chance to revel in the triumphs.
In our own corner of the content management universe, we’ve been doing that for the last decade with our exclusive CMS Critic Awards. Now in its 12th year, the CMS Critic Awards – one of the longest-running programs in the industry – continues its steadfast tradition of making you a part of the academy (so to speak).
As in previous contests, our “People’s Choice” program allows you to nominate your favorite tools from the previous year. We take the top five contenders across a range of categories, open that up to general voting, and announce the victors in late February.
In a world where technology can feel increasingly cold and robotic (hello AI!), our little competition is proof that loyalty still means something in the software biz – and that humans still carry the day.
Here's a short video that hits the highlights:
2023 was a big year for CMS, DXP, and the ecosystem of technologies we cover. A lot of change (hello again, AI!), and we’ll get to that in a minute.
This year, we have 16 different categories for your consideration. As you know, the whole notion of categories is becoming a wiry morass – just ask your friendly neighborhood analyst. Despite a lack of clarity in some of the swim lanes, the established pillars of Best Enterprise CMS, Best DXP, Best DAM, and Best Headless CMS are still in play.
That said, we saw headless CMSes like Contentstack achieve DXP status on the most recent Forrester Wave Report. Many platforms now offer free options, while others have introduced their own visual builders or hosting solutions. To that end, if you feel a single vendor can live in more than one category, it’s your choice to nominate it.
Composable was a big part of the story in 2023, so we’ve maintained the Best DXC category (which is continuing to evolve). We also added Best Composable Solution as a catchall, so you can nominate any vendor in our space that delivered the most innovative composable experience.
Finally, 2023 was arguably “The Year of AI” as many platforms raced to incorporate ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence capabilities into their workflows. Of course, AI rippled up and down the stack, with DXPs adding image generators, headless CMSes weaving in content generators, and even widely-used editors like TinyMCE incorporating a host of AI features.
With so much AI afoot, we had to include a Best AI Solution in a CMS or DXP category, so you can nominate any platform that wielded AI like a Jedi’s lightsaber and brought the Force to their solution. I saw dozens of AI demos this year (maybe “AI Critic” would be more apropos) and this is a tough one, my Padawans. All the more reason to let the people decide.
One final note: The CMS Critic Awards are intended to be fun and friendly. But they do, at times, get a little fiery. Every year, we receive thousands of ballots, with whole communities of users coming together to champion the platforms they love. I also intercept several, shall we say, “passionate” pleas, demanding to know why certain platforms were in a specific category – or why their tool of choice wasn’t in the running.
As always, we try to operate in a space of respect and integrity. Obviously, if a platform isn’t truly open source, it won’t be considered for Best Open Source CMS. That's a binary attribute. But many systems are blurring the proverbial lines – and let’s face it, the analysts are also compounding the problem. So, our editorial team endeavors to stay out of the nominating process.
As a reminder, we only take the top five in each category by nomination count, so anything below that won’t be featured in the final voting.
Without further ado, I’m happy to announce that the 2023 CMS Critic Awards “People’s Choice” nominations are officially open! Here’s how you can participate:
Nominations close on January 26, 2024, so get out there and rally the troops! Once we tabulate the results, we’ll announce the top five in each category for general voting in early February (we'll blast it on email and social).
She might have a lot of style, but Taylor Swift wouldn’t be anywhere without her fans. Now’s your chance to show some love for the platforms that rocked your world in 2023.
CMS Critic is a proud conference partner at this second annual edition of the prestigious international Boye & Co conference, dedicated to the global CMS community. This event will bring together top-notch speakers, Boye & Company's renowned learning format, and engaging social events.
Tired of impersonal and overwhelming gatherings? Picture this event as a unique blend of masterclasses, insightful talks, interactive discussions, impactful learning sessions, and authentic networking opportunities. Prepare for an unparalleled in-person CMS conference experience that will equip you to move forward in 2024.
Hear from leading voices across the industry on a wide range of topics, including:
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