The Jack Sanity Scale of Content Management

In my presentation at Gilbane Boston earlier this month, I talked about the growing complexities of large Content Management Systems and their impact on implementers.  I indicated two possible outcomes for anyone working in the industry for a long period of time, a psychotic snap or an increasing level of eccentricity.  This led to further discussions, so I thought I would share.

image “Jack”: This is where we all, hopefully, started off when we joined the Content Management industry.  After a period of time, we change and evolve into another state.  This is the holding pattern until one of the other levels is achieved.  The longer you are in this state, the more likely you are to end up on the wrong end of the scale.


image Jack Sparrow: This is a sliding scale, and really the preferred path.  The more you work on different implementations, and the deeper you get into the details versus the strategy and planning, the more you tend to shift down the scale.  This has varying levels and you can score people anywhere from 1 Jack Sparrow (quirky/interesting) up to 5 Jack Sparrows (off-balance, but fun to watch from a safe distance).



Jack Torrance: This is the outcome when someone internalizes all of the strangeness that surrounds a typical Enterprise Content Management deployment.  Eventually there is a snap which leads to negative actions.  I’ve seen it and had to clean up the pieces.  The quiet ones are most likely to end up in this state.  That this happens at all is a little scary.  Quirky is always much more preferable, and safer for bystanders, than just plain crazy.

I am going to rate a few people.  Please join in the comments to refute any ratings, or to rate others in the industry as well.

  • Irina Guseva is probably rated as 1 Jack Sparrow.  She has a quirky sense of humor, is willing to be seen in public with people rating much higher on the Jack Sanity Scale, but she seems fairly normal otherwise.  Her long exposure to Content Management must have had some impact upon her and I don’t think she is building up to Jack Torrance.
  • I probably rate as 3 Jack Sparrows.  The fact that I thought of this post at all locks me as at least 2 Jack Sparrows.  The fact that this isn’t the craziest post I have written means that I should be at least 3 Jack Sparrows.
  • Peter Monks is definitely all the way at 5 Jack Sparrows.  For evidence, read his Twitter feed.
  • Andrew Chapman is probably rated at 4 Jack Sparrows.  I would have scored him as only three until I read his more recent post on Content Management vendor names.

That’s enough for the moment.  Enjoy.

9 thoughts on “The Jack Sanity Scale of Content Management

  1. Puf says:

    As he said: Torrances tend to be the quiet types.

    @McBoof is an off the scale Sparrow. A safe distance was when he was in SA.


    • I’m deeply hurt, again.

      Gibbs: So, we’re setting out to find whatever this key unlocks?
      Jack Sparrow: No. If we don’t have the key, we can’t open whatever we don’t have that it unlocks. So what purpose would be served in finding whatever need be unlocked, which we don’t have, without first having found the key what unlocks it?
      Gibbs: So, we’re setting out to find this key?
      Jack Sparrow: Now you’re not making any sense at all.


  2. Superb stuff ! I thought I had popped a rib when I read your take on Irina ! I think I have slid back from 4 Jack Sparrows to almost being a standard “Jack” , but that’s because my current role is so awful 🙂

    I look forward to having the conversation John has quoted above in an Records Management context, with a straight face, and seeing if I can get away with it, matey……….


    • Jed, you are 2 Jack Sparrows, maybe 3. I’m not sure you can ever recover. Sanity, once lost, is a difficult thing to regain. In fact, awful roles make regaining sanity that much more difficult.


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