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Demystifying Content Management Software

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Content management software decisions need to be based first content and business needs, then on IT considerations.

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Demystifying Content Management Software

  1. 1. 1 Demystifying Content Management Software Ragan Content Management Conference December 2003 Hilary Marsh President, Content Company <www.contentcompany.biz> ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 2 A little about me… • background in print publishing—editorial, catalogs, corporate communications • focused on the Web since 1996—seen a lot of change • Strategy/thought leadership—content strategy process, wireless content, third-party content, mentoring • many different kinds of sites: small businesses, nonprofits, associations, corporate brochureware, intranets
  2. 2. 2 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 3 Takeaways • ammunition: how to talk to IT • understanding of how IT sees content management • translation ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 4 Imagine if your information was integrated • ...if your organization’s information was created through a collaboration of communications, training, marketing, business strategy and customer service • ...if your customers could go to your store, your website, your salespeople, your call center and get the same information • ...if your salespeople, executives, communications department and customer service representatives all knew what each other was saying, and that their information matched.
  3. 3. 3 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 5 That could only happen if your content was managed. ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 6 Agenda 1. What is content management software? What is the difference between content management and CMS? 2. Benefits and risks of using a CMS 3. Do you need a CMS? 4. How to choose the right system and avoid choosing the wrong one.
  4. 4. 4 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 7 part 1: What is CMS software? Content management vs. CMS Automates the process of publishing information to a website. What is content management software? ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 8 Elements of content management software • content entry • content repository • content workflow • content delivery part 1: What is CMS software? Content management vs. CMS
  5. 5. 5 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 9 • Separate content from presentation w/templates • Breaking up content into its components, or building blocks • Support publishing process (aka workflow) • Provide role-based security • Capture content metadata • Provide robust repository (formats, versions) • Enable version control (“rollback” feature) •Manage entire content lifecycle (creation, review, publishing, archiving, deletion) •Support content syndication and/or acquisition •Special considerations like globalization •Possibly dynamic delivery, personalization, decision support—depends on your strategy Elements of content management software (more detail) part 1: What is CMS software? Content management vs. CMS ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 10 CMS assumptions • that information is published (i.e., that it is edited, reviewed, approved) , vs. posted • that there is a process that is similar enough and explicit enough that it can be automated • that the website will have enough content being updated often enough that it will warrant a substantial investment part 1: What is CMS software? Content management vs. CMS
  6. 6. 6 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 11 Questions CM should address • What do I have, and how is it organized? • Where is it? • How do I create it? • How do I find it? • How do I change it? • Who created it? • Who changed it? • Who can see it? • Who has seen it? • When is it obsolete? • What do I do with it when it becomes obsolete? • What have I had in the past? • How do I revert to what I had? part 1: What is CMS software? Content management vs. CMS ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 12 Answers will take the form of • Auditing • Search • Metadata • Versioning • Check in/check out • Content creation/capture • Workflow • Integration with other applications • Repositories • Security • Taxonomy • Governance part 1: What is CMS software? Content management vs. CMS
  7. 7. 7 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 13 CM vs. CMS Content management software cannot • create order where there is none • force people to participate in the publishing process part 1: What is CMS software? Content management vs. CMS ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 14 CM vs. CMS • Good Web content needs a publishing process behind it, to ensure that it – is accurate, consistent, up-to-date and on- brand. – meets the goals of the author and organization. – serves the needs of the reader. • Content management can happen without software. • Processes drive the CMS technical requirements (not vice-versa). part 1: What is CMS software? Content management vs. CMS
  8. 8. 8 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 15 Benefits of Using a CMS • Your website will have a consistent look and feel, since a CMS presents content according to sitewide standards. • Further, if the same content appears on different sites, it will be displayed in the look of each site. • Most CMSs can automatically update internal links, ensuring that no one reaches a dead end in your site. • By standardizing your editorial processes, your website is likely to have better content. part 2: Benefits and risks of using a CMS ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 16 Risks of Using a CMS • Content management systems are expensive, costing up to several hundred thousand dollars. Open-source software might have no cost to buy, but it needs extensive customization. • Myth: If you build it, they’ll use it. Without motivation and recognition, people’s behavior won’t change. part 2: Benefits and risks of using a CMS
  9. 9. 9 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 17 Risks of Using a CMS • A CMS won’t create content for you, inspire people to update their content, or make people better writers. • Many content management systems are not usable without training...an especially significant issue for content owners who only need to update their information infrequently. (This is often complicated even more if the people who post content are not the ones who author it.) part 2: Benefits and risks of using a CMS ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 18 Do you need a CMS? • Who distributes information? • Who receives that information? • What information was the person looking for, and did the information provide that? • Why was the person looking for that information, and did the information meet their goal? • What was the organizational goal in communicating that information? part 3: Do you need a CMS? You DEFINITELY need content management, but do you need a CMS? Depends on your answers to these questions:
  10. 10. 10 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 19 Do you need a CMS? part 3: Do you need a CMS? • Most organizations can’t answer these questions. • Most organizations don’t know what is being communicated by all of its parts to all of its audiences. • Often, different lines of business say contradicting things—sometimes, even to the same audiences. ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 20 Creating Enterprise-Level Content Management part 3: Do you need a CMS? Content management efforts • cannot only reside in the communications department, although communicators should take a leadership role. • cannot be centered in IT, although technical developers need to be involved through the entire process. A cross-functional team needs to assess the organization's content management needs and opportunities, given that organization's culture, business goals, and audience needs.
  11. 11. 11 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 21 part 4: How to choose the right system and avoid choosing the wrong one See content management as a strategic companywide effort, not a technical project • If content management is seen purely as a technical project, its focus will be on the implementation of a software package, vs. a significant shift in business process. Scrutinize CMSs in light of your needs • Frankly, the marketing language for many content management systems sounds similar. But start by screening vendors and reading comparison reports, including CMS Watch <http://www.cmswatch.com/>. ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 22 Start by learning what you need part 4: How to choose the right system and avoid choosing the wrong one • Phase 1 of your CMS project is to create a strategy for your content and requirements for what you need your CMS to do. – Learn the content creation processes and develop best practices that can be adopted throughout the organization. – Involve HR, motivating people to get involved with this effort. – Communicate and get buy-in from senior management about the value of managing content. • This phase takes time...probably 8–12 weeks.
  12. 12. 12 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 23 Start by learning what you need part 4: How to choose the right system and avoid choosing the wrong one • DO NOT choose a software product until this phase is complete. • Implement content management processes BEFORE beginning the technical side of the project. ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 24 Make your RFP match your needs part 4: How to choose the right system and avoid choosing the wrong one • State each requirement (or preference, if a feature would be good but not essential), and have vendors answer the following questions for each one: • Does your product provide this capability? • Is this capability a standard feature, an add- on, or will it require custom development? • If the feature is not standard, how much will it cost to buy/build? • Please provide details about how you would meet this requirement. • Are there any qualifications to your answer?
  13. 13. 13 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 25 Create a multidisciplinary team for the CMS selection process part 4: How to choose the right system and avoid choosing the wrong one • People from IT, marketing, communications and business should be involved in the process. • This may inspire the software vendors to explain their specifications more clearly. • Each group represents a different kind of interest in the product and its capabilities, which are all important to account for. ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 26 (This team would make a great governance council, going forward!) part 4: How to choose the right system and avoid choosing the wrong one
  14. 14. 14 ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 27 Resources • Content Management Bible by Bob Boiko • Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery by Joann T. Hackos • Content Critical by Gerry McGovern and Rob Norton • Managing Enterprise Content by Ann Rockley ragan content management conference 2003hilary marsh, contentcompany.biz 28 Questions?

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