Julian Wraith

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The Future of Content Management, the follow up

The Future of Content Management is something that I have thought about for a while. But without a good conclusion and so I decided to open it to the floor of CMS Gurus. So I posted a few weeks ago and went on holiday. Not the ideal way to create a meme, but I could not wait to get started. On my holiday I did not have the chance nor the inclination to even think about it. However, a week back from holiday I owe you all a follow up post with at least the highlights.

Today, as I write this post, I am flying between Amsterdam and Chicago on my way to San Francisco. I did not take the direct flight – before anyone points that out – because of the time I have to be back. My flight this morning was overbooked but they guaranteed me a seat on the plane and told me that I would find out later where I will sit. As it turns out, I got an upgrade to business class. Moments before I found that out I heard an announcement about an option for people to upgrade to business class for 450 Euros. I tisked scornfully under my breath and mumbled something about being an idiot to take up the option. Moments later I was in business class for free and I suddenly felt allot more important. Now that is what I call value for money!

So in-between sipping my white wine and I shall have a look at what everyone wrote about the Future of Content Management…

Whilst many of you professed and inability to look into the future, it was clear you all have more than an idea on many aspects. Some of us have more of a dream than others… some of posted based upon your leaning from either ECM, WCM and commercial or open source. And some wrote their own rules to how they were going to respond. As my only rule was “there are no rules” I liked the spirit of doing something different.

I cannot really attempt to outline exactly what everyone said; it is just too much to take on in a way that would justify the meaning of each article. For that you need to read them for yourself and you will find the links at the bottom.

Vendors
With the recent acquisitions and the general downturn it is likely that the face of vendors will change more that is already has done over the course of the next year. The recent Forrester and Gartner reports have re-asserted some companies positions and surprise people with how some of the reports view other companies. Those that do well will no doubt pick on the weak until we lose a few more vendors. Is Open Source the way? Well as Adriaan Bloem pointed out Open Source is just another license. If commercial software has trappings then Open Source does too, just different ones. I am not a believer that open source will over take commercial software, just that commercial software will leverage open source (and especially open connectivity) just as well as Open Source. In that the playing field will remain level for a long time to come.

I hope and pray monolithic vendors die a slow and painful death but I just know uncreative people will continue to advise customers to invest in such solutions.

Technology
“I’ve been in this WCM industry awhile, so lets put aside the crystal ball a minute and ask if we have yet delivered on the CMS promise of 10 years ago? ”

Judging by the thoughts from everyone the simple answer is NO.

Whilst Ian was talking about making the people have the power, the quote fits right in here too. We all grumbled about the lack of standards and the continuation of proprietary standards that rule our customers. There is CMIS but it lacks a really usable implementation and JCR just is not a standard. Yes, it is if you use java but not for the rest of the world.

Uniform repository access will definitely help but mostly it is going to help with being able to migrate systems and join multiple systems together. In the end if we cannot fix even the smallest of real world problems you can forget trying to get two different CMS systems to just “Plug and Talk” On the other hand it is good to know that Sense/Netbarely has any serious CMS vendor issues that have been upsetting customers throughout the years”, even if the list was not complete.

Concepts
I spend allot of time thinking about this (well OK, a little bit of time) and it is something I like to hear people like Frank talk about. He has great views on what content is and how it should be used – but did not post on this topic (booo!). Challenges we have are how to use the content we have, how long should it exist and what even is content? Is the content that we produce going to live and die in a moment or does it have real life? Social media is perpetuating content that has a very limited life. When was the last time you looked for a Twitter post you had seen a while back? You do not, it has ceased to exist, it is an ex-piece of content. If anything Twitter is a discovery engine, you can discover what is going on, not where to buy a cheap car. This short life also means that some social content has a much more limited value and you can be more risky with it. However, most commercial CMS systems do not truly hand the power to the people, there is also limited tools to help employees create, manage and distribute content remotely or on the move which is something social media requires. For open source the picture gets better, but the most I can manage is Twitter from my iPhone.

That said, almost all vendors push social media connectivity as part of their products but as Ian points out “But, for all that, websites are still the destination – the majority of tweets are linking people with web content. “ So, do not only give us Twitter to tweet our content, give us the mobile application to write the content and then tweet it.

In the end the Twitter bubble will burst unless something happens to give it true value. If that happens the selling point of Content Management Systems will move to other new topics, and hopefully this will be a back to basics move on making content work powerfully rather than enhancing their offering with badly integrated applications that demo well.

Articles
The full list of articles is as follows:

There is still chance to contribute to the discussion by posting your view on the Future of Content Management. We did not hear from a great many people, if you post then do not forget to tag your post.

Hashtag: #CMSFuture
MD5 tag for your posts: 6f82f1d2683dc522545efe863e5d2b73, find more related posts

Salesforce captures the Tweet cloud

Salesforce will, this summer, release a new feature of its Service Cloud by adding a feature monitor Twitter conversations and questions about a company. The Service Cloud aims to companies using Salesforce to better engage their customers by connecting them to social networks, online communities search, chat etc. The new feature allows connection to Twitter.

To some extent I like this idea. I already monitor Twitter for information around certain topics but I have always resisted the temptation to react directly to a tweet because I don’t want people to feel that a company is watching them. Twitter, should be a place where I can have a rant without the company I just ranted about asking me a few minutes later if they can help me. If I need help I will ask for it, non?

Via Webware.com.

Yammer: Twitter for the Enterprise

Now Twitter is one of those things. Either you get it and you love it or you just plain hate it. I personally love it. I could tweet all day long except I don’t have time. It is a little too far to go to tell people exactly what I am doing but it does not stop some people. I personally, just give general updates on my general activities and you too can follow me on Twitter.

Twitter is a form of micro-blogging and basically offers people you know or people who want to know you the chance to stalk you.

Twitter is very public with even direct replies being visible. This is an open way of sending messages and you have to be careful as when you tweet something it is then visible to the whole world. Unfavorable Tweets that are about your employer or a customer should not be in the public domain. Add to this that some people’s Tweets are pushed to Facebook and then we have a recipe for making big holes for you to climb into.

Well, to make your life a little safer, Yammer has introduced a system similar to Twitter only with security. People who have the same email address domain as you (e.g. someone@sdltridion.com) can join a closed network where you can blog to each other what you are doing. Looking on the surface there is nothing very special here but used to enhance connections between people doing the same things in organizations, this tool has distinct advantages.

Getting started

This is surprisingly simple as you only have to enter your email address to start the signup process. Once you have confirmed that you got the email they sent you, you can create your profile and join the network. Once you sign in you are given the chance to invite people you know from the organization and that’s all there is to it.

Working with it

There are four ways to post to it, you can use the Yammer website, download the desktop application, the blackberry or iPhone application. You can do pretty much anything you can do with Twitter such as reply on posts, follow people, invite more people and search through the history.

Advantages

So why would this be interesting? Well knowledge sharing is a about a two main areas; sharing knowledge in a documented way (explicit) and sharing knowledge person to person (tacit). In the case of the latter it is important to build relationships between people. People feel they have a relationship to someone based upon what they know about them and on this they can build trust. How many times do we think we know a celebrity based upon what we we’ve read about them? In a business sense, this might be knowing what someone is doing in the office, what projects they are working on or what activities they are doing in common. This is where micro-blogging can help people connect and share information easily. This tool helps build such networks and relationships around an organization which will ultimately lead to better ability for the organization to work and share effectively

Costs?

There are two versions of Yammer; one free and the other not. For free you get all the micro blogging features in a closed network. However, you can’t control the network you have created (such as removing a fired employee). If you want to do that, your organization can take ownership of the application for the very modest sum of $1 per user per month.

Security

Well, there are two aspects of this. Firstly, anyone from your network can post anything they like and anyone from the organization can be watching. Users themselves need to watch what is said and those they do not use the medium to whine or complain about life. Additionally, you are posting to an outside network and thus it should be common sense not to post anything that would be deemed legally sensitive. Whilst Yammer ensure on their site that it is secure I can’t help feeling that this will be the major blocking factor for many organizations.

Conclusion

I like it, but I feel that many organizations are not really ready for such a system. Should they be then I feel that they would reap the benefits of having this short line of communication between their employees. Most employees will not abuse Yammer and in most cases an organisation’s fear of abuse is usually is greater the actual threat of abuse. If any such abuse takes place it can be dealt with by the administrators.

The free version is really good for friends or family and the subscription model is an absolute must for organization. Without administrators the risk of former employees still being able to access the network is just too high.

Screenshots

Follow me on Twitter

If you want to follow my updates on a regular basis then I suggest you follow me on Twitter. You can do that from the stream: http://twitter.com/julesdw.

*tip, if you want to see more about a particular topic on Twitter, then check Twitter Search.

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