Thursday, April 07, 2005

More on the "why" of content management

I recently read a quote in Utne Reader that brought home my point about content management: “America is strong on how and weak on why.”

Most of the content management information out there is devoted to the “how”:
  • how newer, more robust and more usable software will enable more content management functionality
  • how to do more inside your organizations
  • how to get more out of your IT department
But without the why, the how is risky and may be an expensive failure.

Why do we need to manage content?
Do we manage content offline, or is this a case of using technology simply because it exists?

The projects I’ve worked on usually have a mantra: Just because we can doesn’t necessarily mean we should. I completely agree with this.

So....
  • make sure rules exist for content before building templates
  • make sure legal department will log into the CMS to review and approve content before paying extra for a system with complex branching and looping workflow
  • make sure updating content is someone’s responsibility before setting rules where the lack of approval causes a piece of content to be automatically deleted.
CMS software can enable ever more nuanced rules for assigning, storing, approving, publishing, surfacing, archiving and deleting content. But it cannot create order where none exists, can’t write the business rules and can’t substitute for a strategy.

1 comment:

sarah said...

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