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Making your content modular

Travelling this week, I finally got caught up on some reading, including EContent magazine’s annual EContent 100 issue. In it, I was struck by how many of the columnists were singing versions of the same tune:

Steve Smith: “ …one of the big stories of 2008 [will be that] everyone finally pays serious attention to content sharing, viral media, widgets, and downloadable media (Podcasts and vodcasts.) From the TV networks on down to trade magazines and B2B events, the task at hand is finding out how to fragment your own content and make it as portable as possible.”

Bob Doyle: “Now more and more content is ‘single-sourced.’ Meaning that it feeds not only the Web, but traditional print materials like advertising, market collateral, and documentation: multichannel publishing and in multiple formats.”

John Blossom: “Long gone is the era in which print, online, audio, and video media formed distinct publishing markets, as is the time when enterprise firewalls defined the boundaries of where professionals discovered professional-grade content.”

Web content creation does not live in its own silo—the walls are coming down. Content is becoming more modular and forward-thinking companies need to approach content in a new way.

One of the exciting areas we’re working on here at Tendo is the development of customized tools that allow a company to strategically manage its content assets. This is not the old “content publishing system.” It’s more than just getting stuff to appear on your website.

It’s about using collaboration tools across the enterprise to give greater visibility into content creation. You can target content toward specific business objectives and leverage it as broadly as possible. You save money and time and increase ROI. Who doesn’t want that?

Ironically, we’re talking about fragmentation as a way to do more integrated marketing. By boiling content into its most modular elements, you increase flexibility and make sure that your messaging is consistent across different communication channels.

If your Web publishing teams are working in isolation, creating content on their own, it’s time to make plans for the new reality. – John Kovacevich, VP, marketing services

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December 4, 2007 Posted by | Content Management Systems, Content Strategy, Custom Content, John Kovacevich, Web Content | Leave a comment

Content management vs. content strategy

Six years ago on this very website, I wrote an article called “Making the Move to a Content Management System.” Today, many of the ideas contained in the article are quaint. In 2007 content management systems are standard for large sites, and off-the-shelf software like Adobe’s Contribute make content management accessible for even the smallest organizations. Blogs and wikis and community forums are an extension of the CMS infrastructure, which democratized Web publishing.

But like I said back in 2001, a delivery system is not a content strategy. And just because it’s easier to post to the Web doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.

While the stats are fluid (and hotly debated based on methodology), we’re in the neighborhood of 30 billion Web pages now. That’s a big neighborhood. Before you add your content or blog or video to your corporate website, you should put it through a rigorous vetting process. Why are you adding it? What are you hoping to accomplish? Is it providing value to your readers? Will it move you closer to your business objectives? If you can’t answer those questions, don’t post…even if the CMS makes it simple to do so. ―John Kovacevich, VP, marketing services

June 15, 2007 Posted by | Content Management Systems, Content Strategy, John Kovacevich, Web Content | Leave a comment