How Web 2.0 Affects Content Management

You can't turn your back these days without a Web 2.0 or enterprise 2.0 service provider sneaking up on your content management infrastructure.

George Dearing, Contributor

January 22, 2008

3 Min Read

You can't turn your back these days without a Web 2.0 or enterprise 2.0 service provider sneaking up on your content management infrastructure.They come in all shapes and sizes, from project management and simple workflow to blogging, RSS, and rich media services.

I alluded to how content management is going social in one of my earlier posts and thought it made sense to dive a little deeper and look at the real impact Web 2.0 is having on content management.

Blogs If you're a CMS vendor and you don't have a blogging strategy, I'd suggest you find a new product manager or head of strategic alliances. And if you serve the SMB marketplace and can't compete with Web teams using WordPress and Movable Type, I guarantee you it only gets worse. While you're gathering requirements for how the fuctionality maps to your platform, blog teams will be on their second or third prototype. Granted, it might not be a full-blown Web solution, but it will be enough to raise some doubt.

On the user side of CMS, blogs have spoiled us in a good way. Users now demand complete control and administrative flexibility over the content they use throughout their business. And users have figured out what dynamic content really means through blogs. It's the conversations they build on-the-fly that are so compelling. And it's those on-the-fly or ad-hoc requirements that cause the most pain in the CMS world.

RSS Another one of the underpinnings of Web 2.0, RSS, also is having significant impact on content management. For some, just grappling with the fact that users now have the ability to essentially opt-in or out of their Web site content is downright scary. "You mean users might not visit our Web site to see our flashy new design? They can just subscribe and get the actual content?" If that's what your client is saying, you have a lot of work to do, Mr.CMS consultant.

Social Networking There he goes, you're saying. Another Web pundit pushing all this Facebook and LinkedIn stuff down my corporate throat. Not exactly. Social networking's impact on content management is pretty straightforward, actually.

On the vendor side, the toolset providers are figuring out they need to prepare for loosely coupled handshakes between their APIs and the likes of Flickr or Facebook. More and more, our personal information stored in our Web community is being mashed up with our corporate data;, giving our colleagues a sense of our true identity. Again, if you're in the content management space and aren't acutely aware of the SoNet effect, you've been warned.

So, are these tenets of Web 2.0 just creating more confusion as companies look for better ways to manage content? Do they fill in some of the functionality that our CMS toolsets lack? Or here's a thought. Perhaps what's important isn't the functionality at all.

Maybe what's most notable is how Web 2.0 has raised the bar for a few of the things we should all demand more often -- ease of use and flexibility.

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