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Making common content work on the intranet

Simon Goh has written a thought-provoking piece on managing common content on the intranet.

The intranet comprises broadly of corporate and business common content. Corporate content are stuff such as backoffice processes, policies, templates, news, corporate events and employee benefits. Business content are stuff such as standard contract clauses, services & solutions offerings, project references, document deliverable templates, delivery samples and methodologies.

Regardless of the category, 5 things need to happen for an intranet to be a trusted place for staff to get common content. Common content needs to be:

  • available as soon as they are
  • at the right place
  • well-written
  • accurate, current and comprehensive
  • rid of Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial (ROT) content

Content Migration: the iceberg of CMS projects

A nice introduction to the content migration effort required when doing intranet redesigns.

“For all the reasons to ignore the inevitable, the truth remains that failure to adequately strategize, plan, schedule, and budget for content migration can easily sink your CMS project. Failure to plan can lead to delays as the content migration drags past the launch date. Conflicts can occur as extra resources are called upon at the last minute to attempt to migrate mountains of web pages into the new system. After all of the hard work your team has put into designing and building the new system, content migration is the last hurdle — one that you don’t want to underestimate.”

7 principles for decentralized publishing

Jane McConnell writes about 7 principles for decentralised publishing on the intranet.

“If you are a large, global organization, you will have many different types of content with varying degrees of ownership depending on the source: business unit, country, function, etc. Ask the different business units and functions to define their own guidelines for what type of content require approval by what level or role.”

Large documents: PDF it?

Ginny Redish explores when to PDF large documents, and more importantly when not to.

“However, realize that, with most PDF files, you are providing a paper document on the web rather than web-based information. If the document looks like a paper document or if it is large, people are likely to print it rather than read it on the screen. You have distributed the document; you have saved the printing and shipping cost; you have shifted the cost and effort of printing to your audiences – but have you really met their needs?”

DITA 101

The Rockley Group has published DITA 101, a guide for authors and managers to understand and use DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture). I’m reading it now and so far its been simple and easy to understand.

“DITA 101 is designed for authors and managers. We’ve taken our years’ of experience helping organizations to move to DITA and training our clients in creating DITA content and distilled it into an easy to read and understand format. Combined with our expertise in developing effective reuse strategies and adopting content management, this book covers everything you need to know to understand DITA from an authors or managers viewpoint.”

Content Strategy for the Web: Why You Must Do a Content Audit

This is a sample chapter from Kristina Halvorson's upcoming book, Content Strategy. In this chapter Kristina discusses the value of doing an content audit.
"Do not—repeat, DO NOT—skip the content audit. This process is not just about listing URLs and page titles. It can provide an extraordinary amount of useful, enlightening information that’s surprisingly valuable, especially when you’re fighting for project support and funding."

Who should be on your CMS shortlist?

J.Boye has published an article that lists “[CMS] vendors you should examine closer and potentially send your RFP to? Interestingly J.Boye is a vendor neutral consulting firm, so this list might turn out to be quite influential.

Three types of web content management projects

Jeff Cram has written about 3 types of content management system projects.

  1. The technical migration
  2. The visual design
  3. The strategic redesign

I think this captures a lot of projects I've done over the years. However, I'd like to add 'The politically motivated' to the list. These are projects that make you wonder why they are "on" in the first place.
[Via ColumnTwo]

State of Enterprise Content Management

Interesting presentation on the state of ECM by AIIM. Check out the stats on Sharepoint.

Choosing a Content Management System for your web project

Short and sweet article on selecting a CMS from BlueFlavor:

"Types of content you may find managed in a CMS include news stories, blog posts, photos, videos, events, and more — or, in many cases, some combination of several different types. While it’s important to understand that content management is a people process, not a technological one, there are many CMS tools available that can help. Which one is right for your website?"

Redefining content management

Keith Robinson has written a nice article outlining the problems with the current crop of offerings:

"For a technological solution (CMS or otherwise) to work it needs to be tailored to the specific content management problems you’re facing. Simply picking and adding a CMS will not usually do it and can end up in lots of wasted time, effort and money. Sorry, folks, it’s more complicated than that."

Component Content Management in Practice

This paper from the Gilbane Report describes examples of high reuse content management. This is on similar grounds to what Ann Rockley has been pursuing with her "unified content" strategy.

Getting the Most from Content Management

A short article outlining the importance of creating a taxonomy: "Creating a taxonomy should be central to any enterprise content strategy. Without that framework, even the best technology may not meet expectations because of the numerous intranet sites and discrete pieces of information it has no way of interconnecting."

Content management: design for rule, not exception

Sound advice from Gerry McGovern: "People move around your website as if were driving down a motorway. If you want to communicate with them you need to be very clear and concise. That means making difficult choices. That means designing for the rule, not the exception. Give the exception an email address or phone number where they can make their special request."

Boxes and Arrows: Managing the Complexity of Content Management

Boxes and Arrows: Managing the Complexity of Content Management

"Where's the disconnect between what's possible and the too-often failure of CMS?" Content management systems suck. Or so you would think from the strife heard from analysts and practitioners alike. And yet, many websites regularly publish vast amounts of information with superior control and ease compared to manually editing pages. So where's the disconnect between what's possible and the too-often failure of CMS?

Intranet Journal: Content Management and Collaboration Converge

Intranet Journal: Content Management and Collaboration Converge on E-Learning

"there are three broad categories of learning content based on the urgency of the information that needs to be learned: a) develop skills and competencies; b) critical knowledge transfer; and c) information broadcast. Critical knowledge transfer and information broadcasts involve rapid e-learning, which needs they are high-volume applications and need some type of content management to facilitate their use..."

Gerry McGovern: Avoid Santa Claus approach to content management

Gerry McGovern: Avoid Santa Claus approach to content management

"Often the only software that meets everything on the wish list is big, expensive, cumbersome, and really difficult to use. Content management software should begin with the needs of the editor and writer, not with the demands of the IT manager."

Gerry McGovern: Content management: critical skill of modern manager

Gerry McGovern: Content management: critical skill of modern manager
Content is a driver of value. How well you manage your content

D-Lib: Developing a Content Management System-based Web Site

D-Lib: Developing a Content Management System-based Web Site
This article describes the development of a content management system(CMS)-based web site for the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), a UK strategic advisory body. It gives a nice overview of the development process.

StepTwo: e is the knowledge in a content management system?

StepTwo: Where is the knowledge in a content management system?
"The knowledge in a content management system is not the words on the page. Instead, the knowledge is gained via the processes and opportunities used to capture organisational knowledge. This is further enhanced via the CMS's ability to support knowledge discovery, via the use of metadata, and deployment of effective navigation."

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