Category Archives: Web 2.0

Success is Content Distribution, but be careful.

by Matthew Johnson

The last decade has been a time of radical change in content ecosystem.  Users used to primarily consumed branded content thru one or few of “on-domain” channels like  This hub and spoke ecosystem focused on how to lure as many potential or current users to on-domain properties to consume content that conveys the company’s value proposition.  Companies presented online users with emails, micro-sites, and advertising with the goal of getting as many users to click thru into their “walled garden” (large .com sites).  Within these large walled gardens companies could leverage web content management tools to share/distribute large blocks of html and metadata across organizational silos.   However, times have changed, the advent of web 2.0 and social media changed how content is being consumed.  Walled gardens that follow traditional on-domain methodologies are being torn down and in its place are social media, open networks, new aggregators, API frameworks, and widgets.  A critical success factor is no longer based on getting people click thru to on-domain content but how well content has spread virally across the Internet using a channel most relevant to a user.

However, many CMS solutions unintentionally bind content to specific channels of consumption, aka  Content Types created in Interwoven, Drupal, Alfresco, SiteCore, and other products need to be strategically created to anticipate and plan for new and developing channels of content distribution.  Content types needs to house semantic and simple content to alleviate distribution across news sites, facebook, mobile apps/mobile web, and emerging channels like XBoxes, Digital Signage, Set top boxes, podcasts, etc.. I see the issue over and over again, companies create a global content types to meet a current or generalized need and then start up the content production line using dreamweaver or WYSIWYG editors.  Content which looks like it can be reused, cannot be reused because the content types do not provide the metadata, guidelines, governance, structure to give the content agility.  Content should always try to be agnostic of channel.  Content should be so semantic that is can be easily dropped and restyled using CSS or XML transformations.  I can say it over and over again, its all about the content types and their hierarchies.  CMS projects should not always jump straight into technical integration and performance testing.  True performance is how you expand the reach of your content across the web, not drive to a specific site.

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What is driving the ECM and CMS marketplaces in 2009?

The ECM and CMS  markets are consolidating and changing according to the demands of users, regulations and the needs of the enterprise environment.  To summarize I have created a list of key drivers pushing the the content management market in 2009.

- Compliance and information retention are receiving more attention.  Organizations need to not only control but also archive content being distributed to their partners, customers, etc.

- Organizations are increasingly looking for ways to “distribute” content across channels.  No longer is it about driving users to a single web site, but distributing content across social networks (facebook), fan pages, micro blogs (twitter), blogs, wikis(wikipedia), mobile,  rss,  web services, news aggregators, widgets, etc.  As content becomes smaller, segmented and more relevant, the focus is not on the maintenance and centralization of large pieces of content, but on the distribution and delivery of an organizations content across channels, devices, and boundaries.  The distribution of content should be factored into ECM/CMS strategy.

- Users are increasingly adopting user-generated content tools such as blogging, micro-blogging, comments, ratings, wikis, instant messaging.  User-generated content capabilities should be a component of content management system, especially when positioning for the future.

- Rich Internet Applications (RIA), Widgets, and Web 2.0 sites are becoming the primary interface into content production.  These mediums provide real time content production and deployment to users and business groups.

- Digital Asset Management features are gaining momentum. Due to the high cost of production, organizations are looking for ways to cut costs, especially when it comes to expensive photo/video shoots.  Digital asset management provides a way to centralize and share creative assets across an organization.

- Mobile internet is a growing market in the North America.  However, throughout the rest of the world, mobile is the primary interface to the internet.

Alfresco & Drupal Integration: Solution to Content Distribution, Agility

Image via Wikipedia

I just watched a very interesting screen cast at:

Alfresco-Drupal Integration via CMIS:

This video presents an approach to integrating Drupal 6.X and Alfresco.  Alfresco is a powerful  commercial or opensource J2EE ECM and Drupal is smaller agile PHP CMS/developement framework.  Drupal is powerful opensource solution to enable web sites with various features via modules/plugins.  Such features are such as content management, OpenId, Facebook Integration, blogging, comments, and social media.  However Drupal does not have the scalability required by most fortune 500 businesses who want an ECM to centralize/archive a majority of their content.  This screencast demonstrates a very innovative approach that leverages Alfreso ECM to centralize and govern content via workflow and its robust web content management and then push/pull/sycnchronize content using CMIS across various distributed Drupal Sites and Alfresco.  The presents a very fitting solution for managing content across multiple Drupal sites for blogging, marketing, intranets, microsites, and campaigns etc.  This further shows how to decouple content from presentation layer and even another PHP CMS solution. Can’t wait to play around with this approach, it could solve many issues revolving around the distribution of content across channels,widgets, mobile, etc..

Question: Could I get this to work Alfresco to WordPress? Hmmmm

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