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Content Management

Content Management

C

ontent management (CM) is a set of processes and technologies that support the evolutionary life cycle of digital information. This information is often referred to as content or, to be precise, digital content. Digital content may take the form of text, such as documents, multimedia files, such as audio or video files, or any other file type which follows a content lifecycle which requires management.


Content management system Overview

A content management system is a set of automated processes that may support the following features:

  1. Import and creation of documents and multimedia material
  2. Identification of all key users and their roles
  3. The ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different instances of content categories or types.
  4. Definition of workflow tasks often coupled with messaging so that content managers are alerted to changes in content.
  5. The ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content.
  6. The ability to publish the content to a repository to support access to the content. Increasingly, the repository is an inherent part of the system, and incorporates enterprise search and retrieval.

Content Management System (CMS)

CMS is a program used to create a framework for the content of a Web site. With most CMSs, the framework can be customized with a "skin" that defines the graphic design. This approach is opposite to defining the graphic design first, then coding the functionality second. Whereas the majority of cost of a Web site is in the functionality, the CMS approach is often significantly more cost-effective.

The content managed includes computer files, image media, audio files, electronic documents and Web content. The idea behind a CMS is to make these files available inter-office, as well as over the Web. A CMS would most often be used as an archive as well. Many companies use a CMS to store files in a non-proprietary form. Companies use a CMS to share files with ease, as most systems use server-based software, further broadening file availability. As shown below, many CMSs include a feature for Web content, and some have a feature for a workflow process.

"Workflow" is the idea of moving an electronic document along either for approval or for adding content. Some CMSs will easily facilitate this process with e-mail notification and automated routing. This is ideally a collaborative creation of documents. A CMS facilitates the organization, control, and publication of a large body of documents and other content, such as images and multimedia resources.

Web content management systems

A Web content management system is a CMS with additional features to ease the tasks required to publish Web content to Web sites. Web content management systems are often used for storing, controlling, versioning, and publishing industry-specific documentation such as news articles, operators' manuals, technical manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures. A Web content management system may support the following features:

  1. Identification of all key users and their content management roles.
  2. The ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different content categories or types.
  3. Definition of the content work flow tasks, often coupled with event messaging so that content managers are alerted to changes in content.
  4. The ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content.
  5. The ability to publish the content to a repository to support access to the content. Increasingly, the repository is an inherent part of the system, and incorporates enterprise search and retrieval.
  6. Some content management systems allow the semantic layer of content to be separated to some extent from its layout. For example the CMS may automatically set the color, fonts, or emphasis of text.

The process of content management

The digital content life cycle consists of 6 primary phases: create, update, publish, translate, archive and retrieve. For example, an instance of digital content is created by one or more authors. Over time that content may be edited. One or more individuals may provide some editorial oversight thereby approving the content for publication. Publishing may take many forms. Publishing may be the act of pushing content out to others, or simply granting digital access rights to certain content to a particular person or group of persons. Later that content may be superseded by another form of content and thus retired or removed from use.

Content management is an inherently collaborative process. It often consists of the following basic roles and responsibilities:

  1. Creator - responsible for creating and editing content.
  2. Editor - responsible for tuning the content message and the style of delivery, including translation and localization.
  3. Publisher - responsible for releasing the content for use.
  4. Administrator - responsible for managing access permissions to folders and files, usually accomplished by assigning access rights to user groups or roles. Admins may also assist and support users in various ways.
  5. Consumer, viewer or guest- the person who reads or otherwise takes in content after it is published or shared.

A critical aspect of content management is the ability to manage versions of content as it evolves. Authors and editors often need to restore older versions of edited products due to a process failure or an undesirable series of edits.

Another equally important aspect of content management involves the creation, maintenance, and application of review standards. Each member of the content creation and review process has a unique role and set of responsibilities in the development and/or publication of the content. Each review team member requires clear and concise review standards which must be maintained on an ongoing basis to ensure the long-term consistency and health of the knowledge base.

A content management system is a set of automated processes that may support the following features:

  1. Import and creation of documents and multimedia material
  2. Identification of all key users and their roles
  3. The ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different instances of content categories or types.
  4. Definition of workflow tasks often coupled with messaging so that content managers are alerted to changes in content.
  5. The ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content.
  6. The ability to publish the content to a repository to support access to the content. Increasingly, the repository is an inherent part of the system, and incorporates enterprise search and retrieval.

Content management systems take the following forms:

  1. a web content management system is software for web site management - which is often what is implicitly meant by this term
  2. the work of a newspaper editorial staff organization
  3. a workflow for article publication
  4. a document management system
  5. a single source content management system - where content is stored in chunks within a relational database

Content Management in Corporations

CM Brings Web Access Direct to Content Owners: In most companies, the Web Developers don't write the content for the pages. They simply put it up in a format that is Web ready. With a content manager, the content owner can access the parts of the site that they own and publish them, often directly to the Web site or staging server.

Content Management Means Faster Updates: At my current company, many people know that put up Web pages, so when they have a request for a change, However, unless it is simply a text error or bad link , to forward the request on to the content owner. Then, if the content owner would like the change made, they will request it through workorder system. With a content management system, the content owner could make the change directly, and bypass the workorder completely. And with some content management systems, the requestor could submit the request through the content management tool, and it would be sent to the content owner to approve.

Content Management Means You Don't Need HTML: Most content managers work in a templated environment. So, if add a link to a new press release, you would enter in the link title, URL, and description into different fields in the content manager form. The content manager would then build the link for you. For longer text blocks, such as a full press release, many content managers are smart enough to do things like add paragraph tags, make links clickable, and put in other formatting.

Content Management Brings Accountability: Content management software can sometimes be set up with user accounts, and access rights. This means, that some pages may only be editable by specific accounts. And changes that are made to the Web site are tracked and often using change management tools, it is possible to back out of a change that was made in error.

Content Management Brings Standardization: most content managers work on a template type system. This means that there are certain areas of Web pages that cannot be changed by the content owner.