“Discuss how a CMS can support an organization”….

OK, head’s up – content management systems are confusing and complex so I totally Googled it. Here is what I found…

According to Vasont Systems (http://www.vasont.com/resources/how-cms-benefits-organizations.html), “content management systems make content smarter and more powerful. Because content is stored only one time no matter how many times it is used, the CM system can track everything that happens to it. Editors only have to handle the content one time, but the changes are made globally to all documents.”

Vasont goes on to list the following benefits of a CM system:

  1. Content is centralized and shared: Content is consolidated into one powerful repository, facilitating content sharing among co-workers. (This eliminates multiple versions of the same content/document.)
  2. Content is accurate: Because each piece of content is only stored one time in a CMS, it can be reused throughout one or multiple documents. The CMS tracks every instance of content reuse and flags all instances when a change is made to ensure all appropriate instances are updated and consistent. (I’m not usually a fan of “tracking”, but in the case of workflow it makes total sense.)
  3. Content is secure: User privileges are assigned, so only authorized people can access content with unique IDs. (This enables version tracking and makes people accountable for their work. No more passing the blame to someone else.)
  4. Content has shorter editorial cycles: Users are alerted to their pending tasks and due dates. Additionally, daily editorial tasks can be automated to save time. (Time-saving is a good thing!)
  5. Enables quick creation of new publications: Content can be searched, retrieved, and reused to create new products within minutes. (Nice!)
  6. Ensures timely delivery of publications: Single-source content is updated once and repurposed for multiple media channels as often as daily or weekly. (Consistency and timeliness – nice!)
  7. Facilitates lower translation costs: A CMS with full Unicode support allows small chunks of updated content to be translated instead of entire documents, saving thousands of dollars. (Saving dollars on something that you hate to spend money on in the first place is awesome.)

All of these points make a lot of sense to me, more so than our textbook. Luckily for me, Vasont’s CMS had this info ready! 😉

Q: WITHIN ANY ORGANIZATION THERE ARE MANY, MANY STAKEHOLDERS WITHIN EVEN MORE TEAMS. HOW DO ALL THESE DIFFERENT TEAMS INTERACT AND MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO RUN AN EFFECTIVE CMS THAT ALIGNS WITH OVERALL ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS?

Here is a breakdown of the overall conundrum:

There are three types of organizations  (p243):

  • commercial: production and/or sale of goods
  • government: running a jurisdiction and promulgating (declaring) regulations
  • non-profit: supporting a social concern

There are four major groups within any type of organization  (p251):

  • business units (generate income)
  • editorial teams (unify content)
  • marketing teams (direct/unify organization image)
  • IT group (build/maintain infrastructure)

There are two job categories of a CMS (p219):

  • design/start-up team (short-term, large staff)
  • daily operation team (long-term, small staff)

There are three phases of the CMS process (p219):

  • collection
  • management
  • publishing

There are three categories of CMS jobs (p219):

  • analysis
  • implementation
  • management

There are four disciplines within all CMS jobs (p219):

  • management staff
  • information architects
  • infrastructure staff
  • software developers

With all of these people (users) involved, it is a good thing there are user privileges and unique user ID’s to make all content trackable. This is the part of a CM system that ensures that accountability points back to the originating contributor as well as any subsequent contributors.

Q: WHAT ARE THREE MAIN HURDLES THAT STAND IN THE WAY OF ANY SUCCESSFUL CONTENT MANAGEMENT, AND CONTENT MANAGEMENT USAGE?

✦ Ego (this is my gut answer before even reading this section of our textbook) – people feel threatened by the success of others, which makes them feel “less than” or diminished. To combat this fear, they do whatever they can think of to stall, knock others down, etc. to make themselves feel better and/or look better to the higher management of the company. This makes an endeavor such as implementing a company-wide CMS a nightmare. Stroking and/or coddling deflated ego’s is annoying and takes a HUGE amount of energy and time.

Then, here is the “official list” from page 182 of our textbook:
✦ The attitude of content contributors who normally think of only one target as they create.
✦ The need to share content across output formats, which mandates that you store the content in an output-neutral format such as XML.
✦ The need to store and organize more information than is necessary for any one publication such as research plus the finished article. In the past,
this extra information could safely be archived or even discarded.
✦ The need to create publication designs that you can fill automatically. This situation is a problem especially for sophisticated print publications, where designers normally handcraft every page. If handcrafting is to occur in the context of a CMS, it must happen
as a post-process, after you draw content out of the CMS repository.

I hope this clears things up a bit. Stay Tuned….

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