Saturday, May 13, 2006

Content management

This week I have been working on content management in the framework of a guest lecture. I put some time in it as I think that too often and too soon people translate content management into content management systems (CMS) and even more specifically into CMSs for text systems.

Of course first the definition for content and e-content should be set. I am using the definitions set by Andrea Buchholz and Ansgar Zerfass in the book e-Content: Technologies and Perspectives for the European Market. Basically it is information put on a medium. Analogue content uses print, video, broadcast TV and radio, while digital content uses carriers as CD-ROM, DVD Internet, Digital radio, digital TV, mobile. Offline content is stored on floppy disc (if they still exist), CD-ROM, DVD, IPods and memory sticks. Online content will be delivered via a network (Internet by telephone or satellite) and allows for interactivity and especially feedback routines.

The content industry is complex as is clear from the following scheme, taken from the book mentioned above:

It is clear that media and context are important. Distributing a message originally produced for internet with a picture needs another process than sending the same message by SMS or by digital television. A clear analysis will have to be made of the input processes, the conversion to an independant general mark-up language such as XML and multi-output media.

But content management requires more. Accessibility of content by metadata, for example. Of course the 15 fields of the Dublin core show up. But for example in the Netherlands the government sites carry 20 fields. But to make content more accessible thesauri, taxonomies, ontologies and semantic webs can be used as tools.

Content Management Systems differ accordingly to their outlets. Text based systems vary most. But there are also content management systems for video. Besides many production companies commercialise and sell their own systems. Of course as in usual software there are proprietary and open systems.

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Blog posting number: 376

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