Topic: Content management

additional information ]
Content management, I think, will turn into one of the buzzwords of the year 2000. It's really a pretty easy concept. The idea is you have content and you have Web pages, and you'd like to get the content into the Web pages on a regular basis (a) without worrying about breaking your HTML every day and (b) with a minimum of hassle otherwise. This is especially obvious when you start thinking about editorial content or other "featured content."

Let me put it this way. When you write an editorial article, how do you incorporate it into your site? If you upload a finished HTML article, and then you edit your front page to include a description and link, then you're doing manual content management. How many times have you left out that darned </td>? And only noticed it the next day after God alone knows how many people have thought you're too lame to bother with?

Content management allows you to set up a dataflow which takes content at one end and produces Website at the other. It's really akin to using a makefile to compile your site from source. The advantages are first, that your HTML will stay unbroken because the computer won't forget your </td> tag; second, that you can enforce a common look across the site without having to remember what you did; third, you can build in nice things like archives without having to do any work.

Sometimes the content isn't in easy-to-use text formats, though. A common situation is the organization which has lots of existing content, sometimes even rapidly changing content, in Word or some other binary format, and needs to get it Net-ready. In this case, a publishing tool like Transit Central (which we've worked with) can really help out. Transit Central takes, say, a Word document, applies some template pieces to it, and spits out HTML pages, complete with index, title of contents pages, and so on. It can also work with FileNet Panagon for storage of the documents and pages. Sweet solution.

Vivtek has worked on several content management projects and we're certainly willing to talk to you about yours, if you want a custom solution. And a lot of what we've learned from these projects has gone into the configurable toolkit OPM (Online Publication Manager), which is available for sale from Nextek Innovations because we're not very good at sales. More details are available here.

Well, this topic is pretty thin because I haven't figured out a lot of concrete things to say about content management yet, but I need the page up to serve as an anchor for some links. If you have any questions, that will help me focus the topic. Heck, I haven't even found any good links yet, really.


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