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Published on February 20th, 2007 | by Rahel Bailie


CMS Watch and Rockley Group to Publish “Content Component Management” CMS Report

I was delighted to read today that CMS Watch and The Rockley Group Inc. announced they’ve established a strategic alliance to create a new CMS Watch report evaluating Content Component Management technology, to help enterprises sort through the complexities of choosing the right tool for managing discrete components of content in a multi-channel world.

Technical communicators tend to think of structured authoring and XML content management as the centre of all content management, whereas the content management world has seen this as such as peripheral area of the industry that they haven’t even given it a proper, industry-wide acronym that potential customers can use to search for like vendors. You want a content management system to run your web site? You search for Web CMS or WCMS. You want to manage images? You search for DAM, or digital asset management. If you want a content management system that has all the functions and features to handle the publishing of technical documentation, good luck. You have to do your sleuthing through keyword searches and querying listservs, and getting feedback such as, “I wrote a script and used a query and some duct tape and an Excel spreadsheet, and who needs one of them there new-fangled content management system things anyhow? Don’t waste yer money!” Or going to your IT department who will gleefully tell you that they have a license for Sharepoint and spend the next five years making you go bald while they try to get it to do things it was never meant to do.

Now there’s hope! CMS Watch is an independent body that creates reports detailing the various vendors in a particular space – in this case, the “tools for managing discrete components of content in a multi-channel world” – so that potential customers can know who the vendors are, what the strengths and weaknesses are of each vendor, and compare notes in one central place. And I can’t think of a more qualified or fair-minded organization than The Rockley Group to create the report. What I hope this means is that the industry is paying more attention to the technical communication space. And that, in turn, this means that organizations are starting to treat technical content as valuable corporate assets instead of cost-draining liabilities, as they have to date. Perhaps once they see how they can manipulate, re-use, and re-purpose the content in ways that support other departments and customers, organizations will get a much-needed attitude adjustment. Meanwhile, I think we’ll all be awaiting the Content Component Management report with some anticipation.

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About the Author

Rahel Anne Bailie is a synthesizer of content strategy, requirements analysis, information architecture, and content management to increase the ROI of content. She has consulted for clients in a range of industries, and on several continents, whose aim is to better leverage their content as business assets. Founder of Intentional Design, she is now the Chief Knowledge Officer of London-based Scroll. She is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, she has worked in the content business for over two decades. She is co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, and co-editor of The Language of Content Strategy, and is working on her third content strategy book,

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