One of my professors at university taught her students that your world is only as large as your vocabulary. In other words, you can only discuss a concept if you have the vocabulary to describe it. While I’m sure my professor reserved this statement for profound concepts such as “ecosystems” or “hegemony,” the principle also applies to more pragmatic concepts. In fact, it has become a mantra of sorts as I am asked by companies to talk to them about content management.
It’s a huge paradigm shift to go from thinking of content as a linear document to thinking of it as a collection of objects in a database that get drawn out and used as needed. It’s gratifying to hear, over the course of a meeting, the vocabulary change from “cut and paste” to “re-using content objects” or “pulling out chunks of content.” Learning the vocabulary helps with learning the concepts involved in creating and maintaining content through a content management system. Whether the vocabulary is gained through transferable concepts or through learning new concepts, it is an important aspect of figuring out how content management can be used to meet a business need.
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