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Published on April 11th, 2009 | by Rahel Bailie

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CMS selection practices need maturation

Janus Boye, a content management analyst whose skills I have long admired, recently posted an article Is Corruption [in the CM industry] an Issue? In it, he discusses some of the ways that vendors inadvertently, or purposefully, incent buyers to favour their products. I believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg, as my comment reflects; any of us in the industry have been exposed to temptations and have experiences that leave us uncomfortable.

Janus is in the enviable position of living and working “across the pond” where talking about dysfunctions isn’t sanctioned by threats of lawsuits and exposed to the “shoot the messenger” syndrome. On this side of the pond, a CM consultant is expected to turn away, tight-lipped, and not expose irregularities to public scrutiny. When one sees, for example, a CMS contract awarded to a questionable vendor – the vendor rep who leaves the group RFP debrief, where requirements were being discussed, and courts the IT Director instead – any questioning of this manipulation of the system will work against the consultant. It’s as if ethics takes a back seat to the expediency that requires membership to the inside track.

Janus Boye is organizer of the J Boye conference series. At the Philadelphia, online professionals can share knowledge, hear great keynote speakers, and further their professional development. If I weren’t already committed to going to the STC Summit, I would definitely be there.


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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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