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Content Management Systems (CMS). CMS: The Basic Definition. Content management systems support the creation, management, distribution, publishing, and discovery of information.
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CMS: The Basic Definition • Content management systems support the creation, management, distribution, publishing, and discovery of information. • Web content management (WCM), systems deliver online content targeted at a corporate website or intranet, to a general external audience, or to highly targeted groups such as pre-qualified customers. • Other CMSs deliver content to subscribers, printers, publishing houses. . .anywhere.
Types of CMS • James Robertson, author of a number of books and industry whitepapers on Content Management has defined a number of CMS types:
CMS Types in detail • Enterprise content management system (ECMS) A core web content management system with additional capabilities to manage a broader range of organizational information. This often consists of document management, records management, digital asset management or collaboration features. • Document management system (DMS) Document management systems are designed to assist organizations to manage the creation and flow of documents through the provision of a centralized repository, and workflow that encapsulates business rules and metadata. The focus of a DMS is primarily on the storage and retrieval of self-contained electronic resources, in their native (original) format.
CMS Types in detail, continued • Records management system (RMS) Information systems which capture, maintain and provide access to records over time. This includes managing both physical (paper) records and electronic documents. • Digital Asset management (DAM) systems support the storage, retrieval and reuse of digital objects within an organization. DAM differs from document management and content management in its focus on multimedia resources, such as images, video and audio. DAM also typically provides rights management capabilities.
CMS Types in detail, continued • Brand management systems are specific applications of the more general DAM category of products to the management of advertising and promotional materials. • Digital imaging system Digital imaging systems automate the creation of electronic versions of paper documents (such as PDFs or TIFFs) and can be used as an input to records management systems. Electronic resources can be manipulated directly by the records system, eliminating the need for physical filing. The DIMS can also output files capable of generating paper documents (.pdf, Flashpaper).
CMS Types in detail, continued • Learning management systems (LMS) automate the administration of training and other learning. This includes registering students, managing training resources, recording results, and general course administration. Learning management systems are designed to meet the entire needs of professional trainers and other educators. • Learning content management system (LCMS) Learning content management systems combine the capabilities of a content management system (CMS) with that of a learning management system (LMS). This allows them to manage both the content of the training materials, and the administration of the course itself.
CMS Types in detail, continued • Geographic information systems (GIS) are special purpose, computer-based systems for the capture, storage, retrieval, analysis and display of spatial (location-referenced) data.
CMS matrix CMSmatrix.org • A web site devoted to helping content managers choose the right tool. • Currently lists over 900 different CMSs • Provides comparison function to help managers discern important differences. • Cmsmatrix.org
What Does a CMS Do? • The short answer is, “whatever you design it to do.” • A properly designed CMS allows many people to make secure and appropriate updates to a site. It gathers current information and makes it available to the right people.
What Does a CMS Do? • Some of the more important capabilities of a CMS are: • Creating and preserving relationships between content pieces, creators and consumers • Creating searchable archives of collective wisdom • Rationalizing the communications streams in corporations • Speeding the creation of appropriate content and its delivery to the relevant audience
Limitations of CMS technology: Advertising • The technology is NOT the point. Organizations often buy overly complicated content management software believing the ‘right’ software solves their problem. The tools must never be the focus. The tasks the site must accomplish are paramount. • Content is NOT king, the customer is. It is an equally bad idea to manage from a content point of view. Communicators love to communicate, but publishing and serving vast quantities of information is not always in your client’s best interest. • The CMS works best when it is integrated with measurements, and web-use measurements are in need of improvement.
Limitations of CMS technology: Public Relations • Technology is still not the point. • An intranet or public website can seem like a nirvana for the PR go-getter, so a clear standard for adding content must be in place. Add content because of a clearly defined need, not a publish-or-perish mentality. • No single tool, language, algorithm, technique, or process can solve all the problems of enormous amounts of information expressed in complex and ambiguous language. The complex relationships and evolving meanings are so intricate that the possibility of a perfect solution for managing all content is still unlikely.
General Guidelines for CMS Design • Manage content, not web pages. Develop fluency with content and you can find the most valuable uses for it. • Reuse existing content when possible and wherever appropriate. • Store content once: Do not create (or allow the workflow to create) copies. • Content is valuable: Content takes a long time to create and update. Do not delete or expire content unless absolutely necessary. In general, more content is better. • Meta-tag your content. Meta data describes essential characteristics of information such as its creator, topic, language, publication history, revision history, page rank, etc. It gives Search Engines and consumers good cues about relative value. • Link content to its users and creators. One of the most valuable dimensions of managing content is understanding which constituents find it most (or least) valuable. • Separate content from presentation: wherever possible, separate display text from HTML and other formatting information.