Thursday, 17 November 2011

Content strategy & CMS development

I've been reading some great stuff on a site called CMS Myths. It's reassuring to me that most organisations seem to experience the same frustrations and pain with their content management system. And it's ironic that content and content strategy is so often the poor relation when it comes to planning the procurement or development of the tool.

The management of a CMS is so rarely driven by what it's designed to do: manage content. It is however, often driven by things like technical development considerations, graphic design and cost cutting agendas. And this so misses the point.

The content is often where the value is, it's what the website visitor is there to consume, it's what can save the organisation money or generate revenue and enhance the brand.

The website is providing me with lots of interesting reading right now, but one thing that's worth a quick read by anyone who uses or manages a content management system-driven website is their CMS Wisdom Report. Basically a collection of quotes and advice from people who use content management systems.

The same strories come out time and time again: don't underestimate the ongoing costs and responsibilities, don't believe the vendor when they promise you the earth, and invest in your website editors. It's the people that make the website, not the tool.

I particularly liked:
“A bad implementation of a good CMS is a bad solution.”
CMS Wisdom from the Trenches - article on with free download of CMS Truths Report

And a related note, a blog post by content strategist Lisa Welchman, reflecting on a recent content strategy conference at which CMS implementation was discussed. The line that particularly caught my eye:
The lack of understanding and clarity on both sides of the IT/Content fence coupled with the business and cultural disconnect between these two sides of the organization has made for an interesting dynamic in-house and online (often referred to as “a mess”).
And I think this is exactly the situation we're currently working so hard to avoid right now as we review our CMS and website.

Go Figure: Content Strategists Talking About WCM Systems - blog article by Lisa Welchman

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