Content Management

Active Technologies Content Management Systems allow individuals and/or community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a secure website. The tool of choice is Drupal and WordPress.

Access can be restricted to a hierarchy of authenticated users or it can be open to the general public.

Content Management Systems are used for:

  • Corporate web sites
  • Home Owner Associations
  • Community web portals
  • Discussion sites
  • Online Applications
  • Intranet applications
  • Personal web sites or blogs
  • Aficionado sites (fans sites)
  • E-commerce
  • Resource directories
  • Social Networking sites
  • Reference Systems
  • Local Government – Civic Org
 
  • Outside Sales Support
  • Outside Technical Support
  • Online Customer Support
  • Knowledge Base
  • Blogs Books News Articles
  • Collaborative authoring
  • Forums - Polling
  • Peer-to-peer networking
  • Newsletters
  • Podcasting
  • Picture galleries
  • File uploads and downloads
  • and much much more

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From Wikipedia:

Content management, or CM, is the set of processes and technologies that support the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium. In recent times this information is typically referred to as content or, to be precise, digital content. Digital content may take the form of text (such as electronic documents), multimedia files (such as audio or video files), or any other file type that follows a content lifecycle requiring management.

Content management practices and goals vary by mission and by organizational governance structure. News organizations, e-commerce websites, and educational institutions all use content management, but in different ways. This leads to differences in terminology and in the names and number of steps in the process.

For example, an instance of digital content is created by one or more authors. Over time that content may be edited. One or more individuals may provide some editorial oversight thereby approving the content for publication. Publishing may take many forms. Publishing may be the act of pushing content out to others, or simply granting digital access rights to certain content to a particular person or group of persons. Later that content may be superseded by another form of content and thus retired or removed from use.

Content management is an inherently collaborative process. It often consists of the following basic roles and responsibilities:

    Creator - responsible for creating and editing content.
    Editor - responsible for tuning the content message and the style of delivery, including translation and localization.
    Publisher - responsible for releasing the content for use.
    Administrator - responsible for managing access permissions to folders and files, usually accomplished by assigning access rights to user groups or roles. Admins may also assist and support users in various ways.
    Consumer, viewer or guest- the person who reads or otherwise takes in content after it is published or shared.

A critical aspect of content management is the ability to manage versions of content as it evolves (see also version control). Authors and editors often need to restore older versions of edited products due to a process failure or an undesirable series of edits.

Another equally important aspect of content management involves the creation, maintenance, and application of review standards. Each member of the content creation and review process has a unique role and set of responsibilities in the development and/or publication of the content. Each review team member requires clear and concise review standards which must be maintained on an ongoing basis to ensure the long-term consistency and health of the knowledge base.

A content management system is a set of automated processes that may support the following features:

    Import and creation of documents and multimedia material.
    Identification of all key users and their roles.
    The ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different instances of content categories or types.
    Definition of workflow tasks often coupled with messaging so that content managers are alerted to changes in content.
    The ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content.
    The ability to publish the content to a repository to support access to the content. Increasingly, the repository is an inherent part of the system, and incorporates enterprise search and retrieval.

Content management systems take the following forms:

    a web content management system is software for web site management - which is often what is implicitly meant by this term
    the work of a newspaper editorial staff organization
    a workflow for article publication
    a document management system
    a single source content management system - where content is stored in chunks within a relational database

Content management expert Marc Feldman defines three primary content management governance structures: localized, centralized, and federated—each having its unique strengths and weaknesses.[1]

Localized Governance:

By putting control in the hands of those closest to the content, the context experts, localized governance models empower and unleash creativity. These benefits come, however, at the cost of a partial-to-total loss of managerial control and oversight.

Centralized Governance:

When the levers of control are strongly centralized, content management systems are capable of delivering an exceptionally clear and unified brand message. Moreover, centralized content management governance structures allow for a large number of cost-savings opportunities in large enterprises, realized, for example, (1) the avoidance of duplicated efforts in creating, editing, formatting, repurposing and archiving content, (2) through process management and the streamlining of all content related labor, and/or (3) through an orderly deployment or updating of the content management system.

Federated Governance:

Federated governance models potentially realize the benefits of both localized and centralized control while avoiding the weaknesses of both. While content management software systems are inherently structured to enable federated governance models, realizing these benefits can be difficult because it requires, for example, negotiating the boundaries of control boundaries with local managers and content creators. In the case of larger enterprises, in particular, the failure to fully implement or realize a federated governance structure equates to a failure to realize the full return-on-investment and cost-savings that content management systems enable.

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