Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Book review: Bob Boiko's CM-Bible

Note that I'm not all through this book, will update later.

This is more of a summary/thinkscript (hey, cool term! ©2006), using this book as a stormer for the thesis.

Introduction

States the obvious reasons for why Content Management is needed (underlies e-business), informations frenzy, information age, etc.

Part 1: What is Content?

Seems to be a nice place to start. Get the definitions sorted out in an introductory way.

Chapter 1: Defining Data, Information and Content

I was previously used to defining use a definition of data/information/knowledge, but perhaps the Content Management Camp share the Knowledge Management Camp's love for coining new definitions.

The core of this chapter is to define the words Information, and mostly Content, which will be used through the rest of the book.

Given that I know what data and information pretty well, the only surprising thing here is how similar the definition of Content is to that of Knowledge. The former does seem to be somewhat closer to Information (we are not ready for Knowledge Management, we need to do Content Management first).

Content is Information put to use.

Content is Information plus data. By applying a small tag of metadata to information (give it a new status), it might become content.

Liz Orna: Information is knowledge put into a communicative format.

Content is information that you tag with data so that a computer can organize and systematize its collection, management and publishing.

Chapter 2: Content has Format

Binary and nonbinary (ascii, xml) are storage formats.

Be consistent in formatting (use styles/schemes/standards).

Separate format from content so you can reuse.

Format can be categorized into: formatting by effect, method or scope. Funny categorization..

Overall, a very narrow chapter about details in text-composition that for most parts have been overcomed.

Chapter 3: Content has Structure

Content can divide into content types, segmenting into content components, which can be divided into elements, which can relate to other elements by way of outline, index, cross-reference and sequence.

Structure is part of the metadata. It is hard to agree and settle on a structure that can be used for information, and even worse, the structure will change over time.

You can structure by purpose, type or scope.

Overall, a small chapter about a very important aspect.

Chapter 4: Functionality is Content, too!

Indeed, I couldn't agree more. Functionality is content, and the ability to extend and modify functionality should be part of CMS evaluation.

To be continued....

PS: What the ### is up with Writely's line-breaks? Can't I pleeeeeeaase get to edit the html directly?