Sunday, January 29, 2006

Definition review: Gilbane's CM definition

I had a quick read through Gilbane's CM definition to see if it would spawn any ideas or reactions.

Web publishing meets e-Business. Seems like they want to shrink the definition into meaning web content management, excluding stuff like digital document management. I don't mind this, but personally I prefer to use CM as an umbrella for most of the other management types, including web. And I see that towards the end of the document different analysts views on this are presented. And indeed some of them share my view, Gartner even claims (uh, mind that this was in year 2000) that no full CMS does not yet exist (still a valid claim?). Coincedentially, CAP even uses the term "umbrella".
Oh, and there's a very nice comment on knowledge management (this one's for you, Thommy ;)):

Fortunately, the assault on logic and language that was knowledge management has run out of steam. We'll still see the term used by consultants and some technology vendors (including Microsoft and Lotus), but we won't have listen to specious marketing pitches claiming that managing knowledge will replace managing data, documents, content, etc.

Just to clarify, me and Thommy (good friend and KM-specialist) both agree that KM can envelope CM, and CM can envelope KM-tools. We shouldn't try to deny the usefulness of KM, I think KM's golden age has yet to arrive (knowledge is important, and corporate knowledge is not the same as corporate content). As technology improves, KM-tools will become more feasible. In my experience, a KM-evangelist doesn't try to replace CM with his or her own tools, but include CM in the suite of KM-tools. KM and CM do not compete. I guess this is where the commersialism of Gilbane shines through.

But back to the subject, mixing code and content, no surprises there. There's an interesting view of perhaps seperating transactional information out of the content term, but the theory fails. Any CMS but "brochureware" systems (nice word!) produces/supports transaction, like this very blog has transactional information in shape of the RSS-feed (further down on your right).

All in all, it is an old, but still very valid definition. A bit business oriented, but otherwise it didn't contribute much to my understanding of the term.

Note to all content- and knowledge managers, rest assured: You don't have to know what it is to figure out a good way to do it!