Content management

>> Saturday, September 26, 2009

Content management, or CM, is a set of processes and technologies that support the evolutionary life cycle of digital information. This digital information is often referred to as content or, to be precise, digital content. Digital content may take the form of text, such as documents, multimedia files, such as audio or video files, or any other file type which follows a content lifecycle which requires management.
As of May 2009, the world's digital content is estimated at 487 billion gigabytes, the equivalent of a stack of books stretching from Earth to Pluto ten times.

The process of content management

Content management practices and goals vary with mission. 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. Typically, though, the digital content life cycle consists of 6 primary phases:
archive and;
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 Later that content may be superseded by another form of content and thus retired or removed from use.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 implementation must be able to manage content distributions and digital rights in content life cycle. Content management systems are usually involved with Digital Rights Management Systems to be able to control user access and digital right. In this step the read only structures of Digital Rights Management Systems force some limitations on Content Management implementations as they do not allow the protected contents to be changed in their life cycle. Creation of new contents using the managed(protected) ones is also another issue which will get the protected contents out of management controlling systems. There are a few Content Management implementations covering all these issues.


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