Content Management Vendors: We Do Social Stuff Too
June 30, 2008
After a wonderful flight with exceptional service from caring airline employees, I had to read this headline twice to make sure I wasn’t in some state of delirium. The headline is “Content Management Software Vendors Eye Social Networking”. The essay is authored by Larry Dignan, and he does a great job of catching my attention. This headline and essay are keepers.
The key point to me is:
In other words, social networking will become a generic enterprise feature at some point. These CMS players can develop their own community suites (and hire staff that understands the social types), acquire white label networks or just hang back.
The trigger for this story is a consultant report. I can’t recall which firm stuffed full of pundits came up with this observation, but I think there is some truth to content management vendors’ chasing the rainbow of social search, social content, social chit chat, and social anything.
The reason is not far to seek. CMS is a faux application that often doesn’t work very and always costs a lot more than the customer anticipated. I used to write about CMS applications, but after I had to do some clean up in two Federal agencies when systems went off the rails, I just stopped paying attention to the vendors in this software sector.
Content management is software that tries to convert companies that don’t know much about publishing into publishers. As part of the deal, employees who are not skilled writers will get some help to become more information literate. The CMS then tries to keep track of versions, enforce security, output Web pages, and perform levitation.
Why not include social functions? Social software is as much a part of CMS as any other software function. If you can’t make a system better, just make it bigger, more complex, and more trendy. The reason enterprise publishing systems are gaining traction is a result of the opportunities CMS has created with their over-hyped assertions.
Enterprise search is disappointing. CMS is disappointing as well. Instead of delivering a solution that works, just add social features. Sounds like the enterprise software industry is up
Stephen Arnold, June 30, 2008