Blend's Chief Strategy Officer Deane Barker joined Jeff Eaton on Lullabot’s Insert Content Here podcast to discuss the art and practice of content management.
An excerpt from their conversation:
JEFF: So, given the breadth of that stuff what kinds of topics are you focusing on in the book? What is the heart of it, do you think?
DEANE: So I think the heart of it is a feature analysis. I’m covering what I would call the four pillars of content management, which is content modelling, the concept of describing a content object and describing how it works and modelling that piece of content; content aggregation, which is the idea of gathering content objects together as a group for presentation; editorial workflow, which is the content creation process and how a CMS supports that — things like versioning and workflow and permissions and things like that; and publishing and distribution management — so once you have all the stuff modeled and aggregated and created, how do you actually get it out in a location where it can be consumed.
I think those four things are really the pillars of content management, and that’s really the central section of the book - four very long chapters about that.
And then it’s bookended by several different introductory chapters — especially things like how do you acquire a content management system. What are the different models — there’s the SAAS model, there's on premises, there's open source. Who are the members of the content management team — you have developers, front end developers, back end developers. Who's going to be on the team?
And then the tail end will be more finer grained concepts like translation, and image and file management, and some of those finer grained concepts.
When you’re writing a book, I think you really have to ask yourself who the audience for the book is. And my audience has always really been my prototypical personal user: it’s going to be a project manager that works in a company and has been asked to investigate or implement a content management system. I’ve always had that user in my head, and so I’m looking at a semi-technical user that does have some IT knowledge but doesn’t know content management in general. I’m kind of going for the ground up for that persona. And that has very much helped. I think that type of person, once they read the book, once they get to the end, they’ll have a very good end-to-end understanding of what a CMS is, what it does, what are the popular features and functions and what an implementation might look like.