For content problems, technology is not the thing

Kristina Halvorson

Hiya. I figured that since the book has been finished for, oh, two months now, that I didn't really have an excuse not to start blogging again.

Anyhow.

So, earlier this week there was a little Twitter exchange that began in response to j. boye's post, Who Should Be on Your CMS Shortlist? (Because j. boye is a "vendor neutral" consultation firm, its findings are very well-respected throughout the EU and beyond.)

Initially, there was a flurry of responses from people who thought one CMS or another really sucked. I also had people asking me which CMS I would recommend, which was kind of weird, as I obviously have no idea about their organization's content management needs.

But here's my point. While the CMS Shortlist is useful in many ways, it's certainly not the best place to start when trying to solve your content problems. No matter what your CMS vendor tells you.

I'm a big fan of iSite's The CMS Myth (and wish they would post more often!), whose central tenet is this: In reality, CMS success hinges on your plan, your people, and your process behind your web content management initiative.

That's content strategy, folks. No matter what CMS vendors promise, no matter how "powerful" a CMS is, a CMS is not going to help make your content more useful, usable, or relevant to your end users. Moreover, a CMS isn't going to solve anything for anyone in your organization who struggles with the day-to-day realities of content creation, delivery, and governance.

Don't try selecting a tool until you really understand what you're trying to build, and for whom. Start with your content strategy.

Here are two related posts by j. boye analyst Dorthe Raakjær Jespersen, well worth reading:

Why IT Should Not Run a CMS Project

Why IT Should Run a CMS Project

One last thing: I'm really excited to be a part of the j. boye Conference in Aarhus, Denmark, November 3-5. Tagline: "A knowledge sharing summit for online professionals." Bring it.