Friday, December 4, 2009

Gilbane Boston 2009 Content Management Conference

Spent Wednesday afternoon at the East Coast iteration of the Gilbane content management conference. A lot of activity...a whole lot of vendors. Credit to the Gilbane folks for a crammed exhibit hall. But in talking to many of the technology companies in attendance, there were few potential clients walking the floor...and even fewer buyers. This isn't a surprise so close to the holidays as people are rightfully distracted, only compounded by the economic environment.

Picked up on a couple of major themes, at least as portrayed by the technology companies there.

1. 'Traditional' web-CMS companies are heavily focused on providing services that allow for site personalization...i.e. the ability to customize the site experience based on customer specific preferences. The problem with this...most websites can infer very little from an IP address (at least very little when it comes to customer segmentation). There is still a long way to go to match customer type (prospective customer) with site content but at least the technology is there.

2. The ubiquitous SharePoint. A major strength and problem is flexibility. This has led to legions of consulting firms dead set on implementing solutions. As with most markets that begin to mature, the newest craze is packaged SP solutions and an increasing number of add-on products. One of our issues continues to be the lack of attention to the way in which information is architected from the outset of any SP engagement. The most frequent response to my question: "how do you organize content" is "ahhh...hmm...we usually use the client org chart."

3. Control mechanisms for corporate social collaboration. Control social collaboration? Good luck with that.

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