Saturday, April 21, 2007

What is Web 2.0 Content Management? (Part 1)

Describing Web 2.0 ...

"With all the hype that Web 2.0 has gotten, many companies are now looking at their existing Web CMS and wondering whether it meets the new paradigm’s needs or merely traps them in an earlier age of the Web, thereby missing new business opportunities and making them appear dated.

Companies currently looking to acquire a new CMS want their new software to be “Web 2.0 enabled”. But what does this mean in real terms?

This article is the first in a three-part series that addresses content management technologies in the context of a Web 2.0 world. This first article establishes our foundation and a working definition of Web 2.0.

... Principles of Web 2.0
The following 6 principles are our working guidelines for what it means to think and be Web 2.0.

1. Be Informal; Embrace the Bottom-up Model.
The popular ClueTrain Manifesto states that “markets are conversations.” Your audience doesn’t want to be talked at with marketing gloss. They want an honest dialog with real people behind the firewall and with other community members who understand and are active in the site or service context.

If the Web 2.0 world could be characterized one way, we would call it a hairy, grammatically incorrect, often irreverent and sometimes downright offensive conversation.

Loosen the tie and drop the canned answers. The Web 2.0 world embraces organizations, content and services that are candid and accessible.

2. Data is the Application.
Owning unique content is more valuable than owning the software. Your content is even more valuable if you can open it up for broad and creative use.

O’Reilly said “Data is the New Intel Inside”, others have said “SQL is the new HTML”. Boil this down and it means people come for the value living inside your data, and they want to leverage it in ways you may never have imagined.

Don’t let the limitations of your own imagination constrain the value of your content. Open the front door and give ‘em all the side doors they want.

3. Participation is Key.
O’Reilly described this as harnessing the collective intelligence. Get your community of users to participate. This will create the true value of your service or content and keep that value vibrant and dynamic.

Keep in mind that the people that become participants are typically the types who act on a larger stage. They are frequently more avid consumers, better employees and perhaps also the squeaky wheels that affect the opinions of others.

Let interactions be flexible. Trust the crowd. Embrace participants. Give them the tools to share what they know.

4. The Interface Must be Rich, Yet Simple.
When having what we might describe as a Web 2.0 Experience, you no longer have the sensation of clicking from one page to another so much as you have the feeling of being on what Immediacy’s John Goode called an “ergonomic journey.”

Now, we love John’s description, but that may be setting the bar a little high. The bottom line is that the browser-based experience has evolved. You can call this AJAX infiltration or point to the maturation of JavaScript libraries, but regardless of the root, the fact is that end users now expect a significantly more sophisticated client interface.

To be considered a modern web UI, the interface must be functionally rich, response times must be fast and a careful balance must be struck between features and simplicity."    (Continued via CMS Wire)    [Usability Resources]

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