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What’s Hot in XML? Workshop on Smart Content Describes Leading-Edge Content Applications

What is hot in XML these days? I have been to a few conferences and meetings, talked with many clients, participated in various research projects, and developed case studies on emerging approaches to XML adoption. DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is hot. Semantically enriched XML is hot. Both enable some interesting functionality for content delivered via print, on the web, and through mobile delivery channels. These include dynamic assembly of content organized into a variety of forms for custom uses, improved search and discovery of content, content interoperability across platforms, and distributed collaboration in creating and managing content.

On November 30, prior to the Gilbane Conference in Boston, Geoff Bock and I will be holding our 3rd workshop on Smart Content which is how we refer to semantically enriched, modular content (it’s easier to say). In the seminar we will discuss what makes content smart, how it is being developed and deployed in several organizations, and dive into some technical details on DITA and semantic enrichment.  This highly interactive seminar has been well received in prior sessions, and will be updated with our recently completed research findings.  More information on the seminar is available at  http://gilbaneboston.com/10/workshops.html.

By the way, t The research report, entitled Smart Content in the Enterprise, is now available at the research section at Gilbane.com. It (now available from Outsell Inc) includes several interesting case studies from a variety of organizations, and a lot of good information for those considering taking their content to the next level. We encourage you to download it (it is free). I also hope to see you in Boston at the workshop.

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Guest Post: A Marketer’s Takeaways from Gilbane San Francisco

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Gilbane SF. The conference brought together some of the top content management people from the U.S. and internationally. Overall, one of the things I really enjoyed about the conference was the mix of people on each of the panels — you had analysts, developers and content creators responsible for developing content and building web sites.

I focused on my time on the Customers and Engagement Track and also went to a few sessions in the Content Technology Track. As expected, there was a lot of talk of Web 2.0 and how to implement social into your content management strategy. There were also several sessions examining return on investment (ROI) for implementation.
Keynotes:

  • Jeremiah Owyang from the Altimeter Group kicked off the two day conference with a presentation titled “Your Corporate Website Can be Relevant Again”. His slides and video of his keynote are now available online. Jeremiah laid out an 8-step plan on how corporate websites can evolve into social websites that integrate the social experience into their web site. The best part of his presentation, which you can see on the slides is the real-world examples of sites along each step of the integration process.
  • Jeremiah was followed by Daniel Rasmus who spoke on The Future of Collaboration. My notes from his session are available. My key takeway from Daniel’s presentation was the importance of building a collaborative process within your organization. Everyday policies, such as how workplaces are designed, are all an important part of the social culture of an organization. In simple things, like meeting planning and design, everyone should have a voice. He also spoke a bit about millenials and how to create a work environment that is both supportive of millenials, but also encourages them to knowledge share about things that they know about. [Slides]

Customers and Engagement Track:

  • Audience Engagement Frameworks Case StudiesGert-Jan Schikker from Voetbal International presented on how a leading sports magazine in Holland has incorporated social into its online presence and seen a large increase in traffic and engagement. They’ve not only added social, but they also created mobile platforms, added video and worked with their advertisers and online storefront to create custom experiences based on user data.Michael Fisher from Alterian and Steven Alessi of American Greetings Interactive gave a joint presentation about work they did around the Super Bowl. Alterian used its platform to create a campaign to show 46 different brands the value of monitoring customer sentiment. American Greetings talked about the work they have done to make the online card giving experience more interactive and allow brands to connect to consumers in a positive way. As Michael put it, the key is measurement. If you’re not measuring, there’s no way to know if you’re being successful.
  • How to Mold the Customer Experience: My favorite panel of the entire two days was moderated by Ian Truscott and had Melissa Casburn (ISITE Design) and Randy Woods (non-linear creations) speaking about creating a customer experience on your web site. The thing that made this presentation great was that Melissa and Randy had obviously worked together to build the presentation and incorporate examples from both of their work. The presentation was all about how to research your customers and build personas based on customer research and then use those personas to shape the experience on your web site. The approach to building personas is a great idea as it allows you to use aggregate data. Melissa and Randy also provided some useful information on how to get started with a limited budget and use crowdsourcing to help with the process.
  • WCM as the Digital Marketing Hub: Ian Truscott and Robert Rose gave the final panel of the two days. Being the final panel is not an enviable position as people have been sitting around for two days, but Ian and Robert brought a lot of energy and humor that kept things interesting. Ian set things up by talking about the opportunity of working with customers on your web site. They are coming to your web site because they are looking for information. You have a chance to engage with them, but it’s a brief opportunity and you need to make the most of it. Ian shared an awesome anecdote about a small town men’s suit shop business owner and how he knows how to ask the right questions to provide a custom experience for each person that walks in the door.Robert followed Ian and gave some great real-world examples about how web content management relates to online marketing. Back in the early days of web development, the process was owned by the IT / Tech departments, but your corporate website is really a marketing tool. Marketers need to have the ability to be creative and be able to try things (either A/B testing or multivariate testing) without having to go through a long and involved process. Robert gave a list of things that people could start doing immediately to help separate the marketing process from the technology process.

More detailed notes from these sessions and the others I attended can be found on my blog.

My thanks to Gilbane San Francisco and Robert Rose, who gave me one of his speaker passes to the conference. I’m already looking forward to attending Gilbane Boston later this year.

Sue Anne Reed
http://www.sueannereed.com

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Ask the Analysts about Content Technologies & Strategies

Or collaboration, enterprise social software, search, analytics, market trends, customer engagement strategies, intranet architectures, multi-channel publishing …, or a prediction one of us has previously made that was prescient or presumptuous.

To learn more about the analysts on the panel including links to their blogs and Twitter accounts click on their name below.

K2. Industry Analyst Keynote Debate: Industry Analyst Debate – What’s Real, What’s Hype, and What’s Coming - May 19th 4:00pm – 5pm, Westin Market St, San Francisco

We invite industry analysts from different firms to speak at all our events to make sure our conference attendees hear differing opinions from a wide variety of expert sources. A second, third, or fourth opinion will ensure you don’t make ill-informed decisions about critical content and information technologies or strategies. This session will be a lively, interactive debate guaranteed to be both informative and fun.

Panelists:

Rob Koplowitz, Principal Analyst, Forrester
Hadley Reynolds, Research Director, Search & Digital Marketplace Technologies, IDC
Tony Byrne, Founder, The Real Story Group & CMS Watch
Scott Liewehr, Senior Consultant, Web Content Management, Gilbane Group

How to submit questions:

http://gilbanesf.com

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Marketing, Web Content Management, and Social Software

At the industry analyst session at Gilbane Boston last December, one of the points of discussion was how well spending on web content management systems had held up during the depths of the recession compared to other parts of IT budgets. Everyone on the panel agreed, and Forrester and IDC both mentioned research showing a healthy market for WCM and expected growth (if someone remembers the numbers please comment). This was a surprise to much of the audience, but obviously not to the vendors (well, at least to those reaping the benefit).

Why has/is web content management growing? The one word answer is ‘marketing’ – not vendor marketing, although they are mostly in tune with, and encouraging, the more aggressive pro-activeness of enterprise marketers. And why are marketing executives now better at demanding, and getting,  budgets for WCM? There are a number of reasons, including the paradoxical “to save money” (system costs have come down, large system service contracts costs have not, and SaaS solutions and open source solutions are growing). Most importantly however, is that most organizations have finally figured out that ‘marketing’ means ‘multi-channel, digital, and interactive/social marketing’. This is fundamental. The companies who took advantage of the recession to invest in learning what this means, experimenting with tools, customer interactions, and system integrations, have gotten a bit of a head start, but nobody can ignore this – this is not a ‘nice to have’.

Why is the focus on ‘web content management’ and not something else? All product categories are fluid, and eventually there will be a category, buzzword/phrase TBD, for multi-channel content management that includes tools for social, mobile, tablet, channels etc. But for the foreseeable future, the corporate website(s) will be the hub, however it is accessed.

Well, all I really meant to do in this post was point to the special guide to marketing-focused sessions at Gilbane San Francisco in May, but now you know why. These sessions will also be useful for those in IT (along with our technology track) who support marketing initiatives.

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Content Globalization: Hot Topics at Gilbane San Francisco

We’re featuring multlingual content strategies, practices, and technologies in four sessions on the San Franciso program:

  • Reaching Global Audiences: Case Studies in Multilingual Multisite Web Content Management
  • Breaking Out of the Silo: Improving Global Content Value Chains by Collaborating Across Departments
  • Content Metrics: Tools for Measuring ROI in Global Content Infrastructures
  • Eliminating the Multilingual Multiplier: Addressing the Cost of Producing Formatted Content in Multiple Languages

These topics are among the hot spots on Gilbane’s 2010 Content Globalization Heat Map, which identifies a set of key investments that companies can make today to advance their content globalization practices and overcome language afterthought syndrome. (See this presentation for more information on these concepts.)

We’re in the process of populating the sessions with top-notch speakers. Check the Gilbane San Francisco conference site for updates. Twitter is #gilbanesf.

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Conference topics for Gilbane San Francisco – Updated

Though we are still catching our breath from the Boston conference and the holidays, it is time to get moving on our annual San Francisco conference, which the 3rd week of May this year. The conference site is http://gilbanesf.com, is still mostly populated with 2009 information, but will be updated this week with a new site design and current information. Content from the 2009 event is at http://gilbanesf.com/09/ will be moved to a subdirectory and continue to be available.

In the meantime, The description below is taken from the draft site and will give you a good idea of the topics we’ll be covering. If you are interested in submitting a speaking proposal, remember that the deadline for submissions is January 18. See http://gilbane.com/speaker-guidelines/.

Oh, and the Twitter handle is http://twitter.com/gilbanesf and the hashtag we’ll be using is #gilbanesf.

Gilbane San Francisco 2010
Web, content, and collaboration technology have reached a new level of maturity. This is true in terms of technology, but more importantly, it is true in terms of what businesses expect to be able to do with these tools. Web and enterprise content management permeate every aspect of an organization. Public facing internet sites are the front door to an organizations’ products and services, and where customers, partners and investors engage with the corporate brand and develop perceptions. Internal websites, whether in the form of intranets, blogs, wikis, or portals, provide knowledge workers increasingly efficient ways to collaborate and share knowledge. Customer and internal-facing applications share requirements that call for a number of enterprise content, publishing and infrastructure technologies, such as multi-lingual, social media, search, and integration software.

Gilbane San Francisco is organized into four tracks so that whether you are responsible for marketing, IT, a business unit, or an internal function, you will be able to easily navigate among the conference sessions. If you are responsible for customer-facing business activities start with the Customers & Engagement track, and then add appropriate sessions from the Content Technology & Content Publishing tracks. If your role is focused on internal collaboration, knowledge sharing or support activities, start with the Colleagues & Collaboration track, and supplement it with sessions from the technology & publishing tracks.

Track 1: Customers & Engagement
Corporate websites are now the most important public face of an organization, and the best way to grow, and communicate with, a broader customer base. Successful sales and marketing now requires Web sites that can reach a global audience, a mobile audience, and an audience familiar with social media and used to richer media. Websites also need to be findable, accessible, engaging, real-time & responsive, and have accurate and timely information that is synchronized with other channels. This is a tall order, but it is what your customers expect, and what companies are building.

Attendees:
For anyone responsible for marketing, business, or technical aspects of public facing websites, including, sales & marketing, digital marketing, brand managers, business units with P&L, Web strategists, IT, Web managers, business managers, digital media, e-commerce managers, content managers and strategists.

Topics:
Web content management, analytics, web design and UI, social media, rich media, global reach, multilingual practices, personalization, information architecture, designing for mobile, e-commerce, search engine optimization.

Track 2: Colleagues & Collaboration
Well-designed internal websites for collaboration on projects or operational activities, whether in the form of intranets, portals, blogs, or wikis are critical for supporting modern corporate missions. Social software has reignited interest in enhancing employee collaboration and knowledge sharing, and the right use of social software, alone or combined with an intranet or portal, is a competitive requirement. Employees already use it, and expect it, and can be much more productive with it. While some business use-cases are obvious, companies are a long way from having enough experience to know how best to integrate and deploy different types of social software to best support business requirements.

Attendees:
For anyone responsible for internal websites, portals, collaboration & knowledge sharing activities, including, knowledge managers, product managers, project managers, IT, and content managers.

Topics:
Collaborative authoring, intranets, knowledge management, search, wikis, micro-blogging and blogging, managing social and user-generated content, integrating social software into enterprise applications, SharePoint, portals, social software platforms, enterprise 2.0 strategies.

Track 3: Content Technology
There are many different technologies involved in building web and enterprise content applications. Some of them are simple and some complex, some are open source and some are commercial, some are available via license, some as a service, some are ready for prime time, some aren’t, and some might be ready, but are controversial.

Attendees:
For those who are either responsible for technology decisions, or those who need to keep up-to-speed with the latest technology for enterprise content applications of all types, including, central IT, departmental IT, strategists, and managers who need to know what’s possible and what’s coming.

Topics:
Multi-lingual technologies and applications, XML, standards, integration, content migration, mobile, search, open source, SaaS, semantic technologies, social software, SharePoint, XBRL, and relevant consumer technologies.

Track 4: Content Publishing
Multi-channel publishing has been a goal of many organizations for years, but it is now more important than ever – and not that much easier. In addition to more traditional print and web channels, smartphones, e-book readers, other mobile devices, and even “in-product” displays need to be considered. In addition to more channels, there are more media types to manage. Dynamic publishing is a key business requirement for both single and multi-channel delivery.

Attendees:
For those responsible for content creation, management, and multi-channel/multi-lingual publishing, IT and others that need to learn about publishing technology because of new multi-channel demands, including corporate or commercial publishers, content managers, digital asset managers, documentation managers, and information architects.

Topics:
Multi-channel publishing, multi-lingual publishing, e-books, tablets, mobile, digital rights, digital asset management, documentation, structured content, XML, dynamic publishing, and publishing business models.

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Gilbane Boston call for papers

Gilbane San Francisco is next week, and soon after we’ll be switching our energies to our annual Boston conference. The 2009 dates are December 1-3, and we are returning to the Westin Copley hotel for our 6th year. The first important date is the call for papers deadline, which is June 15th. Instructions for submitting speaking proposals can be found at: http://gilbane.com/speaker_guidelines.html.

The track structure this year will be similar to what we are doing in San Francisco. We are still fiddling with the exact names and descriptions, but currently the tracks are:

  • Web & Business Engagement
  • Managing Collaboration with Colleagues and Customers
  • Integrating, Searching & Publishing Enterprise Content
  • Content Infrastructure Strategies

We’ll be continuing our focus on enterprise use of social software and how it integrates into various business applications. We’ll also be adding more coverage of mobile content strategies and technologies. The mobile channel is no longer just for pure consumer applications, but has a critical role to play in mainstream business applications, for collaborating and content delivery, and much more. "Smartphone" platforms are rapidly becoming at least as important as desktops, notebooks and netbooks. Some specific technology areas at the Boston conference will be:

  • Web Content Management
  • Enterprise Social Software
  • Enterprise Mobile Content
  • Authoring & Publishing
  • Content Globalization
  • XML & XBRL
  • Enterprise & Site Search
  • Semantic Technologies
  • Enterprise Content Management

The preliminary Gilbane Boston 2009 site is live at http://gilbaneboston.com/. If you have questions about speaking proposals email us at speaking@gilbane.com.

UPDATE: We have just created a Twitter account for the conference: http://twitter.com/gilbaneboston, and we’ll use #gilbaneboston for the hashtag. We are going to use our main twitter account for Boston at  http://twitter.com/gilbane

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WCM in the Spotlight at CM Pros Fall Summit 2007

Web content management takes center stage at the CM Pros Fall Summit, November 26 at the Westin Copley in Boston. The keynote speaker is Salim Ismail, who heads up the Brickhouse at Yahoo, a semi-autonomous unit charged with creating cool new things for Yahoo channels. As CM Pros president, I’ll moderate a discussion on new and improved WCM technologies and how they impact content management professionals. Topics on the one-day program include choosing a WCM solution, syndicating web content, wiki/WCM convergence, “2.0” and what it really means for businesses and users, social media optimization, migrating legacy content, WCM and rich media, and more. See the program and list of presenters on the event website.

Early-bird registration fee is $295 for members, $395 for non-members through September 30. Fee thereafter is $395 and $495, respectively. Continental breakfast, lunch and post-program reception included.

CM Pros sincerely thanks its event sponsors: Astoria Software, CrownPeak, Duo Consulting, FatWire, NetReach, and Terminal 4.
Don’t delay. Sign up and get $100 discounts today!

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Gilbane San Francisco 2007 speaker proposals

With the Boston program complete, we have been getting requests for the deadline for speaking proposals for our Gilbane San Francisco conference April 10-13, 2007. We publish this info at http://gilbane.com/speaker_guidelines.html on the bottom of the page when we have it. The deadline for submitting proposals for Gilbane San Francisco 2007 is January 3, 2007.

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Gilbane Boston session descriptions published – registration open

We have now published tutorial and session descriptions for our Fall conference (November 28-30, 2006 Westin Copley Place, Boston MA) and registration is also now open. Speaker details will be added soon.
Conference track descriptions:
http://gilbaneboston.com/06/ConferenceProgram.html
Conference session descriptions:
http://gilbaneboston.com/06/Conference-Sessions.html
Pre-conference tutorial descriptions:
http://gilbaneboston.com/06/Conference-Tutorials.html
Complete conference schedule:
http://gilbaneboston.com/06/Conference-Grid.html

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