Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: April 2007 (Page 2 of 5)

The Negroponte Laptop

There has been much speculation and lots of quick judgments on the Negroponte laptop project. I’ve found all of the articles and blogs I’ve seen to be so devoid of factual matter, while so packed with unsubstantiated opinion, that I’ve found it impossible to form any kind of judgment of my own on the topic.
Obviously addressing the huge problem of literacy in the third-world is essential to a bright future for publishing. Will this be part of the solution?
Read a truly excellent article here:
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/apr07/4985
It’s that rara avis — an article full of both technical, social and political insight, and extremely balanced in presenting its ideas and information. Fascinating and provocative.

Atex Partners with Ektron to Provide Online Content Management Solution for Media

Atex has taken the next step towards offering new and complementary delivery means for media content by partnering with Ektron, Inc. of Nashua, New Hampshire, to offer its CMS400.NET system for use in the media industry. The CMS400.NET system is integrated with Atex’s Editorial Content Management systems to allow flow of information to the Web site and from the Web site into the print publication system. Editors and content managers are able to make use of multiple publication delivery means, using print, online, e-mail, SMS messaging, vidcasts and podcasts. The Atex integration of CMS400.NET utilizes Web services to allow content, which could exist in many formats, text, audio, video, flash or images, to move easily between the two systems, along with its associated metadata. This provides a way to make the most of not only article and image content for the Web, but also to utilize online data, such as blog posts, comments, form data and poll data in the print system. http://www.atex.com, http://www.ektron.com

Webinar Alert: Managing Multiple Websites

We hear it time and again in our engagements with enterprise users who are solving business problems with content technologies. What’s the right mix of business and IT when it comes to success? Today, one specific context for this question is the development of an overarching, enterprise-wide web strategy. Global businesses demand multiple websites, both internal and external. The challenge of managing their development, deployment, and maintenance can be overwhelming. Or not, given the right technology and processes for multi-website content management.
Gilbane’s Bill Trippe talks with Michelle Huff, principle product director, Oracle Content Management, about effective multisite management.
Multiple Websites: Driving You Crazy, or Driving Your Business?
Wednesday, May 2, 9:00 am PT
Registration is open. Registrants receive a complimentary advance copy of the new Gilbane white paper, The Multi-Website Challenge in Enterprise Content Management: Balancing Control and Distributed Content Creation.
If you have issues you’d like Bill and Michelle to address in the webinar, please post comments to this entry, and we’ll include them in the discussion. You can also send email to bill@gilbane.com.

The User Experience and the Importance of Rich Media

As the consumption of Web content becomes more highly scrutinized by business managers measuring the effectiveness of corporate information portals and online retailers analyzing conversion rates for their marketing campaigns, the importance of rich media as a fundamental enabler of the ideal user experience has reached the critical point both for enterprises choosing WCM solutions and vendors selling them. Over the past year, companies have begun prioritizing in their selection criteria the ease with which business users can create highly-usable Web sites containing multiple rich content types. Because design agencies are repositories of expertise in site usability, it is not surprising that the market has seen a dramatic rise in their influence on enterprise selection processes. Web design firms now influence 15-20% of all enterprise-wide WCM solution purchases in the U.S. and 25-30% in Europe (including systems integrators with usability domain expertise).

What does this mean for enterprises? First, it means that they can use design agencies as leverage points to ensure that vendors with the most usable solutions win their business. Secondly, it means that WCM solutions themselves are improving rapidly in terms of usability. Software vendors know that no longer can corporate IT departments prioritize low-level feature-functionality over interface design, and therefore enhancements to user interfaces are far outstripping those to extended feature-function lists. Lastly, the increased use of analytics packages to measure the performance of WCM systems against pre-defined goals means that the ROI for these systems is becoming both more quantifiable and – very likely – more positive.

StreamServe Partners with Adobe to Support XML Forms Architecture for Dynamic Enterprise Publishing

StreamServe Inc. announced it has entered into an agreement with Adobe Systems Incorporated to provide support for XML Forms Architecture (XFA), the format of Adobe LiveCycle Designer software. This collaboration provides a common design environment for the production and distribution of business-critical documents in support of both interactive and high-volume output processes. XFA combines the data and capabilities of XML with rich presentation capabilities for multi-channel delivery, including PDF. Adobe LiveCycle Designer enables the creation of dynamic XFA form templates. This software supports XML data and schema bindings, enhances document security with template designs for digital signatures and enables compliance with government accessibility requirements for online forms. With it, anyone with Adobe Reader software can participate in secure, interactive data capture processes that extend to customers, partners or suppliers. Examples include new account applications, bid response or correspondence generation. StreamServe Persuasion permits companies to take information from enterprise applications such as ERP, CRM, SCM and legacy systems and transform it into business correspondence that acts as a dynamic and personalized marketing vehicle for cross-sell, up-sell and brand building. http://www.streamserve.com

The FAST acquisition of Convera

It has been a couple of weeks since the announcement that Fast Search & Transfer would acquire Convera’s RetrievalWare, a search technology built on the foundation of Excalibur and widely used in government enterprises.

At a recent Boston KM Forum meeting I asked Hadley Reynolds, VP & Director of the Center for Search Innovation at Fast, to comment on the acquisition. He indicated Fast’s interest in building up a stronger presence in the government sector, a difficulty for a Norwegian-based company. I remember Fast as a company launching in the U.S. with great fanfare in 2002 (http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=17223 ) to support FirstGov.gov, a portal to multi-agency content of the U.S. Government. That site has recently been re-launched as http://www.usa.gov/ using the Vivisimo search portal. There must be a story behind the story, as I hope to learn.

To add to the discussion, last week I moderated a session at the Gilbane San Francisco conference at which Helen Mitchell, Senior Search Strategist for Credo Systems and Workgroup Chairperson for the Convera User Group, spoke. I asked Helen before the program about her reaction to the recent announcement. She had already been in contact with Fast and received assurances that Convera Federal Users would be well supported by Fast and they want to actively participate in conversations with the group through on-line and in-person meetings. Helen was positive about the potential for RetrievalWare users gaining from the best of Fast technology while still being supported with the unique capabilities of Convera’s semantic, faceted search.

Erik Schwartz, Director of Product Management from Convera, was also present; I encouraged him and Helen to leverage the RetrievalWare user community to make sure Fast really understands the unique and diverse needs of search within the enterprise. We are all well aware that in the rush to build up large customer bases with a solid revenue stream of maintenance, vendors are likely to sacrifice unique technologies that are highly valued by customers. A bottom-line round of pragmatic cost cutting usually determines what R&D a vendor will fund, foregoing the long term good will that could accrue if they would belly-up to integrating these unique features into their own platform.

Time will tell how serious Fast is in giving its new base a truly valuable customer experience. I would also note that this acquisition has also been observed by a broader information management industry publication, Information Week. See David Gardner’s article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=198701793.

Gilbane San Francisco

Well, I’d have to say it was a very good conference. Attendance was up, San Francisco was sunny and warm, and I thought the sessions were very good.

I had the advantage/disadvantage of being one of the track chairs of the publishing track, which meant that I had to attend all six publishing sessions. I managed to catch the keynotes as well, which were jam-packed. But I’ll leave it to others to discuss the other tracks and sessions.

We tried to expand the publishing track this spring from a focus solely on automated publishing (we brought that topic down to one session). The subject is important, and very relevant to the rest of the Gilbane conference content, but we had the clear intention of making the publishing track much broader in scope than it had been before.

Steve Paxhia very kindly allowed me to lead off with what was really a dual session. I introduced my new web site: www.thefutureofpublishing.com, but also spoke more broadly on the subject. I’ve got a ton of material that I’m slowly loading onto the Web site, and nine years of research behind it.

We then moved to “Publishing Automation: What Can You Do Today?” and had three great speakers tackle the topic. OK, they were all book publishers, but each had a markedly different approach, and I decided, in the end, that listening to three approaches to a similar problem might be more interesting than three approaches to completely different challenges.

The topic “How Will Internet Communities and Collaboration Technologies Change Publishing Best Practices?” was a tough one, and Steve and his speakers handled it very well. This subject is so slippery. Do you need to create a community on your Web site? What is the ideal extent of collaboration? I was left with the clear sense that community and collaboration are essential to nearly all publishing Web sites.
We then featured two sessions on cross-media publishing strategies. Bill Rosenblatt is the expert. It struck me that there are still a lot of unanswered questions around cross-media publishing, but absolutely no question about the necessity and reality of this phenomenon — not only is it essential, but the tools are there today.

Bill Trippe wasn’t available to moderate “Publishing for International Audiences: Top Challenges and Best Practices” but he had selected two great speakers: Stéphane Dayras, technical services manager for Quark in Europe, and Ben Martin, senior analyst at Flatirons Solutions in Colorado. They were the perfect pairing. Stéphane introduced the topic broadly, and offered a true international perspective. Ben is “the scientist,” and showed extensive details of planning for this tough challenge. Most of the audience stayed behind for an extra half-hour.

Where do we go from here? I’d love to hear from attendees with suggestions. I think we still face a challenge effectively blending this publishing content into the broader Gilbane conference. But I think we’ve given it a home.

Open Publication Structure 2.0 Elevated to IDPF Member & Public Review

Nick Bogarty from the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) writes that the Open Publication Structure (OPS) 2.0 has been elevated for IDPF Member and Public Review. The review period will begin today and extend for 30 days ending on Wednesday, May 16th, 2007. The IDPF strongly encourages feedback from potential users, developers and others, whether IDPF members or not, for the sake of improving the interoperability and quality of IDPF work.
You can view the draft document here. Feedback on the draft specifications should be made by posting a reply to the forum topic, and sample OPS 2.0 files can be found for download here.

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