Curated content for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Day: March 23, 2010

I Don’t Have Time to Read, I’m in Publishing…

Here’s an old joke of mine I’ve unearthed from the olden times when I was first a developmental editor and then an acquisitions editor at a professional resource and textbook publisher.  

If you don’t think the joke is funny, you’re right.  The feeling among those in publishing of being pressed to absurd extent is a very common one, what a good friend of mine calls “running around with your hair on fire.”  Let’s face it: the practice of publishing, with its tight margins, immovable deadlines, and wide scope of responsibilities is fraught with demands on time.  The Gilbane Publishing Practices group certainly sees this.

One of our ongoing efforts is the upcoming report, A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Systems to Re-Invent Publishing, where we’re defining the many systems common across many different kinds of publishing, and describe the technological and process barriers still facing almost every publisher as it moves toward building a successful digital publishing operation.  And, yes, the demands already in place upon the various line-of-business departments are exhausting even to survey.  Add the demands placed upon publishing organizations to create processes that make digital publishing a reasonably good profit center, and it can feel that there is barely time to breathe.  Running around with hair on fire, indeed.

The Gilbane Group means content management, and the long-standing argument that the business of enterprises goes better when content is findable, retrievable, and usable has long been proved by the practices of innumerable enterprises.  With the catchphrase “Every enterprise’s second business is publishing,” it is not surprising that Gilbane has a lot of clients not only in the CMS technology vendor space, but also in the publishing end-user/implementer space.

While there are many similarities between publishers and other enterprises that have a lot of content they need to manage, there are unique aspects too.  Here are a couple examples of the differences: managing royalties and dealing with rights.

Yes, tracking royalties is a sort of accounting issue, and many enterprises—especially those dealing with a lot of rich media—need to take care with rights.  But in publishing, royalties and rights are central to the business.  How does a publisher integrate these key elements of the business with the technology platforms used in other parts of the business process?

Our upcoming report will be quite specific about the real state of opportunity in digital publishing, which means that we’ll need to answer many questions, including the ones about royalty and rights handling.  So it is our turn to run around with our hair on fire, but we promise to still have time to read your comments and inquires about our latest efforts.

Of course, it goes without saying that if one doesn’t have time to read, one probably will be hard-pressed to take a survey: nonetheless, that is exactly what we’ll soon be asking publishers to do.  The survey will be from the book publishers’ perspective and their experiences and concerns about expanding or starting digital publishing programs.  Stay tuned for more specific information on this and for the survey kick-off.

For more information about our Publishing Practices consulting services and our multi-client-sponsored studies, contact Ralph Marto.

Congrats to New CM Pros Board Members and Officers

Congratulations to recently elected officers, and to new CM Pros board members Saravanan Rajan, Brett Zucker and Ian Truscott!

Content Management is often loosely defined but covers a virtual ecosystem of vendors and practitioners. The 2010 CM Pros board extends a call to the community of practitioners to further define product niches and areas of specialist expertise. The goal is to guide the market and the people that look to CM Pros.

Board-appointed officers for the coming year are:

  • Scott Liewehr, President (Senior WCM Consultant at Gilbane Group and Principal at onesta)
  • Saravanan Rajan, Vice President (Chief Technology Officer for CoSI Consulting)
  • Ayse Kok, Secretary (PhD Student, ICT Consultant, and Researcher)
  • Brett Zucker, Treasurer (Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at Bridgeline Software)
  • Ian Truscott, Director (Product Strategist, Alterian)

Look for action from this board as they gear up for a full season of activities that will engage the Content Management community. Be sure to join CM Pros at their Spring Summit at The Gilbane Conference (http://gilbanesf.com), May 18 in San Francisco.

About CM Professionals
Founded in 2004, CM Pros provides information, expertise, and support to global content management practitioners and related professionals and the organizations they serve. Through peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, educational events, and advocacy of respected practices, the association fosters a better understanding of this critically important discipline.

Join CM Pros on the Web at www.cmprofessionals.org.