Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Month: November 2013 (Page 2 of 3)

Can Human Sensors Contribute to Improving Search Technology?

Information Today fall meetings usually have me in the Enterprise Search Summit sessions but this year KM World was my focus. Social networking, social media and tools are clearly entering the mainstream of the enterprise domain as important means of intra-company communication, as many corporate case presentations revealed. But it was Dave Snowden’s Thursday keynote, Big Data vs. Human Data, which encouraged me because he conveyed a message of how we must synthesize good knowledge management practices out of both human and machine-based information. Set aside 52+ minutes and be prepared to be highly stimulated by his talk .

Snowden does the deep thinking and research on these topics; at present, my best option is to try to figure out how to apply concepts that he puts forth to my current work.

Having long tried to get enterprises to focus on what people need to do to make search work meaningfully in an organization, instead of a list of technology specifications, I welcome messages like Snowden’s. Martin White called for information specialists for search management roles earlier this year in a CMSWire piece. While it may be a stretch to call for “search specialists” to act as “human sensors,” it does merit consideration. Search specialists have a critical role to play in any enterprise where knowledge assets (content and human expertise), data retrieval and analysis , and understanding user needs must fit cohesively together to deliver a searchable corpus that really works for an organization. This is not typically an assignment for a single IT professional focused on installing software, hardware and network oversight.

One of the intangible capital assets defined by a recent start-up, Smarter-Companies, Inc., is human capital. Founder Mary Adams has devised a methodology to be used by a person she calls an Icountant. An Icountant establishes values for intangible capital and optimizing its use. Adam’s method is a new way of thinking about establishing asset value for organizations whose real worth has more to do with people and other intangibles than fixed assets like buildings and equipment.

Let’s consider the merit of assigning value to search specialists, those experts who can really make search technology work optimally for any given enterprise. How should we value them? For what competencies will we be assigning jobs to individuals who will own or manage search technology selection, implementation/tuning and administration?

Rather than defaulting to outside experts for an evaluation process, installation and basic training for a particular technology, we need internal people who are more astute about characteristics of and human needs of an organization. High value human sensors have deep experience in and knowledge of an enterprise; this knowledge would take the consultant off-the-street months or years to accrue. People with experience as searchers and researchers supporting the knowledge intensive units of a company, with library and information science training in electronic information retrieval methods must be on the front lines of search teams.

Knowledge of users, what searchable content is essential across all business units, and what is needed just for special cases is a human attribute that search teams must have. Consider the points in White’s article and the wisdom of placing humans in charge of algorithm-based solutions. What aptitudes and understanding will move the adoption of any technology forward? Then pick the humans with highly tuned sensitivity to what will or will not work for the technology selection and deployment situation at hand. Let them place search technology in the role of augmenting human work instead of making human workers slaves to technology adaptation.

If you are at the Gilbane Conference next week, and want to further this discussion, please look for me and let me know what you think. Session E7 will have a special focus on search, Strategic Imperatives for Enterprise Search to Succeed, a Panel Discussion. I will be moderating.

Gilbane Complimentary Technology Showcase Pass

Gilbane technology showcase ticket

 

Can’t make all three days of the Gilbane Conference?  We’ve got plenty going on in the technology showcase too. Take advantage of our complimentary showcase pass today.

 

Your Showcase Pass Includes Access to:

  • Six Keynote Presentations
  • All Product Labs
  • Technology Showcase Area
  • Sponsor Networking Reception

Register for your free pass now

Opening Keynotes – December 3: 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Moderator:
Frank Gilbane, CEO, Bluebill Advisors Inc and Founder & Chair, Gilbane Conferences

Speakers:
Gerry Moran, Head of Social Media, North America, SAP
How to Make Yourself a Content Stop on the New Buyer Journey
Meghan Walsh, Senior Director, eCommerce Platform System Management, Marriott International
Rethinking Content Delivery: Moving beyond a Traditional Web Content Management Approach
Scott Brinker, Founder & CTO, ion interactive, inc. and Author, Chief Marketing Technologist Blog
What is a Marketing Technologist?

Opening Keynotes – December 3: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Moderator:
Frank Gilbane, CEO, Bluebill Advisors Inc and Founder & Chair, Gilbane Conferences

Speakers:
Jake Sorofman, Research Director, Marketing Leaders Research Team, Gartner
Move Over Big Data – Here Comes Big Content
Stephen Powers, Vice President and Research Director, Forrester Research
The Context Conundrum?
Tony Byrne, Founder, Real Story Group
ShakesPoint: What the Bard Could Teach Us About SharePoint – And The Digital World

Product Labs

The Product Labs are open to conference attendees and visitors to the technology showcase free of charge, and are moderated and presented by conference sponsors. While the presentations are meant to be educational, they are typically focused on product technologies or customer case studies. They provide a good opportunity to learn more about specific products or vendors. See the schedule here.

Exhibitors

The Technology Showcase provides attendees with a central meeting place and the ability to speak one-on-one with industry-leading exhibitors while learning more about their products and services. See the exhibitors here.

Showcase Hours:

Tuesday, December 3          10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Networking Reception         5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 4    10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

You can also still register for the full conference:

Register today and save $100. Plus, get a free Google Nexus 7 with your ConferencePlus pass

 

PLATINUM SPONSOR            GOLD SPONSORSAlfresco SoftwareCrafter Software
Adobee-Spirit Inc.HP AutonomySDLSitecore

Responsive Design and the Future of Digital Experiences

Digital experience designers are familiar with the approach of responsive design even if they haven’t used it. If they have used it they know it is not quite as easy as it first sounds, and the popularity of responsive design courses suggests there is a still a lot of learning going on. But even if you don’t need to understand the code, if you are a marketing manager you need to know what you can expect responsive design to accomplish and what level of effort it entails.

C2. Responsive Design and the Future of Digital Experiences

Tuesday, December, 3: 2:40 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

Responsive design has been around since the early days of the browser wars, but as mobile channels grew it became both more important and more complex. Gone are the days when new digital channels, form factors, and other device characteristics can be anticipated and digital strategies need to reflect this new reality. This session will provide multiple perspectives on what responsive design can do, what its limitations are, and what its future challenges are.

Moderator:
Tom Anderson, President, Anderson Digital

Speakers:
Scott Noonan, Chief Technology Officer, Boston Interactive
In Koo Kim, Senior Manager, MOBEX, NorthPoint Digital
Scrap the Big Launch, Fly a Kite: How to Create and Maintain Control of Smarter Mobile Apps with Real-Time UI Updates, A/B Testing, and Personalization
Christopher S Carter, General Manager, aLanguageBank
Are You Prepared to Create Content for the Internet of Things?

Speaker Spotlight: Pamela Kostur – Do you have a content control problem?

In another installment of Speaker Spotlight, we posed a couple of our frequently asked questions to speaker Pamela Kostur, Partner at Parallax Communications. We’ve included her answers here. Be sure to see additional Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference.

Pamela Kostur | Gilbane conference | best strategy

Speaker Spotlight: Pamela Kostur

Partner

Parallax Communications

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

For me, it’s always content first. Content should serve its audiences, yet too often, organizations put themselves first, basing their messaging on what they want to tell customers instead of on what customers want to know. So, regardless of the delivery mechanism—web, blog, video, webinar, tweet—I always start with the following questions:

  • What are you trying to say? To whom?
  • Why? What do you want them to know? What do you want them to do?
  • What content and delivery method will best serve audiences’ needs, based on your answers to these questions?

The biggest challenge I see in many of the organizations I work with is definitely content control. Many organizations don’t think beyond individual departments. So, Marketing may “own” one component of the content, but Customer Support owns another version that is different, and possibly inconsistent. I’ve even found inconsistent product descriptions throughout companies’ websites, saying different things about the same products, and providing inconsistent types of information about similar products.

Further adding to the content control problem is that many organizations don’t know what content they have, so instead of modifying/retiring existing content, they add new content to the mix, introducing more inconsistencies. A content strategy should consider all iterations of content, for all outputs, for all users, and bring them together into a unified message that serves the audience and promotes brand consistency.

Catch Up with Pamela at Gilbane

Track C: Content, Marketing, and the Customer Experience

C10. Content Strategies: Customer Experience, Competition, Content Marketing and Curation
Wednesday, December, 4: 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Follow Pamela on Twitter – @Pamela_Kostur.

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Multi-channel Publishing and Content Reuse

We’re big believers in the potential for learning from colleagues in other industries. There are many shared challenges crossing vertical boundaries not always obvious because of different vocabularies, and often a gem can be found in the variety of solutions, or an idea can be sparked by a slightly different lens on the problem. The publishing industry‘s influence on computing and digital experiences goes way back and is especially applicable horizontally – markup languages, style sheets, electronic type – and of course multi-channel publishing. This is why we have usually included a publishing track in our conferences. This session looks at how a couple of publishers have dealt with some thorny multichannel publishing issues.

P2. Multi-channel Publishing and Content Reuse

Tuesday, December, 3: 2:40 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

In this session two publishing organizations report on projects that involve moving publications and existing content from print to multi-channel digital. Business Insurance, part of Crain Communications, implemented a digital publishing strategy that supports interactive digital content and content reuse across print, Web, iOS, and Android, all based on HTML5. Wolters Kluwer Health now creates textbooks with versions for print, multiple eBook formats, and integration with Learning Management Systems and other advanced learning tools. As part of their multi year initiative they report on a recent project where they implemented round tripping between XML and author-editable Word documents, and discusses the technical and organizational problems they solved.

Moderator:
Tom Brown, VP, Multichannel Solutions, HP

Speakers:
Dave White, Chief Technology Officer, Quark Software Inc.
Case Study: Transforming Print Content into Mobile and Web Apps
Ken Golkin, Technical Project Manager, Wolters Kluwer Health
and
Niels Nielsen, Managing Director, Avalon Consulting, LLC
Long Cycle Reuse in Textbook Publishing: Cracking the XML–>Word–>XML Round Trip Nut

 

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