Check out the Updated Gilbane Boston conference site

The program for our annual Boston event is about 98% complete. We have a great keynote line-up with more to come, 30 additional conference sessions, 6 pre-conference workshops, and 12 product labs. Other useful links are sponsors & exhibitors, speakers, registration, and hotel. Note that we moved from the Westin Copley to the Waterfront Westin this year to be in the new Boston Innovation District and fast-growing Seaport / Fort Point Channel neighborhoods.

Gilbane Boston speaking proposals deadline

Update – We have received a phenomenal number of proposals – almost 50% more than last year. We have also had a huge number of requests for extensions, so we have extended the deadline for speaking proposals through next week – until May 28th. Don’t delay though, as our program committee is already pouring over the proposals we have.

Proposal Deadline: May 16th 28th, 2011

The Gilbane conference is all about helping organizations apply content, web and mobile technologies to communicate with their ecosystem of customers, employees, suppliers, partners, and the rest of the world in the most effective and efficient way possible.

This means understanding what technologies can and can’t do, what practices in applying them succeed or fail, and how to plan for changes in market and technology evolution. We bring together a diverse audience of technologists, marketers, strategists, business managers and analysts to learn, share, and debate best practices and strategies. Our conference is organized into four tracks so attendees in marketing, technology, a business unit, or an internal function will be able to plan a customized agenda.

To submit a proposal for a presentation or panel to contribute your expertise and experience, please see the topics below listed for the four tracks, then follow the instructions and guidelines for submitting proposals using our proposal submission form. Send any questions to

You can also learn more by visiting the conference website at, where you can also see information from our 2010 conference.

Customers & Engagement track
Topics to be covered include: Web content management, content strategies, analytics, web design and UI, social media, digital and cross channel marketing, rich media, global reach, multilingual practices, personalization, information architecture, designing for mobile devices, e-commerce, search engine optimization. Read more

Colleagues & Collaboration track
Topics to be covered include: 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. Read more

Content Technologies track
Topics to be covered include: Multi-lingual technologies and applications, smartphone, iPad and tablet app development, XML, standards, integration, content migration, search, open source, SaaS, semantic technologies, social software, SharePoint, and relevant consumer technologies. Read more

Cross-channel Publishing track
Topics to be covered include: Multi-channel publishing, multi-lingual publishing, mobile app and digital product development and marketing strategies for the iPad, and other tablets and ebook readers, mobile content management, digital rights, digital asset management, DITA, documentation, structured content, and XML. Read more

Follow the conference on Twitter at Tag: gilbaneboston


Sneak peek at the conference community site to be announced next week.

Publishing Disruptors On Stun

PW Daily, in an article “Montlake Romance Marks Tip of Amazon’s Expansion Into Publishing,” by Rachel Deahl (May 04, 2011), reports that Amazon is establishing an imprint—actually, a series of imprints—that pushes Amazon further along the path of becoming a publisher itself.  In fact, Amazon is far enough along this path to declare them a publisher, fait accompli.

The recent Amazon activity at least suggests a disintermediation of traditional publishers. I’ve addressed this topic in more depth in the blog entry, The Amazon Publisher

The Wisdom of Crowds… for eBook Advice

I just finished a thought experiment—perhaps the first of many of its ilk—trying to analyze the efficacy of the advice gained through LinkedIn groups. I looked at one thread in one of my LinkedIn groups—Digital Book World—concerning how one goes about selecting an ebook production platform.  I copied it all, cleaned it up, edited it, and looked at what the aggregation of advice really provided. The full treatment is here.

Now, just a couple of dozen groups, and several thousand threads to go…

Multilingual Marketing Content: Growing International Business with Global Content Value Chains

Our latest on content globalization practices, Multilingual Marketing Content: Growing International Business with Global Content Value Chains, which infomed the presentations for the webinar Scott mentions below, was made available as a free download at last week. We believe this report is the first study ever of global companies’ practices for managing multilingual content for marketing. The report is also available from study sponsors Across Systems, ADAM Software, Lionbridge, and SDL. Check it out!  

Just Published: Outsell Gilbane Study on Multilingual Marketing Content

Our 2011 report describing the current state of practice for globalizing multilingual marketing content is available now through March 31 exclusively through study sponsors  Across Systems, ADAM Software, Lionbridge, and SDL.

Multilingual Marketing Content: Growing International Business With Global Content Value Chains features a major update of the global content value chain, Gilbane’s framework for helping companies plan and manage their globalization practices. The new value chain adds core competencies to the existing functional view of multilingual content processes, and it clearly ties the value chain to business outcomes.

Study data includes top business goals and objectives and the investments that marketing and localization managers are making in programs and initiatives that support those goals. The analysis covers what marketing organizations can learn from product content groups, who are generally further along the content globalization maturity curve.

The report will be available directly from the Gilbane website starting April 1. In the meantime, please visit a sponsor site to access the study, and check this blog for research highlights and insights.

New Paper: Taking Online Engagement to the Cloud

I am pleased to say that my third paper for Outsell’s Gilbane Group was published yesterday, in which I return to thinking about cloud computing and the benefits it offers for deploying web experience and engagement technologies.

Titled Taking Online Engagement to the Cloud this short beacon paper looks to provide a guide to digital marketers, senior IT folks and business analysts faced with the decision to deploy these technologies outside the server room. In it we set out to answer the following questions:

  • What do we mean by the cloud? There is a great deal of hype, sales, and marketing messaging around “the cloud.” We explore what it really is and the opportunities it represents for digital marketers.
  • What are the deployment options when working with a cloud platform partner? The decision around deploying to the cloud is not always a binary choice to host in the server room or not. We look at possible solution architecture options and the benefits of each.
  • What do organizations need to look for in a WEM solution in the cloud? If deploying into the cloud is an attractive option for an organization, we consider the key attributes that organizations should build into their selection criteria when choosing a solution.

As with all of our papers, once you register you can download it for free from the Beacon area of our website. While you are there, I suggest taking a look at our Whitepapers section, scrolling down a little to the Engage Me! paper by Mary Laplante. I think it’s a great introduction to our research on the business practice of web engagement and web experience.

I hope you enjoy the paper and I’d very much like to hear your feedback – either here or you can find me on Twitter (@iantruscott)

The paper was sponsored by FatWire and we are looking forward to joining them on a webinar to explore this subject further – follow us on Twitter for an announcement on that. 

Insight from the Real World: Buying a WCM Solution for Multilingual Web Presence

Our readers are familiar with language afterthought syndrome, a term we coined in our report on Multilingual Product Content: Transforming Traditional Practices Into Global Content Value Chains.

Language afterhought syndrome refers to that pattern of treating language requirements as secondary considerations within content strategies and solutions. Global companes leak money and opportunity by failing to address language issues as integral to end-to-end solutions rather than ancillary post-processes. Examples abound. Source and translated content that should be reusable, but isn’t. Retrofitting content to meet regulatory requirments in different regions. Lost revenue because product and marketing content isn’t ready at launch time. Desktop publishing costs that are incurred soley due to reformatting in multiple languages. The list goes on and on.

One of the most effective defenses against language afterthought syndrome is baking language requirements into the technology acquisition process, thereby embedding support into the infrastructure as it’s designed, developed, and built out. OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) recognized this opportunity when it embarked on an ambitious transformation of its web content globalization practices. Debra Lewis, web content manager at OCLC, and our friend Andrew Lawless, principal at Dig-IT Consulting, shared their experiences in a terrific session at Gilbane Boson 2010 entitled "Next Thing You Know — You’re Global!" 

The presentation delivered by Deb and Andrew is available on the Gilbane conference website (follow the link and click on slides for session E3) . Highlights include Deb’s characterization of the signs of stress. On the production side:

  • Spend more time finding “creative solutions” than creating new content or managing site strategy
  • Use features of your CMS in ways not originally intended
  • Can’t upgrade to new releases without corrupting your pages

On the business side:

  • Localization addressed at the point of publication
  • Turnaround for day-to-day edits increases—affects relationships with internal clients
  • Distributed authors “give up” and relinquish editing rights
  • Team stress increases

These stress points led OCLC to commit resources to evolving its global web content strategy.  Deb and Andrew then walked our audience through OCLC’s three-phased transformation:

  1. Get a translation service provider
  2. Get a new CMS that would scale
  3. Get a translation management system

The portion of the presentation on selecting a web CMS with well-defined multilingual requirements will be especially valuable to any organization wanting to eliminate the negative impacts of language afterthought syndrome. Deb and Andrew described OCLC’s selection process and timeline, CMS selection criteria, prioritized globalization features, key standards that would need to be supported, text and language requirements, and requirements for integration with translation workflows.

Many global companies are now rearchitecting their web strategies for global presence and audience engagement. We see this as a major technology and investment trend for 2011. The insight offered by OCLC couldn’t be more timely.The organization’s experience offers a treasure trove of guidance for companies who are evaluating new web content management systems with language requirements among their priorities.

Thanks to Deb and Andrew for a great contribution to Gilbane Boston.