Chris Lamb

Gilbane conference themes – more, bigger and better

I just returned from the Gilbane Conference on Web Content Management in Boston which covered many aspects of web strategy, content and collaboration.

There were really three things that sum up the themes of the conference. There are “more” things that we have to deal with – including more channels, languages, sites and CMS systems.

Data is quickly becoming “bigger” and more complex to manage as the organisation continues to exponentially increase what we’re responsible for managing.

And, as we manage all of this – we have to become “better” at managing engagement with our sales leads, our prospects and our customers.

Putting More “More” Into Context

Christos Cotsakos, the CEO of new WCMS provider Endplay kicked off the conference with a keynote that he called “Quantum Content”. After a barrage of statistics that put the amount of content we are responsible for managing into perspective, he said that “success in our industry will be determined by how we leverage Big Data”. This is an opportunity in Cotsakos’ mind – and he calls it the “Age of Quantum Content”. But regardless of what it’s called – it really introduced a big theme at this year’s conference which was trying to add context to the idea of publishing more content to more channels in more languages.

For example, Arje Cahn, the CTO of Hippo gave an interesting talk called “MultiChannel Is Not Enough” – where he discussed how Context Aware Content Management was not only delivering content in a contextual way – but also managing it through multiple CMS systems, devices and methods. I certainly thought that resonated well with what we do here at Magus. As all this content is going in and out through multiple channels – organisations will increasingly need the assistance of an external process to help monitor and manage the quality of all that content.

All Our Data Is Bigger

Big Data was a big theme of many of the conference sessions at Gilbane.

In a session called “Get Ready For Big Data” – the presenters related that in the next decade “the amount of information managed by enterprise datacenters will grow by 50 times.” And many of the “big risks” that they presented had to do with quality. They discussed how GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) will only be magnified because with Big Data – it will be “super-scale”.

Additionally, in another of the more interesting sessions called “Don’t Be Scared of Content Migration – But Be Very Prepared!” Mark Gross, president at Data Conversion Laboratory – made a number of important points. But maybe none of his comments was as important as the idea that, in today’s world, content “must be structured”. His conclusion was that if data cannot be structured, then it can’t be utilised effectively.  And if it can’t be used – then you risk it being lost altogether.

Doing  More – Better

Finally, there were many discussions about “engagement” and how marketers need to do a better job of creating engaging experiences with web content. This was kicked off in a pre-conference workshop on Tuesday held by Gilbane’s Scott Liewehr and Robert Rose of Big Blue Moose. As captured nicely by the site contentmanagement.com – these two pointed out that content that isn’t engaging might help you get found (e.g. SEO optimised) but unless it’s on-brand, engaging, compelling and useful it won’t help your business really succeed.

Then, on Wednesday, this was echoed by Georgiana Cohen in the third of the keynotes. The former manager of web content and strategy for Tufts University discussed how creating an engaging “story” was one of the most important things a business needed to accomplish.

Content Management Is Ready –  But Prepare Your Process For Success

All in all the sessions felt very bullish and positive. In many of the sessions the idea was proposed that today’s WCM systems have largely solved the “manage content” challenge. But, many cited that the challenge for organisations in 2012 will be the creation of additional value from this giant mountain of content.

With the increase in size and complexity, managing all of this to corporate standards is daunting and critical. Whether it’s monitoring, managing or helping to establish compliance processes for our customers, from where I sit as a team member of Magus – I have great confidence that we can help organisations address this challenge.

To learn more about some of the “more”, “bigger” and “better” content quality and governance challenges that we see organisations dealing with today download our free eBook.