management has gotten a lot of press in recent years
in the context of publishing systems for large, content-rich
web sites. But as a concept, content management has
been around in the media and publishing industries
for several years. It is the necessary technology infrastructure
for media businesses that want to leverage their most
important asset -- their content -- for maximum revenue
and brand exposure.
most important elements of content management systems
A centralized, strategic repository for digital content
of all types (audio, video, text, page, still image,
etc.) and formats
A set of processes for loading the content into the
repository and cataloging it
A way of searchi ng for a nd retrieving content from
is the essence of content management's strategic
fit in a media company:
is “managed” content? Managing
content imbues it with several desirable properties,
Integration: all types
of data -- text, image, composed pages,
audio, video, interactive, and mixed-media
content can be stored in one logical
automation: manual labor in cataloging
and indexing content objects when they are entered
into the system is minimized, if not totally eliminated.
can be accessed at any client device equipped with
the proper software and connected to the network.
is easy to find content according to its inherent
characteristics, without having to rely on file and
directory naming conventions.
fit: client software integrates smoothly
with popular content creation and production tools
is maintained at the highest practical resolution
or in flexible data formats, so that it can be easily
converted to multiple product and distribution formats.
is accessible only to those with proper permission,
and where relevant, its rights are managed. Protection
also involves maintaining data integrity through
backups and other means, and resistance to outside
access through firewalls and other security mechanisms.
a content management system involves three steps:
and storing content into the repository.
content from a browser on the desktop.
the content for editing, routing in a workflow,
or distribution through electronic channels.
is the first step:
this step, if content is in physical form, it is
converted to digital form through such means as scanners
and video encoders. If it is already in digital form,
it is loaded directly into the repository. During
the loading process, attributes that describe the
piece of content are created. Examples of metadata
might include author, title, version, format, timecode,
caption, keywords, etc. Some metadata attributes
can be extracted automatically, while others must
be input manually. After metadata creation, the content
management system stores both the metadata and content
in the central repository.
next two steps in a typical content management process
are finding a desired piece of content and then retrieving
and using it in some way:
In this example, a user issues a query against the repository.
The query returns a series of descriptions of content, which
include images. The user selects one of the pieces of content
and then retrieves it in its full-resolution form. The user
could also send the content object to another user, another
process in a production workflow, or an electronic distribution