Is Web Content Management still relevant? (Part II)

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Continued from my previous post on WCM relevancy…

Back in the late 90’s, a good friend of mine chided me when we were listening to a CD in his car and I started making reference to “track numbers”.  His point-of-view was that some day they would all be irrelevant.  In a bought of myopia, I laughed at his foolishness and continued to call out the number to my favorite tracks.

It’s funny now to think about that moment.  When was last time you knew the track number for a song, the page of the sports section with the box scores, or the section of the phone book where you find Thai delivery?

What this all shows is that content has become completely unhinged from the medium in which we traditionally know it.  In many cases, this decoupling has been driven by a strong brand in the marketplace.

  • For music, iTunes has separated the CD and the CD player.
  • Sling has taken watching TV away from the television.
  • Amazon has taken reading the reading of books out of…well books.
  • Even brands like Yelp and CitySearch have unseated the pocket-sized Zagats review as a source for restaurant reviews.
  • What is the Microsoft Surface doing to change not just how we interact with the content, but how we manage the relationships among the myriad sources from which it will pull?

This all doesn’t come without complexity.  Just looking at these few examples, we see a variety of channels and mediums that are being used for delivering content.  Managing all of this in such a way that there is a consistent experience across the channels and it is properly presented for consumption is no easy task.  The bottom line is that it’s no longer just about the web.  Vendors of web content management software, and the buyers of the products, have to think beyond the browser.  The web is just one stop and your strategy for engaging your audience, the experience they will have and the technology that delivers it should be thinking this way.

Comments welcome below and on Twitter @tony_bailey

[UPDATED 07/24/09:Julian Wraith is inviting comments on the “Future of Content Management” on his blog and tracking them on Twitter via #CMSFuture and the MD5 tag 6f82f1d2683dc522545efe863e5d2b73]

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