What is Content to You

I was in a meeting this week and we started talking about Enterprise Information Management.  Somehow we got onto a track about, what is this and then what is the information that we are managing?

It got me to thinking about some experiences both while at Project X and before.  Here are some thoughts:

From where do you see the world?

  • At the Server level – it is applications
    I remember being in a meeting with HP in the early dot com days and they saw content as the applications on their servers. 
  • At the Application level – it is data
    That conversation with HP caught me totally caught off guard and said no that is the data and artifacts that those said applications serve up to the world.
    Also new in SOA, the services are now content
  • At the Data level – it is the data again, but it could be applications (stored procedures and the like)
  • At the Network Level – it is the 1’s and 0’s that cross their network (could be data, applications or ???)
  • At the Enterprise – the stuff on our desks, pc’s, servers and everywhere else in our organization.

These are just some of the differences in viewpoints that we all bring with us when talking about these things and why.  So make sure you engage in the conversation and define the core and context around the topic at hand.

  1. Stephen Reply

    Great comment. I totally agree. The challenge though is having everyone who see’s their piece of content provision as important agree.
    Content is King as it is what drives the value to the user/consumer. The challenge though is being able to see who the end user/consumer is and meet their needs while respecting the needs of the the various stakeholders in between.
    This is one of the driving forces behind getting the data into the hands of the user as soon as possible.

  2. mip Reply

    Interesting post Steve.
    This is my perspective.
    Content (which by the way is “King”) is what the end user consumes. Whether that be an article, video, music or data on what his customers are buying – it’s all content. That content comes to you across a network in the form of 1’s and 0’s. It’s housed on a server somewhere either as text, or in some content management system or perhaps a database. It travels the network is comes out to the end user in “some way” – either at their PC in a browser, or perhaps a widget (a portable web component), or on their smartphone or perhaps as a SMS message on their phone.
    To the end user, the person who consumes the content, they don’t care about all the other forms that that content has take prior to getting to them. They only care about getting what they need, when they need it and on whatever device they are currently using. Yes all the other elements are important in ensuring the content gets to the end user, but you can have the best back-end infrastructure in the world, the best device for viewing content, the best browser….but without the best content…it means nothing. So in my mind – there is really only one view of content – they end user view.

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