Managing Converging Content in Organizations

Managing Converging Content in Organizations

Anne Honkaranta (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) and Pasi Tyrväinen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch396
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Abstract

Content management is essential for organizational work. It has been defined as “a variety of tools and methods that are used together to collect, process, and deliver content of diverse types” (McIntosh, 2000, p. 1). Content management originates from document management. In fact, a great deal of contemporary content management system functionality has evolved from document management systems. Documents are identifiable units of content, flexibly structured for human comprehension (Murphy, 2001; Salminen, 2003). They have traditionally been considered as containers for organizational content. Document management considers the creation, manipulation, use, publishing, archiving, and disposal of documents as well as the continuous development and design of these activities in organizational domains. In different domains, the requirements for document management differ accordingly. For example, manufacturing companies possess a bulk of technical drawings to be managed, and in e-government organizations, the document content may act as a normative reference that needs to be frozen and archived for long periods of time (Honkaranta, Salminen, & Peltola, 2005). Therefore document management in e-government is commonly split into two types: document management focusing on document production and the records management considering document repository management. Research on document management in organizations has been carried out focusing on a multitude of issues, including document standardization (Salminen, 2003), document metadata (Murphy, 1998), document and information retrieval (Blair, 2002), the social role of documents for organizational groups (Murphy, 2001), as well as document engineering (Glushko & McGrath, 2005). The wide selection of content management systems available has evolved mainly from document management systems (Medina, Meyers, Bragg, & Klima, 2002). They combine into single systems various functionalities developed separately in domains such as library sciences, text databases, information retrieval, and engineering databases. The essential features of document management systems cover: • Library services and version management • Management of user roles and access rights • Text retrieval based on metadata and full-text search • Support for document life-cycle and related work- flows • Management of metadata, as information about documents • Multi-channel publishing for a multitude of devices and print A survey on content management systems revealed that many of the systems still have a monolithic and closed architecture and their ability to adopt proprietary encodings is scarce (Paganelli & Pettenati, 2005). Contemporary content management systems’ support for access management and for customizing workflows for integrating content into organizational processes may be modest. For example, the popular Microsoft SharePoint Server (http://www.microsoft. com/sharepoint/default.mspx) only assigns access rights to folders, not to individual files or units within the files. Content management software may include limited functionality for the design and management of an organization’s Web site. The applicability of the document management approach and the systems for content management have been limited due to an orientation towards using documents as the only unit for managing content. As a consequence of this approach, long documents are difficult to browse through, portions of document content are difficult to reuse in other documents, and long documents are inconvenient for Web delivery (Honkaranta et al., 2005). At least two recent approaches on content management which aim at complementing these weaknesses can be identified. These are Web content management and the use of structured documents in the form of XML.
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Introduction

Content management is essential for organizational work. It has been defined as “a variety of tools and methods that are used together to collect, process, and deliver content of diverse types” (McIntosh, 2000, p. 1). Content management originates from document management. In fact, a great deal of contemporary content management system functionality has evolved from document management systems.

Documents are identifiable units of content, flexibly structured for human comprehension (Murphy, 2001; Salminen, 2003). They have traditionally been considered as containers for organizational content. Document management considers the creation, manipulation, use, publishing, archiving, and disposal of documents as well as the continuous development and design of these activities in organizational domains. In different domains, the requirements for document management differ accordingly. For example, manufacturing companies possess a bulk of technical drawings to be managed, and in e-government organizations, the document content may act as a normative reference that needs to be frozen and archived for long periods of time (Honkaranta, Salminen, & Peltola, 2005). Therefore document management in e-government is commonly split into two types: document management focusing on document production and the records management considering document repository management.

Research on document management in organizations has been carried out focusing on a multitude of issues, including document standardization (Salminen, 2003), document metadata (Murphy, 1998), document and information retrieval (Blair, 2002), the social role of documents for organizational groups (Murphy, 2001), as well as document engineering (Glushko & McGrath, 2005).

The wide selection of content management systems available has evolved mainly from document management systems (Medina, Meyers, Bragg, & Klima, 2002). They combine into single systems various functionalities developed separately in domains such as library sciences, text databases, information retrieval, and engineering databases. The essential features of document management systems cover:

  • Library services and version management

  • Management of user roles and access rights

  • Text retrieval based on metadata and full-text search

  • Support for document life-cycle and related workflows

  • Management of metadata, as information about documents

  • Multi-channel publishing for a multitude of devices and print

A survey on content management systems revealed that many of the systems still have a monolithic and closed architecture and their ability to adopt proprietary encodings is scarce (Paganelli & Pettenati, 2005). Contemporary content management systems’ support for access management and for customizing workflows for integrating content into organizational processes may be modest. For example, the popular Microsoft SharePoint Server (http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/default.mspx) only assigns access rights to folders, not to individual files or units within the files. Content management software may include limited functionality for the design and management of an organization’s Web site. The applicability of the document management approach and the systems for content management have been limited due to an orientation towards using documents as the only unit for managing content. As a consequence of this approach, long documents are difficult to browse through, portions of document content are difficult to reuse in other documents, and long documents are inconvenient for Web delivery (Honkaranta et al., 2005). At least two recent approaches on content management which aim at complementing these weaknesses can be identified. These are Web content management and the use of structured documents in the form of XML.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Web Content Management: Management of content intended primarily for web delivery. Grain size of the content unit is typically smaller (e.g., a page or a paragraph) than that of documents.

Metadata: Data describing the content from the viewpoint of humans or computers. Metadata may describe the domain in which content is used, as well as collections, classes, units or processable portions of the content and content instances. Metadata enables content search, classification, and processing. Whereas humans may use and interpret metadata about documents, the metadata about the small units of content is primarily meant for computerized manipulation of content.

Content Aggregation: (noun/verb) : A set of existing content units collected together for a specific use purpose. An aggregation may contain several versions of the same unit of content, and its creation may require human involvement.

Template: A combination of static content, references to units of existing content, and program code for producing the content and navigation aids for a Web site.

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