About Len

  • Len Devanna offers over 24 years of digital innovation experience at Fortune 500 brands. He helps companies with all aspects of their digital ecosystem, including online strategy, engagement marketing, and social brand management.


  • The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employer and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of anyone other than myself.

    Alltop, all the cool kids (and me) BlogWithIntegrity.com

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Excellent Len. I sent you a briefing request (it's rare I do thsi) for me to take a closer look at Documentum and how it ties to the social web.

Hi Len, Great post. I've been thinking about this too. Here's my train of thought.

In addition to the notion of incorporating social functionality (as you cite, wikis) into content creation tools and processes before publishing, content management strategists/vendors also need to consider how to manage end-user created content that is blended with corporate content. Example scenario: an "official" content record is published by a content provider and managed in an enterprise-grade CMS, perhaps with the use of wikis. After publishing, users are allowed to annotate it (add insights and information, tag, etc.). Where and how are the annotations stored and managed relative to the original document? These annotations need to be managed in such a way that they're instantly viewable on the live site, such as with this blog. This seems obvious for features such as comments, ratings and tags (nano-sized content), but less obvious for annotations that add editorial content (bite-sized), supplemental to the the original author's message. Also, these annotations need to be bound semantically to the original content, which is stored in a CMS with more layers of security and publishing protocol.

This raises some interesting questions about content integrity and messaging consistency. The running theory is that end-user contributed content will be taken with a grain of salt (reputation systems help users judge as they read), and that the system, inclusive of the community of contributors, is self-correcting -- especially for popular and high-value content.

Seeing bite-sized content proliferate across the digital space makes me wonder if we're trending, in general, to more casual "official" content creation and distribution. How much work flow is really necessary? With your example of integrating wikis on the back end, the notion of work flow is transformed into collaboration. The amount of traditional work flow needed also depends on the type of content. For example, a press release or case study will need many reviews and approvals due to the legal implications. Many types of articles and announcements can probably be taken down a notch in process overhead. I'm not saying it's okay to cut out the proofreading step, but rather to consider the act of publishing more akin to the act of collaborating and posting. The content creators don't have to be "inside" the publishing organization when everyone else is "outside" -- they're simply part of the community. ...And thus ends my stream of consciousness. Happy 4th!

-Ruth Kaufman

I see a lack of data and general interoperability standards as the main inhibitor to such tools finding their way into corporate offerings in the medium term.

Standards in the social web are only just evolving as the sector itself is a relative newborn with much work to be done to add more polish to what's available now. It will take more time for standards to become widespread and I think only then will it give the green light for the big corporates to be able to value-add by integrating web 2.0 functionality into their already impressive list of capabilities.

Whether this then signals some doom for the small, independent vendors operating n this space is what will be interesting to see, or perhaps it will just be a great opportunity for them to "exit" / get bought-out and fund their retirement. :)

Ruth - agree completely with your comments (Why aren't you blogging???? I'd follow your thoughts in a heartbeat). From my POV, the notion of 'sanctioned content' will evolve in the coming years, and the traditional rigors we put around such content will decrease considerably.
So many cycles are spent reviewing and vetting content. Yes, there's a need for factual validity, but I'd suggest we'll be able to divert a large portion of the energy currently spent on reviewing / vetting to focus more on user experience and community interaction.

Siddey - Like yourself, I'd suggest much evolution in this space in the coming year or so - giving solution providers at large opportunities to build / shape their tools around the emerging 'standards'... As I type this tho, I realize just how much I hate the term 'standards' as it pertains to a 2.0 world. I think it's my own issue tho - carrying heavy editorial baggage from a 1.0 world along with me.

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