Within the framework of business organisations and commercial operations, there are numerous definitions about what content is, or means. It’s the same with information. Before we look more closely at what content management is, however, it’s important to get a few facts and definitions clear in our minds.
Content is produced everywhere, constantly, in an organisation. It’s more than data (which is also produced and processed constantly in an organisation). But put simply, content is data with a context. For example, the numbers 7 and 10 are clearly data values: but they have no context or meaning.
If, however, we use the terms Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Windows 10, they now begin to have a context and start to mean something. Those terms, either separately or used together, have become content. Not very useful content as it stands, but nevertheless qualifying those numbers with a context takes them one step forward in becoming more meaningful to human beings, and not just machines.
But they do not yet by themselves constitute information. It’s only when we add a further, higher level of context and also purpose – and make it useful to someone – does it evolve into something we can call information. For example, the statement: ‘You need to have either Windows 7 or 10 installed on your computer before you can download and install our application’, has now become information.
That’s because it now has a meaning and a purpose (that is, to advise somebody) and now starts to relate to a target audience of people who need that information, for example to perform a task and do a job.
And then there is also a ‘concept’ we refer to, often in a vague sense, as knowledge. That’s another concept that has been defined in many different ways by many different people across both the academic and business worlds. For us, knowledge simply means what we acquire through both the gathering of information and the experience we gain from using that information effectively in any organisation, commercial or academic.
We believe that great content creates great information. And great information helps builds residual knowledge. All three are vital assets for any company or body. If you have the information you need at hand to do your job more effectively, you more readily and quickly acquire the experience and the knowledge you need to become an asset to the company you work for. That way, you serve your colleagues and your customers better and you will likely do it better than your competitors.
Organisations are flooded with content, but content doesn’t become information and information doesn’t turn into knowledge unless someone knows it’s there, can get to it with minimal pain, and can repurpose it by creating new information from existing content. Content that is inaccessible is not yet a corporate asset. Content that is hidden away in long documents and impenetrable manuals lacks the flexibility we need to act upon it as a corporate asset.
Source: Dr. JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services
What exactly is content management (CM)?
Content management was founded on a vision to improve the user experience in receiving and processing information. It was built upon several key principles that dealt specifically with making information better organised, easier to understand by human beings, more easily stored and managed, and more logically structured to allow it to be reused for different purposes and for different target audiences to fit business and market demands.
Adopting content management is…