The Web Content Mavens

At last weeks AIIM seminar, I was invited to attend a meetings of Web Content professionals in the DC area. I decided to attend, figuring that the worst case scenario would be a couple of pints and listening to someone ramble on about WCM. This was far from worst case.

During the event, I saw something that I hadn’t seen at a Content Management event for quite some time, passion. The world of Web Content is where a lot of the passion seems to be hiding these days. It was very energizing. There were a lot of debates about Open Source CMS systems. I found people that liked and disliked just about all of them. The only ones that had unanimous decisions one way or the other were those with a small sampling of users.

Web Operations Management

After a little bit of socializing, the speaker for the evening, Lisa Welchman, gave a brief discussion on Web Operations Management. After a bit of history of her experience building large websites over the last decade plus, Lisa hit on a few, very important, points:

  • Technology isn’t the problem. AMEN! The problem is the processes and the lack of Governance out there. Technology is important and can solve a lot of problems, but without a proper strategy, any WCM project will most likely fail. This holds true for most IT projects. However, not everyone seems to place the same importance on managing their website.
  • Web Operations Management has four major components, Strategy, Governance, Operations, and Collaboration. Notice that the Operations and Collaboration (creation of content) is only part of it. Once again, plan it out.
  • She told a story of how she once turned down a WCM tool selection project because they didn’t have any governance in place. A few years later, after a failed project, they called back. Not everyone has that luxury, but it shows how important that it can be to the success of a WCM project.
  • You can’t do it all. This was aimed at the web developers. She was trying to get the point across that knowing that a website will help business isn’t enough. You have to set goals that the website will help accomplish.

So Who Are They?

The Web Content Mavens are local to the Washington, DC area. It is a fairly young group, thought there were practitioners across the age range. If you build, design, or manage a website, you should at least check out their website. I’m hoping that they can keep the speakers coming in and cover a wide range of topics. Check them out.