February 2012

The other day, Ingrid Goldstein and I were discussing content strategy and publishing (in preparation for a workshop we will be giving at the Publishers’ Forum in Berlin in April.) We got to talking about the often slow rate of adoption of content management when compared with other document-heavy industries.

One of the reasons may be that much of the current language of content management uses the language of logic, with little attention to the lyrical or personal. The reason for this may be that most companies using CMSs up until now have been businesses outside the creative field. Within these contexts, the purely rational language of content management may be valid.

Publishing companies, however, are different.They are based, and always have been, on a love of creativity, on emotional connection. Yesterday, I read Brian O’Leary’s recent post ‘Innocence and Magic’ and was impressed too by the insightful comments. Those words reminded me yet again of why we are involved in publishing and why it is important.

Clearly, there is a rational reason to be thinking about content strategy in publishing, but we need to find a language that enables us to talk about it in ways that make sense to, and for, the publishing industry. Brian’s wonderful ‘Context First‘ shows a way to do this, drawing on one of Rushdie’s stories to make his point.

Perhaps a more personal, more lyrical language of content strategy and content management will have broader appeal too. After all, wherever and whatever people are writing, hearts and minds are at work.


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Musings on Digital Publishing Copyright © 2012 by Anna von Veh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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