Unfortunately due to customer obligations, I was unable to attend a couple of round table discussions on Day 2 of the CM Pros Summit, however from the buzz generated after the fact, they were very well received. The Content Management industry has some sharp minds and ever improving standards.
The first set of discussions were hosted by Erik Hartman of Hartman Communicatie BV and Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler. It was an interactive discussion about the domain of the content life cycle, something important for all managers of content. The goal of the session was to create a CM Pros Content Lifecycle Poster to be printed and published. There was a lot of involvement by attendees.
Across the room was Rahel Anne Bailie of Intentional Design, Inc., and Trevor Paterson of CHC Helicopters discussing "Best Practices vs. Practicalities: Qualitative Decisions for Delivering the 'Best' Content to Customers." The goal of the discussions was to explore the practical and ethical issues that arise when the quality of content can be compromised when dependence on a content management system (CMS) to slice and dice content for our users over-automates our content. This is very near and dear to my heart, since I am a strong believer in having long hard talks about what you want to accomplish, before ever selecting (actually looking at) any technology, and never go after a specific industry segment solution. Decide what result you want, and then search the industries that address it, then the technology.
One of the next breakout sessions was hosted by Renaud Richardet of Wynona Inc. who hosted a session on "The importance of the community in Open Source Content Management Systems." The premise was that Open Source projects are only as successful as their communities are active and focused. While I disagree with that statement as a generalization, an active community is certainly an advantage.
The competing breakout for the time period was on "Achieving Structure in Enterprise Content" which was hosted by Peter Meyer of Elkera Pty Limited. The more demands that are placed on Content Management Systems to provide relevant, personalized and easily accessed information, the greater the need to manage content in a structured form to provide the required flexibility. This was a round table, feedback meeting, but drilled specifically into XML as a portable and interoperable solution.
The CM Pros Summit was wrapped up very nicely by Ann Rockley of The Rockley Group. An is author of the book, Managing Enterprise Content, a unified content strategy. Excellent closing keynote. For only a brief period of time, Ann spoke to the group about customer-centric Content Management, and then went to the audience for key feedback on what this meant to CMS projects in general. One of the key messages is to always work out requirements in advance of any decisions on technology. That and getting high level organizational support is always key. I may spend some more time on this Keynote once the slides become available on the CM Pros web site.
OK...so next, whilst I'm in San Francisco is...The Gilbane Conference on Content Management....