Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Content is king?

Someone (it could be one of those bullish analysts) once said that content is, and always will be, king on the Internet. But that was during the heady days of the dotcom craze, when every commerce and information Web site seemed to be using content management (CM) systems to underpin their grand plans.

When the dotcom bubble burst, CM technology was dealt a hard blow.

Now, the same CM tools are being re-engineered and re-packaged to serve a more productive purpose. Gone is the proprietary catch-all repository once favoured by many such tools. These days, the focus is on integration with existing databases and digital document systems, treating them as data sources alongside external information feeds.

In this way, the CM application is free to act as a front-end for manipulating and presenting these sources in the appropriate format, such as internal intranet or portal.

If content is indeed king, then us editors and writers would all be crowned princes, which clearly isn't the case.

Another matter that also clearly isn't the case is choice (or the lack of it). While the Oracle in Matrix Reloaded says you can have a choice, in real life, things are not so rosy.

The ongoing sagas between SCO and Linux as well as PeopleSoft and the Oracle in the IT world are perfect testaments to the dilemma that arises because of market consolidation. For those contemplating "to switch or not to switch", there isn't much of a choice after all.

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