Web Writing That Works!

           A Project of
           The Communication Circle

Guidelines Rants Patterns Poems Services Classes Press Blog Resources About Us Site Map

HomeResources > Writerly sites > Content management            


Content management

Whose content are they managing, anyhow?  These days, professional writers contribute only a small fraction of the content that appears on major corporate and governmental sites. 

Everyone else has to contribute, too.  Democratizing the creation of content saves money, at the cost of consistency and quality.  And no human editor can review all this material.

With a content management system, we hope to control the flow.  If you are creating content, building your own content management system, or jumping into one, these sites will give you a way to explore current thinking.

Now you're entering an area where commercial ads vie with biased advice.  I've tried to pick the least self-serving sites, the ones with the most valuable information.  Eventually you'll go to vendor sites, if you are shopping.  But before you do, these sites will help you get a good idea of what you should demand.

If you discover a site with useful, more or less unbiased info on content management, let me know.

Access Innovations

Marjorie Hlava and her partners publish widely on taxonomies, indexing, and thesauri. She has kindly posted many of these articles and presentations. I have taken one of her workshops, and she does a great job showing how to go through the arcane process of making a taxonomy. The rest of her site is a modest pitch for their services.

Alles over Web Content Management

Have you ever asked yourself, "Waarom content management?" If so, this Dutch site lays out product comparisons, and arguments in favor of content management.


A reasonable overview of content management for the Chief Information Officer, that is, a techie. But the writing is clear, and the team has pretty well covered the key points. If you don't want to know too much right away, start here.

Content Biz

Anne Holland's advice on how to make money from online content. Selling subscriptions, ads, newsletters, ebooks, lists, articles, ecourses. Licensing and syndication. Becoming a content entrepreneur. Some technical and insider talk, but mostly she aims to give you advice you can follow, without being a programmer. We've subscribed to the newsletter for years.

Association for Information and Image Management

Starting out fifty years ago as a trade association for companies handling microfilming of company records, AIIM has become a major force in content management. They bring together users and vendors of tools to "capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content in support of business processes." They offer seminars, conferences, research, and list servs.

Center for Information-Development Management

JoAnn and Bill Hackos set up the center, and the site, to pull together managers of groups that do documentation, training, and customer support. They put on conferences, and issue a great journal. I'm biased, because I'm an associate, I contribute to the journal, and I talk at the conferences.

I find the conferences fascinating, because of the high density of real managers, and the lack of vendor swarm. On the site, you can get articles by prominent consultants, and managers, reflecting their own experiences with single-sourcing and content management.

CM Briefing

Papers from Step Two Designs, described as "an independent vendor-neutral consultancy located in Sydney, Australia. " Examples: the difference between useful and usable; areas of uncertainty when launching a content management system; finding a sponsor for your Intranet. You can tell that these articles grow out of real experience. PDF versions available.

CMS Watch

An independent resource with information, analysis, and reports about web content management. Product lists, discussions, news about people, trends, products, and hot topics. They sell an expensive report comparing products, but give away interesting articles, some of which deal with web copywriting.

Content Company

Hilary Marsh has put together an extensive set of links to resources on content management, strategy, customer relationship management, email marketing, info architecture, online writing, personalization, and syndication. Brief case studies, white papers, and email newsletter.

Content Management

This web site displays some of the articles from a paper magazine covering the industry. Usually you can browse through the current issue, plus abstracts of archived articles. To read the full articles, though, you have to be a paying subscriber.

Content Management Advisor

A zone within the large Advisor site, with articles from their series of paper magazines. Not many articles, but the ones they have are contributed by influential analysts. Caution: The editors try to recruit experts who will write for almost no pay. (Personal experience). Mostly techie news. Branch out to the zines focused on particular products, such as the WebSphere Advisor.

Content Management System List

A wide-ranging conversation among people who are actively researching, building, or maintaining content management systems. Reading the newsletter is like listening in on insider gossip, with lots of news that hasn't made it into industry journals.

Content Wire

No, it's not all about content. Paola Di Maio covers narrow vertical technology sectors, e-business, new economy and cyberculture. News, opinion, some research, and newsletters on content management, syndication, and breaking news. Don't be put off by the garish color scheme. Two tiers: for a hundred bucks or so you can see everything. But for free you can get a good sampling of articles with a European slant.

Darwin Executive Guide to Content Management

The idea here is to give executives the basics on new technology, so they can survive. This guide is so clear that even a boss can follow along, but the view is comprehensive, with a checklist, glossary, good questions to ask, ways to measure success, resources and a bibliography. You might want to browse the rest of the site, for a glimpse of the view from the executive suite.

David Walske

Bright and funny, David writes articles based on his consulting in information architecture and content management, mostly in the Bay Area. His Content Manager's Notebook briefs you on key issues. Unfortunately, sometimes Dave posts a story only in PDF. But the ideas are worth the download.


The Open Directory list of content management vendors, consultants, publications, and technologies. You get the link, and a short description. By the way: If you're an expert in some area, join the project, and contribute links you discover. As they say, "For just a few minutes of your time you can help make the Web a better place, and be recognized as an expert on your chosen topic." That's how these links got here.

E-Content Magazine

A thin magazine with a plump site. Lots of inside dope, and "news" items (repackaged press releases).

Gerry McGovern

Gerry can explain content management to the boss. His newsletter, called New Thinking, brings an interesting idea each week, often based on his experience as a consultant, always commonsensical, and well-written.

Getty Introduction to Metadata

The Getty museum has to keep track of its paintings, sculpture, and prints, so they have been in the forefront of the effort to develop a taxonomy, a standard set of terms, by which curators can describe their collections. These online articles give an intellectual but accurate overview of taxonomies in general, not just their art-world cousins.

Well organized, and, to avoid the problems with their frames, they offer a printable version. Interesting tables comparing authorized terms across taxonomies, in what the editor, Murtha Baca, calls "crosswalks." Bonus: a long list of acronyms used in content management, with the URLs to the authoritative sites.


Jeffrey Veen

He co-founded Adaptive Path, and wrote a book about web design. Here you get outtakes from the book, focusing on what he calls object-oriented publishing.

Jupiter Research Blogs

These analysts do great stuff, when you can afford to take a look. I've reviewed a number of their reports as a journalist, and they dig up fascinating info. But, assuming you can't pay a few thousand bucks to see one of the reports, settle for following one of the analysts' blogs. David Card ranges way beyond his beat, but you get a sense of what strikes a media expert as interesting, new, or offbeat. Caution: not every analyst blogs, and analysts come and go.

Managing Enterprise Content

Ann Rockley has been working with content management since before the phrase "content management" became part of our jargon. She has posted parts of her book (by the same name), plus a simple calculator designed to help you figure Return on Investment (ROI). The book is solid, helpful, and clear. If you are beginning to design a content management system, or if you are about to participate in one, read the book. For an overview, see the site.

Paid Content

Articles, news items, and a blog about the economics of content. Should content be free? How can you make money on content? Covers online text, audio, video, wireless content, devices without a browser, and electronic delivery of traditional print content. Their beat is digital content that someone or some organization will pay for.


This print magazine posts articles as they are written, it seems, because you get thoughtful analysis of today's news, and reviews, long before they show up on paper. Not just reheated press releases! See the buyer's guide, too.


The whole family knows printing…and digital publishing, too. If your job depends on print publications, you already go to their seminars, and you subscribe to their reports. Bias: I have worked, briefly, with Jonathan Seybold, and been to his seminars. Great stuff!

What I like about the articles is that the analysts take the time to interview the vendor engineers, and ask the really embarrassing questions. You get the kind of detail you usually only pick up from an experienced user of the products, after several drinks. Full access to the archives and current issues costs almost $60 a month, but you can pick up a lot of good current information on publishing for free. For Seybold, CM is just one wiggly piece of the puzzle.

Tech Info Center

Brochures, white papers, discussion training from several hundred vendors of content management, document management, workflow, imaging or related scanning and storage technologies. Unfortunately, you have to sign up for a free membership, with a tedious form. Once you get past that, you enter an uneven area, with lots of info about imaging and printing, less about content management, in a clumsy interface.

The Other Media

A web design team, with a site that looks as clean as an expensive new office, and a set of interesting articles on organizing your site, and making it work for customers. Every article contains a not-so-subtle pitch, but because the authors are really designing major sites in Europe, their views are interesting, even with the self-absorption.


A paper magazine, with some interesting online articles, news, and product briefs, focusing on content and collaboration. Much of the material comes from freelancers and consultants. Some pieces are a bit short, and others get broken up into too many segments (reach for the PrintMe button).

Good for spotting trends, getting a quick opinion, skimming the new releases at conventions such as those of AIIM. OK selection of vendor white papers, mostly from imaging vendors. Net: I get the feeling that this zine is treading water while waiting for business to take off again.


Home | Guidelines | Rants | Patterns | Poems | Services | Classes | Press | Blog |
Resources | About Us | Site Map

Web Writing that Works!
 © 2004 Jonathan and Lisa Price
The Communication Circle
Discuss at HotText@yahoogroups.com
Email us directly at ThePrices@ThePrices.com
Order Hot Text (the book) from Amazon