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Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery [Paperback]

JoAnn T. Hackos
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 28 2002
Successfully manage Web content to achieve a competitive edge
Using the content management strategy that she developed for companies such as Nortel, Motorola, Cisco, and others, Hackos walks readers through the stages of effective Web content management. She shows how to establish a content strategy based on what type of content a user needs, the platforms to which it should be delivered, and the types of content necessary for the organization. Readers will learn how to develop and incorporate an information model into their Web site design as well as how to transform their organization's processes to ensure dynamic content delivery. They'll also find tips on how to take advantage of XML.

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From the Back Cover

"Dr. Hackos has written an invaluable reference. This book will arm you with the knowledge to turn your information into a real competitive advantage."
-PG Bartlett, VP of Marketing, Arbortext

"Finally! A book written for information-development managers who want to move their departments into the 21st century."
-Diane Davis, Senior Publications Manager, Synopsys, Inc.

Content management begins with a vision of the users' experience--learning what information your customers, employees, and trading partners need from you and how best to deliver it. Successfully publishing your content to the Web and multiple other channels means grounding your strategy in your user community and building on it a comprehensive information model. An effective information strategy in today's highly competitive e-business world requires planning, design, structure, and collaboration. At the center of this strategy is content--the currency for competing in the Digital Age. Your effectiveness at managing and delivering content can make the difference between business success and failure. Not only is content management in your future, it is one of the greatest challenges faced by businesses today.

Using the content management strategy that she helped develop for companies such as Nortel, Motorola, Xerox, Cisco, and others, JoAnn Hackos walks content managers and developers, information architects, Web designers, and IT managers through the five phases of content management and discusses in detail important issues such as:
* Establishing a content strategy to determine what content your users need, in which media it should be delivered, and what types of content should be singled out for sales and marketing, customer support, training, reference, and more
* Moving existing content out of books to more accessible modules
* Developing an information model that underlies your Web site design
* Taking advantage of XML
* Transforming your organization's processes to ensure dynamic content delivery

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About the Author

JOANN T. HACKOS is President of Comtech Services, an international consulting company that advises companies on content management, customer analysis, user interface design, usability, and process maturity. She is also the author of Managing Your Documentation Projects, Standards for Online Communication, and User and Task Analysis for Interface Design (all from Wiley).

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Friendly April 27 2003
Great overview if you are beginning. And if you are in the middle of a content management project now, solid details and examples, with advice distilled from dozens of big consulting projects. And, if you want to convince your boss that your organization needs to do CM, this book shows you how to make the business case.
Hackos urges you to start by analyzing what your customers, staff members, and authors really need, creating an Information Model to serve them, defining:
* Dimensions (attributes) such as creation date, version number, language
* Information types (equivalent to a DTD or schema) such as procedure, conceptual overview, reference
* Content units (equivalent to XML elements, or OO objects) such as steps, captions, product names
She urges a top down approach (from customer needs to information types). But she recognizes that, at times, we must also work from the bottom up (identifying information types that we already have). The problem with bottom feeding, she suggests, is that a lot of the old information serves no one.
If you want to get a sophisticated overview of content management, then, look to this book for a friendly guide.
If you need a refresher on some aspect of single sourcing, or you want some ammunition for a debate on your team, skim through the guidelines and examples.
And if you need to win over a manager to single sourcing, I would say: Use this book to present your case.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Provides a good start, but..... March 13 2003
At first reading, this book was good, but I later found myself confused about the processes Hackos describes. The first chapter is strong in that it provides an overview of the five phases of a content management project, complete with lists of deliverables. The book includes a number of process checklists in the appendices.
When I see a book that lays out a process structure in the beginning, I expect the table of contents to follow that structure. This book fails to do that. It can be difficult in the first reading to know what phase of the process is described in any particular chapter. The last two phases of development--the pilot project and the roll out--are not described outside the introductory chapter.
Since the content management field is apparently devoid of a conventional vernacular, authors get to invent their own terms for things. I had to read several chapters many times to understand what Hackos means by "information type" and "content unit." It was also difficult to see where metadata fits into the picture. Her information model shows an information repository containing "modules of content", such as reports or manuals. Each module of content may contain one or more "information types", such as letters or recipes. Each information type is constructed of "content units", which can be recipe ingredients or procedure steps. But, you start by defining "dimensions", which become retrieval metadata for the information types.
A dimension is essentially an enumerated data type with a set of discrete values. Once you define the dimensions, you can then define information types and, at the lowest level, content units. These dimensions are translated into metadata attached to "modules of content".
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If you are attempting to understand the steps required to move your technical documentation into a content management system... and what to do with such a system afterward, read this book.
This book makes few assumptions about what you know about content management; as such it explains the basic material that other books gloss over. Make no mistake, however, this book is not just an introduction - if you follow the excellent examples and illustrations, you will have a good understanding between such items as "your information model" and "metadata" ... and why the relationship is important to content management. Separate chapters progress from beginning to end of the process to help you understand the steps necessary to move your content into a content management system. Roles and responsiblities of team members are discussed; activities such as task analysis are also identified at appropriate steps.
If you are attempting to understand why content management is good and how to implement it, read this book; if you have you have implemented a system already and are not pleased with it, read this book to identify what might have gone wrong. Great practical information to understand before you implement your own system or before you discuss your needs with integrators and vendors.
This may not be the last book you read on content management however it should be the first.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How to manage content�Really! March 22 2002
No two companies have identical content management needs. That means applying a formula is likely to result in disaster. Along with a detailed exposition of how to manage content, this invaluable book shows companies how to adapt the methods to their unique situations.
Ms. Hackos relates the creation of a high-level information model with the nitty-gritty details of establishing information types and the units of content composing them, how these units fit in a repository, and how to use various technogies to create, maintain and output from the repository.
The book is studded with examples of how content management has been done, both what to emulate and what to avoid. I am sure the principles espoused will be of value, long after any particular technology has been superceded.
The best (if not the only) book I have seen about this subject. Highly recommended.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars an extremely helpful book - deceptively simple in style
This book is a great introduction to how smart design of content and its delivery can facilitate its reuse in an organization. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2003 by Maureen
1.0 out of 5 stars bad advice
It gives a good approach how to find the necessary meta-data for your content management system.
But it has nothing to do with modeling. Read more
Published on May 14 2002 by Paul Hermans
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic book for dynamic content
Covers a broad range of issues, tools, technologies, and concepts. We are all new to some aspect of this emerging topic, and this book provides a point-of-entry for the new as well... Read more
Published on March 26 2002 by JAMES V ROMANO
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on content management
This book is a must for anyone considering moving to a content management system. Hackos lays out, clearly and step by step, the process you need to work through before you buy or... Read more
Published on March 25 2002 by Janice Ginny Redish
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview
Very easy to read. Numerous pratical examples. Very well organized (as you would expect!). Covers enabling technology (XML, SGML, etc) at just the right level of detail.... Read more
Published on March 21 2002 by "bennstratton"
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent source of practical information
This book contains a lot of real-world advice about building a content management and publishing system that helps you deliver better information faster and cheaper. Read more
Published on March 13 2002 by PG Bartlett
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent source of practical information
This book contains a lot of real-world advice about building a content management and publishing system that helps you deliver better information faster and cheaper. Read more
Published on March 13 2002 by PG Bartlett
5.0 out of 5 stars An expert view
This book will benefit anyone in the field of content management and content delivery. Professionals dealing with the complex task of delivering large volume of information to a... Read more
Published on March 12 2002 by "davidd668"
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