Content on the Go
In today’s publishing world, content must be easily and instantaneously manipulated—no matter whether it’s headed to the Web, a magazine or a directory, burned to a CD or DVD, or broadcast in the form of a podcast. “Content repurposing … should certainly be top-of-mind for magazine publishers,” suggests John Kreisa, director of product marketing, Mark Logic Corp., San Carlos, Calif. “Putting the right infrastructure in place is key to tapping into that market. …”
But evaluating whether to “build or buy” is often a publisher’s first hurdle. “I think the decision … should be based upon business objectives and expectations for growth,” says Peter Meirs, director of alternative media, Time Inc. “The main problem for publishers is that most content management solutions [CMSs] in the marketplace are built for business transactions rather than for publishing. Almost any publisher that has implemented ‘publisher-friendly’ systems … has run into problems with scale, lack of flexibility, or … integration with publishing or digital asset management systems.
“A good way to hedge those limitations is to look into open source content management systems based on Apache’s JackRabbit (JCR) Java spec,” Meirs continues.
Kreisa says XML use in publishing is still in its infancy. “We’re finding that many publishers have not put processes in place which either convert content to—or create content directly in—XML, a crucial process for content repurposing. … We also often see publishers using multiple systems to manage content—one system for print, and a second, usually a Web CMS, to publish to the Web,” Kreisa adds. “… They should look for one [that] can handle the print needs as well as the online needs—Web, e-mail, PDA, etc.”
Meirs says a publisher’s CMS should import and export XML, but he cautions: “… There is a huge difference between managing XML documents as objects and handling XML natively. Make sure you have a system that is fully UTF-8 compliant [UTF-8 is a universal data structure that’s mandatory for XML compliance] and handles double-byte encoding. Otherwise, you will have mapping nightmares with import, search and export.”
- San Carlos, Calif.