I have been participating in many projects that have delivered content management solutions for producing and delivering content products via intranets, extranets and public web sites. And all too often, I have experienced that the content products that are produced have to make it on their own once they have been published, almost as if their lives end as soon they get published.
One of the reasons why this happens is the lack of a committed organization with processes and resources dedicated to manage the content throughout its entire life-cycle, not only in the early stages of it. Sure, there is always a team of editors, but typically the editors are more concerned with production of new content products than in activities such as reviewing, monitoring, revising, archiving and retiring already published content products (see below).
Maybe this lack of life-cycle focus is a heritage from the traditional off-line publishing process, where it is not possible to retain control after a content product, such as a newspaper, has been published and distributed to the subscribers or resellers. Still, one cannot enough stress the importance of implementing content management processes that consider the whole life-cycle of digital content products. Otherwise, things like these will happen:
- Defects in published content products are not discovered and corrected
- Content products get outdated before they should be retired
- Content products that should have been retired are still accessible
These things will inevitably do some damage to the organization’s reputation and brand, giving users that interact with its content products an impression of the organization as being sloppy and lacking control of their content products. Which, of course, is not at all far from the truth.