I am attending my first Gilbane Content Management Conference in Boston and find it very interesting. It is obvious to me that the content management space is a niche market with many vendors and many organizations using some form of Content Management or Document Management. My initial interest is around the Web Content Systems (WCM) space and I am hoping to identify some strategies and solutions to help us better manage our disparate web resources. We currently manage many different web resources from applications delivered via portals and websites to a crude mix of document management solutions that all need to be managed and integrated with multiple different systems. I have heard a lot of talk about Document Management Systems (DMS), Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECM), Content Management Systems (CMS), and Web Content Systems (WCM). I am not sure of the differences between a CMS and a WCM and I have seen them used interchangeably so for now I will refer to both as WCM.

I am looking for a WCM that is part CMS, part Wiki, part Document Management System, and part Portal. I do not have a budget or an authorized project however we have a need to upgrade our older html and cgi web environments and the thought of a WCM framework behind our complex site would be a real benefit. With no budget I am looking at Open Source Vendors, and I sat in on a discussion about the “Rise of Open Source Content Management” with Kathleen Reidy from the 451 Group and Seth Gottleib for Content Here. Kathleen did a nice job of grouping the Large, Medium and Small Open Source Content Management players along with the proprietary and non-proprietary products, and I found a similar slide deck from Kathleen on Slideshare. Seth outlined the Open Source players into three different open source groups:

Community Open Source – Commercial Open Source  – Institutional Open Source

Seth’s advice was to understand the support and ecosystems of each vendors and that will help to make a good decision surrounding the Open Source vendors. This goes hand in hand with your needs and requirements however often folks looking for Open Source solutions are often looking for an inexpensive solution and you also need to consider support and the viability of the solution you choose.

Another consideration for Web Content Management which I have that I have not worked out is how well will WCM integrate with Enterprise 2.0 and Enterprise Social Computing. Integration with blogs and wiki’s look like a good starting point however another point to consider would be improvements to search within your organization. Content Management systems deployed correctly can provide structured data to your organization which in turn will provide the meta tags to enhance search in your organization.