Important
Until this notice is removed, please understand that this is a draft syllabus. It can and will change. The course material is still being developed.

Advanced Topics in Content Management: Course Syllabus

This is a course taught by Deane Barker for the Masters in Content Strategy program at FH Joanneum in Graz, Austria.

This course is designed as an introduction to multiple topics around content technology. The goal is a broad base of familiarity with the capabilities, limits, and challenges of content technology, with an emphasis on the continuing theme of practical implementation versus theoretical perfect.

This course is targeted to non-developers. Some experience with CMS as a user is helpful, but not required.

The primary goal of the course is

This course is comprised of:

Grading

The course is graded as follows:

(Note to potentially confused non-Europeans: this is the European grading system of 1-5, not the North American grading system of A-F.)

I do evaluate assignments, and reserve the right to request resubmission, but I do not check attendance for the lectures, nor do I verify that you have completed the reading (aside from competent completion of assignments based on the reading). I assume you are taking the course to learn the material, and therefore I trust you will complete the work.

Books

Real World Content Modeling: A Field Guide to CMS Features and Architecture (“RWCM”)

You will read this entire book at your own speed. It needs to be complete by the end of the class.

Note for COS18: this book is normally read in the introduction class, but it wasn’t published until late last year. Thus, you are reading it for this class.

Designing Connected Content: Plan and Model Digital Products for Today and Tomorrow (“DCC”)

You will read this entire book at your own speed. It needs to be complete by the end of the class.

Lectures / Lessons

Lesson 1: Text Encodings

Digital representation of text. Encodings, from ASCII to Unicode.

Lesson 2: Lightweight Markup Languages

Drawbacks of traditional markup. The difference between structure and typography. The history of lightweight markup languages. Why Markdown succeeded. Markdown syntax. Advantages and drawbacks of Markdown.

Lesson 3: Full-Text Search

Indexing vs. searching. Parametric vs. full text search. The timing of indexing. Tokenization. Stemming. Lemmatization. Stopwords. Scoring and biasing.

Lesson 4: Localization

Localization vs. internationalization. Challenges with partial site translations. XLIFF and automated translation workflow. Methods of language identification. Language fallback and negotiations

Lesson 5: APIs and Extensibility

Products vs. platforms. The scope of extensibility. Event-based programming. Batch processing. Webhooks.

Lesson 6: DevOps

Technology stacks: PaaS vs. SaaS, hosting accounts, reliability and uptime, monitoring, performance and load testing, data residency

Lesson 7: Personalization and Multivariate Testing

Rules-based personalization vs. intent-based personalization. Available contextual markers. Usability and indexing issues. A/B testing patterns.

Lesson 8: Media Management

Media modeling. Content association and media scoping. Digital asset management systems. Image renditioning.

Lesson 9: Content Integration

Common scenarios for content integration. Patterns of content integration. Development vs. runtime risk. Common packaged integrations. Real-time vs. batch integration patterns. Velocity and latency concerns.

Lesson 10: Page Composition

Page object-mapping. Content elements, regions, and zones. The effect of page composition on content modeling. Usability and migration concerns with page composition.