The Content Management Bible Podcast

Since June 2020, I’m doing a podcast reading of the entire Content Management Bible, 2nd Edition, originally published back in 2000 or so.

I read the book shortly after the 2nd Edition was published in 2005. It was early-ish into my career in content management, and it introduced me to a level of architecture and concept that I hadn’t experienced before.

Up to that time, I had been doing small projects in Classic ASP with Microsoft Access databases, but the book revealed a completely different world. Slowly but steadily after this change in perspective, my career evolved in this direction.

I’m very interested in CMS history, and I’m trying to analyze the book to identify what has changed in the industry, and what challenges are so transcendent that we’re still struggling with them today.

This book has 1,063 numbered pages (excluding the index), and another 48 pages of front matter, spread among 40 numbered chapters in five parts, along with a foreword, preface, acknowledgments, introduction, and epilogue.

The length of chapters varies considerably, from 7 to 75 pages. I’ll likely split some of the larger chapters up into multiple episodes. There will be additional episodes for the front matter, the epilogue, and hopefully a wrap-up at the end with some lessons learned and comparison to where the industry stands today.

It seems reasonable to estimate that there will be 50 episodes.

Front Matter

Some meta background on what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it. Or, how I found a weird side project during the COVID19 pandemic.

The introduction chapter, where Bob reflects on the idea of “e-business” and the three reasons for doing content management.

Part 1: What is Content?

Chapter 1. Defining Data, Information, and Content

Recorded on July 15, 2020. 29 minutes.

Pages 3 - 13 (11)

  • What data is
  • How data differs from content
  • How the purpose of the information turns data into content
  • How to turn information into content by adding data

A deep and sometimes confusing discussion of the three concepts in the chapter title. Pour a fresh cup of coffee for this one.

Chapter 2. Content Has Format

Recorded on August 18, 2020. 27 minutes.

Pages 13 - 19 (7)

  • Why the storage (or file) format is important
  • How rendering (or visual format) must be separated from its content
  • Why formatting can prove such a pain for the content manager
  • The types of formatting you’re likely to encounter and how to categorize them

Chapter 3. Content Has Structure

Recorded on September 2, 2020. 35 minutes.

Pages 21 - 29 (9)

  • Understanding the importance of structure
  • Structuring your content (and inherent difficulties in doing so)
  • Categorizing different kinds of structure

Chapter 4. Functionality Is Content, Too!

Recorded on October 19, 2020. 24 minutes.

Pages 31 - 40 (10)

  • The definition of functionality
  • How to produce functionality in small pieces that you can share
  • How the division between functionality and information blurs
  • How you can treat functionality as just another kind of content

Chapter 5. But What Is Content Really?

Recorded on December 5, 2020. 28 minutes.

Pages 41 - 62 (22)

  • A CMS manages content as well as content
  • How content purpose leads to organization
  • How naming is the basis of content management
  • A trip from data all the way to wisdom

Part 2: What is Content Management?

Chapter 6. Understanding Content Management


Pages 65 - 83 (19)

  • The different perspectives from which you can define content management
  • The business value perspective
  • The organizational forces perspective
  • The disciplinary perspective
  • The process perspective
  • The technical perspective
  • The Content Management Industry

Chapter 7. Introducing the Major Parts of a CMS


Pages 85 - 112 (28)

  • A high-level view of CMS features
  • Collecting content
  • Managing content
  • Publishing content using templates

Chapter 8. Knowing When You Need a CMS


Pages 113 - 129 (17)

  • What having a lot of content means
  • How your sources of information affect your need for a CMS
  • How much change warrants a CMS
  • Publications and personalization and their effect on your CMS
  • How you can roughly estimate your need for a CMS

Chapter 9. Component Management versus Composition Management


Pages 131 - 146 (16)

  • CM systems can be modular or linear, or some of both
  • Component composition, and schema-driven systems compared
  • Which system is right for you?

Chapter 10. The Roots of Content Management


Pages 147 - 172 (26)

  • How collections and publications came about
  • How document management could have captured content management
  • Where the IT department leaves off and content management picks up
  • What the multimedia industry started
  • Content management in the documentation back room
  • Why librarians are the gurus of the future
  • How programmers stand behind all of CM
  • What the marketing mentality has to do with content management

Chapter 11. The Branches of Content Management


Pages 173 - 198 (26)

  • How content management enables personalization
  • How a CMS supports the creation of advanced Web sites
  • How a CMS supports the creation of multiple publications
  • How e-commerce is enabled by content management
  • How content management underlies knowledge management
  • How online communities are built on content management
  • What other kinds of management have in common with CM

Part 3: Doing Content Management Projects

Chapter 12. Doing CM Projects Simply


Pages 201 - 215 (15)

  • Why create a minimal CMS?
  • How to cut staff to the core
  • What planning, design, and implementation tasks to do – and not do
  • How to say no
  • How to deploy a minimal CMS

Chapter 13. Staffing a CMS


Pages 219 - 241 (23)

  • A brief perspective of CMS jobs
  • How content managers and staff members control the overall project
  • How a CMS ties to the business through a business analyst
  • The role of information architects
  • The role of the CMS administrator and other infrastructure staff
  • The role of the programmers in a CMS
  • The CMS staff positions that create publications
  • The staff you need to convert content

Chapter 14. Working Within the Organization


Pages 243 - 270 (28)

  • The overlap between a CMS and the goals of the organization
  • How you can harvest the flow of information in your organization
  • What each major group has to add to a CMS
  • Some ways you can organize a CMS effort across the enterprise
  • How to get the scalability you may eventually need
  • A few of the many hurdles you might face in getting a CMS initiative going

Chapter 15. Getting Ready for a CMS


Pages 271 - 288 (18)

  • How a CMS project is similar to and different from a usual software or system development project
  • How to measure information pain, and other assessment techniques
  • The readiness assessment and other preliminary deliverables

Chapter 16. Securing a Project Mandate


Pages 289 - 302 (14)

  • What it means to have consensus on a CMS project
  • How to recognize and understand project sponsors
  • The project statement and other mandate process deliverables

Chapter 17. Doing Requirements Gathering


Pages 303 - 313 (11)

  • A simpler sort of requirements gathering process than you might be used to
  • Techniques for doing requirements
  • The types of deliverables that result from requirements
  • The people you may want to include in your requirements gathering

Chapter 18. Doing Logical Design


Pages 316 - 339 (24)

  • The concept of logical design
  • Techniques for doing logical design
  • The types of deliverables that result from logical design
  • The people you may want to include in your logical design process

Chapter 19. Selecting Hardware and Software


Pages 341 - 397 (57)

  • The dilemma that CMS product companies face in trying to meet customer demands
  • The build, buy, or rent decision and the selection process
  • The deliverables that you may create as part of the system selection
  • The staff that you want to involve in the selection process
  • The criteria that you may use to select a CMS product

Chapter 20. Implementing the System


Pages 399 - 428 (30)

  • Taking stock of the process and project so far
  • Looking at the specifications and plans of a CMS implementation project
  • Providing an approach to staffing and implementing the project

Chapter 21. Rolling Out the System


Pages 429 - 450 (22)

  • A definition and overview of deployment
  • Techniques for deployment, including how to power up your system
  • Deployment deliverables, including documentation, training, and maintenance plans

Part 4: Designing a CMS

Chapter 22. Designing a CMS Simply


Pages 453 - 458 (6)

  • Why you need logical design
  • Understanding the CM entities at a glance
  • Logical design made simple

Chapter 23. The Wheel of Content Management


Pages 459 - 489 (31)

  • An introduction to the content management entities
  • The information that you collect on all the entities
  • The relationships that you need to forge among the entities
  • How to start collection information in a logical analysis

Chapter 24. Working with Metadata


Pages 491 - 515 (25)

  • The meaning of meta, metadata, and metatorial
  • A way to categorize the various kinds of metadata
  • How to collect and present metadata in a CMS
  • The metatorial guide, metatorial processing, and the job of a metator
  • Issues in metadata localization

Chapter 25. Cataloging Audiences


Pages 517 - 536 (20)

  • Serving versus exploiting your audiences
  • Looking at audiences through the lens of a CMS
  • Collecting information about your audiences during logical design

Chapter 26. Designing Publications


Pages 537 - 558 (22)

  • The definition of a publication from a CMS perspective
  • How to analyze and design a set of publications

Chapter 27. Designing Content Types


Pages 559 - 608 (50)

  • The definition of components and some analogies to help you understand them
  • The definition and examples of component elements
  • How to structure and store components
  • The idea of a functionality component and an example
  • The information that you need to analyze your components and design a content model

Chapter 28. Accounting for Authors


Pages 609 - 627 (19)

  • A definition of authoring from the CMS perspective
  • The choice between changing the author or changing the content
  • Figuring out how to approach authors of various sorts
  • How to analyze your author base and design your CMS authoring system

Chapter 29. Accounting for Acquisition Sources


Pages 629 - 646 (18)

  • An overview of the content acquisition process
  • The continuum between authoring and acquisition
  • What you need to know to analyze and design the acquisition process in your CMS

Chapter 30. Designing Content Access Structures


Pages 647 - 682 (36)

  • The definition and key considerations of the access structures
  • Some methods that you can use to design a system of access structures

Chapter 31. Designing Templates


Pages 683 - 732 (50)

  • Understanding dynamic and static content
  • Using templates to build pages
  • Creating Web, print, e-mail, and fax templates
  • Doing template analysis
  • Doing a competitive Web site analysis

Chapter 32. Designing Personalization


Pages 733 - 753 (21)

  • How personalization relates to publications
  • How to do a personalization analysis that you incorporates into your CMS logical design

Chapter 33. Designing Workflow and Staffing Models


Pages 755 - 789 (35)

  • A definition and extended example of a workflow
  • Details on the tasks, jobs, and steps that make up workflows
  • The constraints that localization puts on workflow
  • A full process for analyzing and designing a workflow system
  • A full process for analyzing and designing a staffing system

Part 5: Building a CMS

Chapter 34. Building a CMS Simply


Pages 794 - 803 (10)

  • What is physical design?
  • Major systems and subsystems in a CMS
  • How to go about physical design
  • Understanding the technology taxonomy

Chapter 35. What Are Content Markup Languages?


Pages 805 - 819 (15)

  • The origins of HTML and XML
  • The difference between HTML, XML, and word processor markup
  • Tricks of the markup trade

Chapter 36. XML and Content Management


Pages 821 - 843 (23)

  • XML tagging up close
  • XML in collection, management, and publishing
  • Which staff members do what kind of XML work
  • Programming in XML by using the Document Object Model

Chapter 37. Processing Content


Pages 845 - 865 (21)

  • The idea and basic concepts behind content processing
  • The relationship between content processing and a CMS
  • The steps and deliverables of a processing project
  • The mechanics of content and how to map from one format to another

Chapter 38. Building Collection Systems


Pages 867 - 916 (50)

  • The features that allow you to originate content
  • How to put together the process and tools behind a conversion system
  • What you need to know to acquire content from files, Web sites, and databases
  • The key features of an editorial metatorial system
  • The parts of the interface between the collection system and the repository

Chapter 39. Building Management Systems


Pages 917 - 991 (75)

  • The structure and function of the repository that stores all your content and associated information
  • The theory and practice of versioning
  • Source control and its relation to versioning and content sharing
  • Support for localization in the repository
  • The systems and features behind workflow
  • A comprehensive view of what you need to be success in CM administration

Chapter 40. Building Publishing Systems


Pages 993 - 1060 (68)

  • The necessary features of a templating system
  • The subsystems and features of personalization
  • Deploying built publication and files
  • The features behind producing Web publications
  • Print publishing technology
  • E-mail as a form of publication
  • Building a syndication system
  • Forming publications for a variety of other channels
  • The interface between the repository and the publishing system