I was recently asked what I thought about content management systems (CMS); how content should be developed; whether generational differences should be considered; and how to keep content relevant. The best example of a CMS is the Web. There is relevant and irrelevant content. The relevant content is often found through referrals. This may be in terms of ratings, curation by a trusted party, or from a known source. Referrals can be pushed, through something like a subscription service, or pulled from knowledge networks when there is an immediate need for information. People with more diverse and deep knowledge networks get better information.
So what does a CMS have to do with it? Not much.
I was also asked about the best ways for “creating and gathering internal enterprise content, organizing and maintaining that content and making it easily accessible to employees and other stakeholders”. The CMS does not really enable any of this. It’s all about people: those who seek knowledge, make sense of it, and share it. The better they do these three components of PKM, then the better content an organization will have. I have explained this in a simpler approach to knowledge management. It is also a simpler approach to content management. Just let people do it.
Using the example of the web, enable all workers to use easy content creation and sharing tools. Put the internet inside the organization. Focus on removing barriers to knowledge-sharing, like Twitter. Nurture a culture of learning out loud, sharing knowledge like YouTube. Appoint staff to work as curators, like Wikipedia. Let people comment upon and rate content, like Amazon. Focus on the visual, like Pinterest or Instagram.
While good content management cannot be done without technology, it’s not about the technology. It’s 90% people.