Several new books have appeared on content management in recent weeks. You may want to review all or some of them as part of your planning process.

The range of the topics covered in these books reflects the confusion over the term—content management. Some vendors and most IT managers think of content management strictly in terms of managing the content that goes onto a Web site. They focus on issues of deployment and are concerned about managing the change process so that content is not overwritten inadvertently. Other vendors and all content developers, including technical information development, think of content management in the content-development stages. The Web may be only one form of delivery to users.

Web Content Management: A Collaborative Approach
Russell Nakano
Addison-Wesley, September 2001

Nakano’s book is about Web content management. In fact, the author is one of the founders of Interwoven. He focuses on developing, managing, maintaining and deploying Web content solutions across the enterprise.

Information developers might want to read this book for its discussion of workflow and to understand some of the issues handled by the Web administrators in your organization. An interesting area for me is the discussion of work and staging areas. Staging areas enable you to verify content and links before the new content is deployed.

Content Management Bible
Bob Boiko
Hungry Minds, December 15, 2001

I just ordered a copy of this book, so I can’t comment much. A friend in the Seattle area mentioned this book to me about a month ago because he knows Boiko, who serves as a consultant for e-businesses. He’s interested in information architecture, metadata, and information systems design. His emphasis in this book appears to be about developing a comprehensive solution for content management for the enterprise.

Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery
JoAnn Hackos
John Wiley & Sons, February 2002

Well—you can’t buy this one yet either. I just finished the final draft and handed it over to the production manager. I still have the index to create, but that doesn’t happen until the end of the month. My emphasis in this book is on the entire life cycle of developing a content-management solution. You’ll find a “how to…” focus, especially in terms of developing a strong Information Model before you buy any technology.

SGML: The Billion Dollar Secret
Chet Ensign
Prentice-Hall, 1997

Of course, this isn’t a new book. But—it’s virtually unknown in information development, perhaps because it’s topic is SGML. Don’t let that get in your way. This book is very good—full of detailed case studies about Grolier Encyclopedia, Sybase Technical Publications, Sikorsky Helicopters, Mobil Corporation, the Semiconductor Industry (lots of companies we know). You’ll find a wealth of information on cost savings and strategies. Sure it refers to SGML, but XML applies equally throughout. PG Bartlett, VP of Marketing at Arbortext, recommended Ensign’s book to me. Now, I recommend it to you.