Web Content Management: A Lot of Great Progress

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Every day there is tremendous work being done on the Web. Talented, dedicated people are working with limited resources and support to achieve brilliant results. If you’re one of those people struggling to achieve the recognition you need, take a moment to take a bow.

I’ve got a great job. I travel the world talking to people about web content. From Hong Kong to Helsinki, from Sydney to Seattle, I get to hear from thousands of web managers every year.

The biggest problem I’ve had over the years is being frustrated. I’ve been involved in the Web since 1994 and I’ve been saying the same basic things for many years. Every year I come across the same fundamental problems. Sometimes I’m asked if I get bored? I used to a little. I don’t anymore.

The thing that stops me from getting bored and frustrated is that I have stopped being obsessed with short-term results. I’ve stopped buying into the fake concept of Internet time. I have forced myself to think long-term and that makes all the difference.

I’m very lucky to meet wonderful people who are working really hard to do a great job. They often work with little budget and little recognition or support from senior management. Yet they manage to achieve brilliant results with such limited resources.

If you’re running a website, it’s very understandable to be frustrated. Don’t be. You have achieved an awful lot. Look back five years. What sort of website was it then? I bet there has been an awful lot of positive progress. Now, look forward five years. Don’t get tied down by the tactical. Take that long-term view.

The Web is still very new. Organizations are only beginning to digest it. But digest it they are. Every year I hear about the same fundamental problems. Yet if I listen closely I can recognize a gradual yet definite shift in attitude. Our world is maturing. It is moving on. Things are definitely getting better.

Only a few years ago, trying to convince a senior manager that web writing was an important skill was a near impossible task. That’s not the case anymore. I’ve heard horror stories of board meetings that focused on the color of the font and had no interest in the actual words on the page. It still happens but not so much.

You still get people who think that all you need is some content management software. You’ll still hear that the ultimate solution is to distribute publishing capabilities to as many people as possible. You will still find organizations that treat classification design as an afterthought. There are still lots of people involved in web publishing who want nothing to do with metadata.

I no longer find any of this frustrating. It’s a challenge. People are not setting out to do the wrong thing. People want to do the right thing. Sure, there’s politics. That’s life. A good manager has got to be a good politician. A good manager realizes that running a website is a long-term process, not a series of short-term projects.

Most people will listen to logic but it may take many years and countless discussions. Remember, the Web is a shift in how we communicate. Changing the way we communicate is a profound change. It takes time.

For your web content management solution, contact Gerry McGovern http://www.gerrymcgovern.com

Subscribe to his New Thinking Newsletter: subscribe@gerrymcgovern.mailer1.net

Web Content Management: A Lot of Great Progress
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