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Jul 09, 2004: New CMS Report Discusses Usability and Metadata

Speaking of CMS, version 6 of Tony Byrne's CMS Report is now available. I'm thrilled that usability and metadata are two of the seven or so trends the report covers.

On CMS Usability: "Vendors often report little interest in usability among prospects and buyers beyond the basic authoring interface. We don't believe that. The problem remains that end-users are too often shut out of buying decisions."

A great point. Of course, it begs the question: whose responsibility is it to involve end users in CMS development--vendors or customers? Valid arguments can be made for both, so it's probably not an either/or question.

On CMSs and Metadata: "Most CMS vendors still provide only very basic abilities to apply metadata. They tend to argue that buyers talk more about metadata than actually implement it. That may be true, but perhaps it's because the CMS doesn't provide enough capabilities to offer a sufficient return on all the extra investment that adding attributes and categories requires."

Of course, it'd be nice if vendors would actively recruit information architects, librarians, and others to help them educate clients about the costs and benefits of metadata, instead of selling the product and hoping for the best. Just dreaming here.

In any case, I'm looking forward to reading up on these issues in The CMS Report.

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Comment: ML (Jul 15, 2004)

I'm wondering if those engaging CMS evaluations are not sure why they would need metadata specialists for their projects. I think an informative article is needed to help vendors/buyers alike on the value of such specialized skills for content management systems?

Comment: Laurent (Sep 17, 2004)

Interesting quote :
"Most CMS vendors still provide only very basic abilities to apply metadata. They tend to argue that buyers talk more about metadata than actually implement it. "

It's true, enterprise request metadata but dont use them when system is available.

Few factors :
- no Information architecture design, lack of documentalist skils
- lack of time and ressource (even if i'm sure a good user interface for metadata input can save a lot of time)
- lack of visibility on the metadata structure. If you propose a taxonomy metadata model, CMS UI doesn't manage to help user to understand the structure of information. This is mostly a problem of CMS solutions usability. I've seen many and i'm asking how user can manage to use them.

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