content-is-the-key1

There is a lot of discussion around the role of the web content management system in customer experience management (CXM). Some say it’s the core, others say it’s an element, but not a driver. I say they are both right.

Let`s be very specific here, because it is important. If we were just talking purely about the online customer experience, then I would agree that the web content management system (WCM) is the core to designing and support CXM strategies. Pretty much every supporting CXM technology: marketing automation, social media monitoring, customer relationship management, analytics, personalization, social software, etc…needs to integrate with the WCM. Why? Because it stores all the content you need to manage the experience. We use to call this WebEngagement (orExperience) Management.

But customer experience management is about more than the online channels. And not all WCM platforms provide support to the offline experience. Support channels, print-based marketing, internal knowledge work activities — these things are typically done using other tools. And the content used to support these activities is, typically, stored in these other tools.

What I think brings both these views together is not the WCM itself, but the WCM repository. Or to be more generic, the content repository. I think to be successful managing the customer experience, you need to be able to quickly access and relate all elements of a customer interaction with all the internal knowledge your employees have about not only the customer, but the processes used to work with a customer. You can do that if you have a single content repository to work with.

Many content management systems today are designed to store content not as html pages, but as individual components of content that can be easily reused across different web pages, mobile sites and apps, social networks and more. Managing a single version of that content is important to ensure you are always saying the same thing to your customers. These repositories can also be leveraged by other systems to provide content as well. For example, this content repository could be used by your call center support team to help customers with issues.

Now it’s important to point out that I don’t believe you can only have one single content repository where all information needs to permanently live. I believe that content integration is the key to a well-managed content repository. So you can keep your content in the other systems you work with, but find a way to integrate your content repository with those others systems.

By doing that, you can have a single location to mine for information about your customer and their interactions with you, and to use to design and build new applications or online/offline experiences. A central content repository also allows you to develop support applications that have access to customer information easily, including any information from CRM systems, traffic information, etc…

Today’s content is not only the material you use to develop your CXM strategies, it’s also the interactions customers and prospective customers have with you. Having it all accessible in a centralized content repository will help you identify, design and refine your CXM strategies quickly. If you are required to move from system to system to gather all the intelligence and information you need, you are going to spend far more time hunting and gathering, than actually doing something.

Barb Mosher is a guest columnist for MindTouch and Managing Editor for CMSWire.com. You can follow Barb on Twitter @bmosherzinck

Publishing workflow

In an ongoing effort to redefine customer help, MindTouch announces support for common CCMS vendors like Astoria, DocZone, SDL Trisoft, and IXIAsoft. Releases business “how-to” toolkit for socializing CMS and CCMS.

Austin, TX, November 17, 2011 — MindTouch, the provider of exceptional product help experiences, announced at Lavacon this week support for common Componentized Content Management System (CCMS) vendors such as Astoria, DocZone, SDL Trisoft and IXIAsoft.

XML and DITA based CMS’s have proven market value by decreasing the cost of authoring, maintaining and translating content. While powerful in lowering costs, CCMS platforms are publishing value laden content into obsolete pre-Web formats such as PDFs, static HTML and first generation knowledgebases.

End users’ expectations are higher than ever. Twenty year old static formats are still the primary mediums used today and these fail to meet the needs of end users. Recent studies (Greenfield Online, Datamonitor, Ovum Analysts and Genesys) estimate the failure to meet customers’ support needs is the primary cause of customer churn and this creates as much as $83 billion of annual losses caused by product abandonment.

Companies like Autodesk, Paypal, Intuit and thousands of others, have turned to MindTouch. As of this week, MindTouch now enhances CCMS investments by creating a publishing end point that offers users a social, collaborative and analytics rich environment for end users. Now, CCMS’s can create revenue and customer engagement. MindTouch offers effortless product help anywhere, anytime in the form of a social help center for customers, a social knowledgebase that integrates seamlessly with support ticketing and an in-product help system.

“MindTouch is offering a new social publishing endpoint for help and product content” said Aaron Fulkerson, CEO of MindTouch. “We are replacing static HTML and PDF as the primary help publishing medium with a social experience that taps into the dynamics of the web. We fight for the users.”

In seconds CCMS users can now publish tens of thousands of their product and knowledgebase articles into a MindTouch powered social help center. Hierarchies, cross-link references, image and page formats are maintained and/or created in real-time. Content is automatically organized by tags, metadata and hierarchy. Content is indexed by a powerful search tool. Users are accelerated to expertise with auto-related topics, tutorials, videos and content from support ticketing. A variety of feedback mechanisms encourage customer engagement. Furthermore, behavioral analytics inform content, product, sales and marketing strategy corporate wide.

Product managers value MindTouch because it enables great user experiences, improves user adoption, and allows them to better understand how users utilize products. Support teams can effectively target and address support hot spots in record time with support ticketing integration. Technical writers and content strategists know precisely where and how to improve content and love the in-product help system that allows them to fix documents in real time, run sophisticated analytics, and dynamically organize content without tedious manual work.

MindTouch collaborated with the Gilbane Group, the Society for Technical Communicators (STC), customers and several industry experts to develop a toolkit that provides a “how-to” for repurposing Componentized Content Management Systems (CCMS’s) by adding a social publishing layer. This benefits your users in profound and measurable ways. If you use a CCMS and care about your users, you will want this toolkit. Download the Socializing your CCMS toolkit.

About MindTouch

An enterprise collaboration leader since 2005, MindTouch converts users into experts with a cloud based social help center for help, technical and product content that includes a knowledgebase with support ticketing integration and a help button that can be added to any web application in minutes. Millions use MindTouch every day.
Great companies like Cisco, Intuit, Paypal, Autodesk, Hewlett-Packard, Mozilla, HTC, Viacom, Panasonic and EMC rely on MindTouch.
Learn more at http://mindtouch.com.

Climate Institute and LAC-CORE Become First NGOs to Publish Climate Lab Content on their Websites – Over 250 wiki articles & 350 user accounts generated since Climate Lab kickoff

ClimateLabWashington, May 04, 2010 — A year after launching climatelab.org, a community website and wiki on climate change issues, the DC-based nonprofit Climate Lab announced today that it has founded a new collaborative network to syndicate its climate change content. The launch of Climate Lab Networks marks the first time a public site has attempted to syndicate open-sourced climate change content across multiple websites.

Climate Lab Networks will provide partners with customized streaming access to Climate Lab’s wiki content, allowing partners to republish and rebrand the live content within their own sites. The Climate Institute and the Latin American and Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy (LAC-CORE) are the first NGOs to join Climate Lab Networks.

“Climate Lab is positioned to become a shared content management system for the global community of organizations working to address climate change,” said Adam Tapley, Climate Lab’s Managing Director. “Sharing benefits everyone. By sharing content, stakeholders help define a common language and a common set of metrics to identify better solutions and evaluate the success of their efforts.”

“As a practical matter, joining Climate Lab Networks is a low-cost way to develop an extremely dynamic website,” said Climate Institute founder and CEO John Topping. “We expect that Climate Lab will help us spread our message about environmental education and effective responses to climate change.”

Since launching a year ago, Climate Lab, which is built on MindTouch’s enterprise collaboration platform, has emerged as a leading clearinghouse on climate-related data and issues, collectively edited by over 350 climate professionals, academics, students and concerned individuals across the world who volunteer their time. Articles on Climate Lab can be collaboratively authored and edited freely by any registered climatelab.org user.

See it in Action

Here’s a simple example of how the service works: pages which originate on Climate Lab, such as an article on “Small Island Developing States“, can now be published on partner websites, like the Climate Institute.

MindTouch, recently named by Forrester as the open-source alternative to Microsoft SharePoint, provides an open-source collaboration platform that enables tens of millions of users globally to connect and customize enterprise systems, social tools and web services. The MindTouch platform makes it possible for non-programmers to connect enterprise systems, databases and web-services in the context of an easy-to-use collaborative environment. For Climate Lab, this creates a powerful platform for rapidly publishing and syndicating its content.

Climate Lab announced the official launch of Climate Lab Networks at the one-year anniversary party celebrating the launch of climatelab.org, Thursday, April 8 at Local 16, a popular bar and restaurant in Washington DC. Keynote remarks at the event were made by Climate Lab board member Scott Sklar of the Stella Group, Ltd. Sklar is the former Executive Director for both the Solar Energy Industries Association and the National BioEnergy Industries Association.

“By allowing NGOs and other groups to stream their content into each other’s websites, Climate Lab is giving these diversified sources and specialists a reason to come together under one roof – and maybe just in the nick of time,” said Sklar.

For more information, please contact: Adam Tapley, Managing Director, Climate Lab, (202) 640-1899 (work), (617) 894-5521 (cell), [email protected]

About Climate Lab

Climate Lab is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to drive action on climate change-related issues by improving knowledge sharing and collaboration. To this end, in 2009 Climate Lab launched climatelab.org, a community website and wiki on climate change where content can be collaboratively authored and edited freely by registered users. In April 2010, Climate Lab founded Climate Lab Networks, a new collaborative network and service to syndicate its content – marking the first time a public site has syndicated open-source climate change content across multiple websites.

For more information on Climate Lab, or to view the climate change site: climatelab.org.

{{wiki.template(“NewsroomAbout”)}}{{ prettyPhoto(‘mindtouchvideos’)  }}

Hi, I’m Liraz, co-founder of TurnKey Linux, an open source project developing a free virtual appliance library that features the very best server-oriented open source software. TurnKey Linux appliances are ready-to-use solutions that get you up and running in minutes on a virtual machine, bare metal or in the cloud.

TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

We’ve been big fans of MindTouch for a while now. We use MindTouch Core internally and on our development wiki and love it, so we were excited when Aaron (MindTouch’s CEO) invited us to guest blog and spread the word about what we’re trying to achieve at TurnKey Linux and why you should care.

The project recently celebrated its one year birthday with a major release batch featuring:

Read more…

MindTouch was chosen for the Sprout Award because of its leadership in the Enterprise Collaborative

Network market

SAN DIEGO August 20, 2009 – MindTouch today announced that it has been selected as Sprout Award winner from Everything Channel. MindTouch was chosen The Sprout Awards spotlight companies that are in the earliest stages of promising technology and product development in areas including Client application, Client hardware, Server application, Server hardware, Cloud computing, Storage, Networking, Wireless, Mobility, Social Networking, Consumer Electronics and more. The award program was created in conjunction with The Sightline Group to recognize leading technology startup companies. The Sprout Awards were revealed at XChange ’09, which took place August 17-20 at the Gaylord National Hotel in Washington, DC.

MindTouch Inc. is the leader in Enterprise 2.0 Collaborative Networks and is changing the way businesses capture, share and collaborate on information. With MindTouch, companies are revolutionizing how they work and increasing returns on investment from existing software, hardware and humanware. MindTouch combines the speed, agility and ease of use of a wiki with the scalability, security and integration of an enterprise portal. So, our customers use MindTouch instead of a traditional enterprise portal or web content management system because rather than taking 10 months and a bunch of engineers to deploy, with MindTouch business analysts or IT guys can do it in a month.

“We are extremely pleased to be chosen as a Sprout Award Winner by Everything Channel and the Sightline Group,” said CEO Aaron Fulkerson. “It is always gratifying to be recognized by your peers in the industry, especially being selected as an innovative company. We will continue to develop and deliver the best Enterprise Collaborative products in the market.”

“We created The Sprout Awards to introduce promising new technologies to marketplace and learn why they are on track to become the next hot company,” said Robert C. DeMarzo, senior vice president and editorial director, Everything Channel. “All of the startups and technologies that were introduced to us were very impressive. However, the MindTouch was the cream of the crop. We congratulate them on a job well done and wish them continued success as they bring their technology to market.”

 

The Sprout Award winners were chosen by the CRN editorial department and the CRN Test Center. Selection criteria was based upon a variety of aspects such as the type of product or service, the compelling story of the background of their founders, to the back-story of “born in a garage” or “designed on a coffee shop napkin.”

{{wiki.template(“news/about”)}}

About The Sightline Group

The Sightline Group offers sales and marketing strategy, execution assistance and product launch expertise across numerous consumer technology product categories. The firm works with clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. The firm has earned an unparalleled reputation for forging vital alliances. Using its strong relationships with key executives across all major channels — retailers, e-commerce vendors, catalogers, VARs, SIs and OEMs — the Sightline Group can quickly introduce clients and their products to the right people. Past clients include Logitech, iRobot, Acer, Qualcomm and Eye-Fi. For more information, visit sightlinegroup.com.

About Everything Channel

Everything Channel is the one-stop shop for managing and accelerating technology sales. From branding and recruiting to marketing and sales, Everything Channel offers technology marketers the unmatched breadth and depth of global brands and market intelligence combined with unparalleled audience loyalty and credibility serving all technology sales channels through an extensive database. Everything Channel provides innovative field sales and marketing solutions to arm the sellers of technology with the resources they need to achieve measurable and significant results. (www.everythingchannel.com, www.channelweb.com)

About United Business Media Limited

UBM (UBM.L) focuses on two principal activities: worldwide information distribution, targeting and monitoring; and, the development and monetization of B2B communities and markets. UBM’s businesses inform markets and serve professional commercial communities – from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewelry traders, from farmers to pharmacists – with integrated events, online, print and business information products. Our 6,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organized into specialist teams that serve these communities, bringing buyers and sellers together, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently. (www.unitedbusinessmedia.com)

mikepixel_fiestaskin

I have “skinned” or “themed” a lot of web applications over the years to include CMS’s, blog engines, and a couple collaboration applications.  Most of the time, I have a good time doing so, but the process is usually littered with a lot of issues when it comes to how the application spits out markup and how it incorporates CSS.

I started working with MindTouch Deki a couple months ago and am happy to say that I found the entire skinning experience to be quite the opposite.  When I say opposite, I mean that the process was not littered with issues, and that I found Deki to be written in a way that really made it easy for me to skin.  There are several reasons for such a good experience, and I will do my best to get to them all.

As a note, when I started working with Deki, I started with the Fiesta skin set, so there will be a few Fiesta specific points below, but for the most part it covers the general Deki Skinning model.  Okay now to the reasons for such a good skinning experience.

Solid Web Standard Markup

Almost “nuff said,” but I will say a little more.  The markup produced by Deki is written with web standards in mind.  Here are a few things I liked.

  • DOCTYPE  it is there.  No quirks mode!  You would be surprised that some applications are still forgetting to include a simple DOCTYPE.
  • It is not littered with tables.  The Fiesta skin uses tables only when tables are needed.  (for example: tabular data)  The Ace skin uses tables a little more than I would like, but hey it is still better than a lot of web applications out there.
  • Elements are given classes.  This sounds like a no brainer, but I have worked with many applications where I could not easily style a specific div element because it did not have a class and there was no way for me style it without some very creative CSS or to give the element a class with some crazy JavaScript.

CSS Variables

There are a couple schools of thought when it comes to CSS Variables.  Some will tell you they have no part in good CSS, and some will rave about them and promote them vigorously.  I am in the middle and believe there is a time for them and a time not to use them.

With Deki skinning, they work well.  They are used in the Fiesta skins and it makes it much easier once you notice all that they effect.  For the most part I didn’t change in CSS which classes used what variables.  I found that MindTouch did a good job of using the variables in a way that promotes good design.

If you are in the school that is highly against them, you can take them out with little effort or use one of the other skin families MindTouch provides (base or ace).

Extremely Well Commented

This is mainly in reference to the Fiesta skin and is another reason I like skinning Fiesta the best.  The CSS in the Fiesta skin is very well commented.  It makes skinning 10 times easier.  A whole lot less guessing.

Templates

mikepixel_fiestaskin_summerThis might not make sense right at first, and it isn’t entirely a skinning issue, but there are many times, that I want my customer to be able to have something styled nicely within the customers area of editing.

For the most part, I lock down everything and the user is left with his or her area of responsibility.  In most web applications whether that be CMS’s, blogs, or collaboration sites, the only way a user can have something styled differently is if he or she knows a little HTML and CSS and can edit the HTML or CSS right there in the editor.

First of all that could be very scary.  I don’t want my users/customers messing with HTML or CSS.  Inevitably I end up getting a call from a user who needs me to fix the “cool” things they did in the HTML view in their editor.

Templates in Deki fix this problem.  With the skins I created, I added a text file with directions on how to use templates, HTML and CSS to be added to the Control Panel.  The user follows 4 steps to create 2 different templates that they can use in their editors.

In Conclusion

So there ya have it. You can view the skins I have created at deki.cornerpixel.net.  Once there you can view all 4 of my skins.  In each skin set I have included a text file with templates, alternate backgrounds and even fixed menus if you like that sort of thing.  You can also view four different videos showing how to install and setup the skins provided.

I based the skins off the Fiesta skin and have only made changes to the style.css file so that the skins I created should be usable in the future as long as the Fiesta skin package remain the same.  I made no edits to the php files and have commented any CSS that is used to override styles in the _content.css file.  I only did this to make it easier for the community to edit my skins.

So feel free to download the skins, use them, tweak them, and most of all enjoy them.

~MikePixel  (Michael Silva)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

enterpriseimage1Mark your calendar for this week’s Webinar Wednesday series, Using MindTouch Deki as a Content Management System, this Wednesday, January 21 at 11am (PST). This Wednesday one of our experts will take you through MindTouch Deki; starting off with the basics of using Deki and then focusing on a more specific topic (using MindTouch Deki as a CMS system) for the remainder of the hour (Q&A time also included in the hour). In this session you’ll discover how to:

  • Create and edit pages
  • Invite users and collaborate immediately
  • Connect your enterprise systems
  • Seize opportunities for your sales teams
  • Utilize the hundreds of pre-built social and enterprise extensions
  • Increase collaboration and efficiency within your enterprise
  • Create situational applications to provide intelligence for your business
  • Use Deki as a content management system

For more information and to RSVP for the Webinar visit our Webinar Wednesdays page. And if you have any additional questions about Webinar Wednesdays please email webinars (at) mindtouch (dot) com.

Deki CMS combines the strengths of both a wiki and a content management system ensuring ease of use, control, and great presentation for designers, writers and administrators alike. The CMS is a feature add-on to Deki Wiki which essentially transforms the extremely powerful wiki platform into a light weight CMS system. In addition, Deki CMS allows users to leverage a collaborative content management system for greater content growth and governance.

I created the first version of Deki CMS about 10 months ago to power the MindTouch public site. I developed the add-on because I was sick of using other content management systems and being let down. With other content management systems I wasn’t able to version my changes and I couldn’t see who was contributing what. I couldn’t do simple things like easily maintain url aliases or use templates throughout the MindTouch site. I also had problems with file attachments, in particular with storing design files. Oh yeah, and my content backup consisted of me yelling to Roy “Hey, save a copy of the database” and five minutes later “ok, revert the database.” I quickly realized that all these issues had already been solved and were the core competencies of a wiki.

Because Deki Wiki was so powerful and also such a great collaboration platform, I thought I’d try to bend the rules a little. I altered the wiki markup and placed all of the wiki functions in an easily accessible toolbar(create page, recent changes, hierarchical navigation, revision history, etc). I then made some more markup changes and hid the toolbar from anonymous users. Simply put, all site visitors see only the blank canvas of the wiki and all registered wiki users see the canvas and the toolbar.

Download at Sourceforge

Since my first release, I have made many major improvements. Deki CMS currently has revised SEO functionality, increased usability design, and drastically improved page load speeds. I’m going to continue improving the add-on but because it is one of my 20% projects, Deki CMS will not yet be supported or shipped with Deki Wiki. We have, however, decided to make Deki CMS publicly available for download. The files along with the instructions are available on SourceForge.

Simply navigate to the ‘download > browse all files’ tab and you’ll find Deki CMS under MindTouch Deki Wiki Modules.

MindTouch Deki CMS forum

I’ve also created a forum post to address issues, concerns and suggestions. Please use the forum link below for more information.

Thanks for your support
Damien Howley
DamienH[at]mindtouch.com