I had dinner a few weeks back in Boston with the folks from Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP).
The restaurant, Mare, had the absolutely unique positioning of “organic, coastal Italian.” (Try the spaghettoni and the bread pudding.) The wine list was super but they lacked cocktails, presumably a victim of the Boston liquor license shortage.
We had an interesting conversation about “content architecture” — that is, in a complete multi-channel publishing system what software and tools should be used where, and in which roles, to achieve business ends. Put concretely, where and how you do handle everything from:
- Content management
- Content transformation
- Content enrichment
- Content delivery
- Rights management
- Subscription and billing management
- Merchandising and cross-selling
At one point, the HBSP folks asked me a seemingly simple question: “Dave, what do you think should be at the center of your content architecture?”
Sensing a trick question, I hesitated. “Content?” I dared.
“That seems logical to me to me, too,” they said. “But you know what? Content is almost never at the center of a content architecture. The center is always about some relational database or some ecommerce system or some rights management package.”
Then it struck me: this is another thing that MarkLogic enables: we let you put content at the center of your content architecture.
That’s what Elsevier does. That’s what O’Reilly does. That’s what Oxford University Press does.
Amazingly, in large part due to the type of tools available, content has ended up a second-class citizen in a content architecture. It was one of those observations that was so obvious I’d never seen it before.
So, question for you: what’s at the center of your content architecture?