Context, Agile Infrastructures Key to Managing Mashups #gilbane
Your website is dead. But your content lives in other formats, across other devices. What is currently available is only the beginning -- the world is changing, and as a result the way we interact with information is changing. In the session, Managing New Kinds of Content Mash-ups, Stefan Schinkel of Hippo walked us through the endless possibilities that content engagement afford us.

Context is Key

When we talk mashups, we’re talking about content curation, activity streams, syndication and personalization. It’s not simply enough to have access to content, it has to mean something -- it has to have context!

By providing context, content has relevance, and can leverage your audience’s social graph, so that they feel valued and accurately represented no matter where they go. But providing contextual content is much more than having content. There are many elements that are essential to making context relevant -- is it multi-lingual? Can it be displayed on any device? It is flexible enough to meet the evolving needs of your audience?

A website is static. Your content is dynamic. For online channels, users can design how they consume it. Customization empowers users to take control of information. An empowered user is an engaged user.

What Does It Look Like From the CMS Perspective?

Start by adopting an agile software development process. Then build reliable repositories, collect the right metadata and make strategic decisions about what channels to provide. Schinkel recommends starting simple and then building off of it as needed. If you start with a complex model, managing it will be as complex.

It also requires setting up rules that govern the personas to which users have access. Effective processes are needed to effectively manage rules as content and its possible channels evolve.

Mashups in the Enterprise?

Companies can take the same approach to provide a dynamic content and activity stream for internal users. To make intranets more dynamic, mashups can provide opportunities for employees to become more empowered to find the information that is relevant to them and what they do.

You’re bound to see more mashups in and out of the enterprise. As users become more savvy and their expectations for content consumption expand, curating content for the consumer as well as for the information worker makes for a personalized engagement experience.