ePublishing Acquires Ellington CMS, MarketplaceePublishing, a cloud-based SaaS provider of integrated content management, e-commerce and CRM solutions, is acquiring the clients, staff and technology of Ellington CMS and Ellington Marketplace from The World Company's Mediaphormedia software division. Ellington software is aimed at providing content management and user-generated tools to news/media organizations and content networks of all sizes.

Engaging Content User Communities

With this acquisition, ePublishing seeks to allow clients to build open communities around content and engage and collaborate with their content users through features such as multimedia blogs and blog groups, comment postings, customizable user profiles, and following/favoriting/sharing features. In addition to its stated intention to maintain Ellington’s existing user base, ePublishing can also offer new social features to users of its cloud-based enterprise publishing system, which is designed to provide a dashboard for creating content and delivering it to multiple channels.

Reacting to Changes in Publishing

ePublishing’s model, which blends content management with more traditional “publishing” functions, and its expansion into the social media space, reflects the changes occurring in the world of publishing. Digital publishing expert Clay Shirky was quoted in a recent CMSWire article about the “death” of publishing as saying, “Publishing is not evolving. Publishing is going away.”

While CMSWire columnist Seth Gottlieb (himself the founder of IT strategy firm Content Here) did not fully agree with Shirky’s pronouncement, he did agree that the “publisher’s role of gatekeeper to availability has been reduced” due to technology that makes distributing and gaining access to content easier than ever before. The ubiquity of corporate websites has turned every business into a publisher, and publishing now involves “executing a multi-faceted, multi-channel content strategy to inform and engage audiences on and off the website.”

So before “pushing the publish button,” planning around placement, timing and what kind of formats to target is needed. Gottlieb also advises adding an interactive application, which is where the Ellington solutions come in. While ePublishing already offered interactive social tools on its existing platform, the Ellington applications are specifically geared point solutions for what could be termed “social publishing,” and their addition to the ePublishing platform will help the vendor provide a more complete, modern online publishing solution.

Publishing is now about providing fluid content that stays up to date with the speed at which information travels online, and is also about giving users an active role in creating, distributing and critiquing content. The days of “passive consumers” are gone, and companies like ePublishing must take an active role in enabling clients to engage them.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of this month. Financial terms were not released.