While the term Web 2.0 may be getting a little long in the tooth, the associated concepts and functionality that users have become accustomed to are here to stay. However, the idea of installing, configuring and maintaining a separate piece of software to enable Web 2.0 capabilities is a nightmare for organizations of any size. The Open Text Web Solutions Group (a.k.a. Red Dot) hopes to turn this nightmare into a pleasant dream of modern Web CMS functionality.
Perhaps the biggest lesson learned from the Web 2.0 movement is that users want to participate. Whether it be through comments on blog post or posts in a forum or the collaborative maintenance of a wiki, the need to support, encourage and manage user-generated content is a critical success factor for nearly all current Web initiatives.
The Red Dot team intend to meet this need by providing "modules" within its Web content management system that allow editors to quickly and easily:
* Create blogs, with or without comments enabled
* Create wikis and specify read or write access for registered users
* Create forums and manage access to said forums
* Associate editorial content with a built-in rating system to enable end-user feedback
This all sounds rather nifty in theory, but like many I am curious about the real-world scenarios where this rubber will hit the road. With that in mind, the following two use cases should address a bit of your inquisitiveness:
# From an internal/intranet perspective, editors and in-house users can "eat their own dog food" and leverage Red Dot for a Web-based discussion thread.
# Rather than simply creating a piece of content and publishing, editors can now take said content and attach a document to it. Then, the content can be expanded with a forum or as a blog post that allows participation through comments.
Along with the advanced functionality provided by these modules, this update also focuses on personalization (which took top billing in recent Forrester Web CMS analysis). Utilizing metadata attributes such as: language, region, hierarchy, occupational group, department and interest; knowledge and content can be assigned and accessed based on users' preferences.
If your org is a Red Dot shop, it looks like time to give your sales rep a jingle and compare these new modules to the third-party add-ons or services you have been evaluating. If you are in an eval phase for a new Web CMS, this update could be the bump that puts the Dot back on the table -- as fewer software vendors implies a cleaner, simpler infrastructure, and we could all use some more of that.
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