FAQ: Which feature article this week caused the biggest stir?

Those seemingly innocuous, innocent FAQ pages tucked away in the bottom navigation bar of many websites provoked quite a bit of discussion this week from readers who did not lack for opinions.

Our experts also weighed in with thoughts on the millinery choices of content managers, suggestions for who should be your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day (hint: your customers), how big data and analytics can help shape CXM strategies, and what it takes to be a great employee in today's social businesses.

And oh, did somebody say SharePoint?

A Dozen Roses and Some Chocolates Should Do

Customer Experience Management: We Want to be Adored

Deb Lavoy (@deb_lavoy): Customer Experience Management (CXM) is the latest impossible to define, understand or implement concept coming at the enterprise. We think it might have something to do with Marketing or Customer Support or Metrics. It is owned by the CMO or maybe the COO or IT or Sales. Oh – it’s a corporate-wide initiative. We love those. We have maturity models, so it must be important, and tantalizingly, some organizations are very successful with it.

But what is it? And how do we get a grip on this swirl of a (dare I say wicked?) problem? How do we organize our thoughts and our actions around it to reach that green light at the end of the dock, the customer experience that customers love.

The Seven Hats Content Managers Will Wear in 2012

Carrielle Somers:  It’s 2012, and the world is literally at our fingertips thanks to PCs, smartphones and tablets. And the widespread use of mobile devices isn’t slowing down anytime soon. This opens up a rapidly increasing number of opportunities for companies to connect with users.

Add the growing influence of social media, and companies now have to develop and present online experiences that incorporate device, location and social media profiles, to name a few! For the content manager, this means pressure to specialize in all aspects of content creation, management, security and more in order to meet today’s user demands.

Exactly how many hats must they wear in order to be successful?

Content Strategy: Don’t Ditch Your FAQ page

Ahava Leibtag (@ahaval): This is my first column of 2012 and I’m going to start the year by being controversial.

The proverbial notion within content strategy is to vehemently protest the existence of a FAQ page on a website. Further, the FAQ page is the first page abolished during a migration and redesign. There’s a certain amount of snobbishness that goes along with this advice: “Do they have a FAQ page?” Sniff, sniff. Roll of the eyes.

Actually, I would say that content strategists recommending the abolishment of a FAQ page is the very action we always accuse our clients of doing: inside/out thinking. Instead of focusing on user needs, we prioritize content based on what we would like to see happen.

Or Maybe Take Them Out on a Big Data?

Big Data: The Missing Link for Customer Experience Management?

Darren Guarnaccia (@dguarnaccia): 2011 was an amazing year, filled with innovation, and chaotic, disruptive changes to the digital marketing world. We saw the Web Engagement and Web Content Management markets embrace their many other sibling channels, and evolve into the Customer Experience Management (CXM) market.

At the same time, we’ve seen the emergence of big data, and the dream of being able to harness all of this amazing data to truly understand our customers. Today’s analytics compress their collected data into summary statistics to save space. Big data is the promise of retaining this beautifully detailed data, and helping us plumb its depths to better engage and interact with our customers, even in real-time.

The Digital Marketing Platform: The Future of CXM

David Nickelson (@DrDNickelson): 2011 was dominated by the trend of convergence ; more than one WCM platform began the transition from digital content management tool to customer engagement and marketing platform by improving the analytic and personalization capabilities of its offerings. These efforts are a step in the right direction. Content will forever be the “meat” in the marketing sandwich, so building out from this center only makes good sense. However, even this new breed of Web CMSs have a long way to go before they singularly provide the tools and functionality that savvy, enterprise-scale marketing and IT teams are demanding right now. To meet those needs, the biggest trend of 2012 is likely to be the emergence of digital marketing platforms via the integration of existing enterprise software tools.

Localization is the Lynchpin for CXM

Rob Vandenberg (@robvandenberg): 2012 is poised to be the year of the customer. During lean economic times, every consumer is looking for ways to not only stretch the budget, but expecting to feel like every dollar spent delivers high value. Companies will be wise to develop strategies which yield the end result of customers feeling like they are amply receiving everything they paid for. In the end, there is only real strategy when it comes to customer experience management: giving the customers what they want.

Open communication and other elements may play some role in customer satisfaction, but a customer who does not receive what they pay for will go elsewhere to obtain it. That being said, not every customer is like the next, though they can be separated into some broad categories such as domestic and international. International customers have a single, overwhelming request.

The New Google Analytics: Visitor Flow Report

Bob Clary (@webucator): As a follow-up to my previous article, Overview: The 'New' Google Analytics Platform, I'm providing a series of articles that dive into each of the platform's new components in more detail. For this article, I'm going to spend some time going through the Visitor Flow Report, a feature that can help you assess website engagement.

For Your Employees? Perhaps a Night at a Social Club?

Social Employees: The Driving Force Behind Social Business Success

Chris Bucholtz (@bucholtz): You can’t swing a cat these days without hitting something with the prefix “social” stuck to it – especially if you’re at work when you’re swinging it. Which, I believe, would be an HR violation in most companies.

But I digress.

“Social” is our feeble linguistic way to cope with a communications revolution that’s flattening organizational hierarchies, exploding the barriers between customers and the companies they buy from and transforming the technologies we use to run our businesses.

The Changing Face of Enterprise Software

Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet) and Mike Watson: The future enterprise is one where the systems we use will provide the features we need when we need them rather than a complex, convoluted dashboard that stuffs every option into one viewable area. In this future enterprise, end users will focus less on how to use the technology and more on getting actual work done.

There are many factors driving these changes. For one, people are demanding a better user experience. As surfaced in comments during the Customer Experience Management (CXM) Tweet Jam last week (view a recap of the conversation here), social-enabled tools and analytics are becoming increasingly important, with consumer-class, Web 2.0 tools such as Facebook and Twitter driving legions of enterprise software designers and their customers to rethink business tools.

Back to Basics: Event Analytics for the Non-Analytical

Kelly Craft (@krcraft): As consultants and analysts, we all want to deliver on visions of a new kind of socially enabled enterprise, much like the promises offered at Dreamforce. There are pivotal challenges that will ultimately decrease the likelihood for real success stories if the core language and educational challenges go unaddressed.

One reality is that many Value-added resellers (VAR) and even more customers don’t yet speak in terms of data intelligence at all, much less words like social, engaging, listening, monitoring and analysis which have now been added to the business lexicon. We have to simplify it and make it easier, especially for small and medium businesses (SMBs) with lean staffing.

In an effort to aid the non-analytical but eager masses, this will be a very basic "how to" guide series for organizations on how to take smaller sips from the fire hose, and chew on new knowledge nuggets in smaller, more easily digestible morsels.

State of the Intranets 2012: How Does Your Intranet Measure Up?

Andrew Wright (@roojwright): Jakob Nielson has just released his 10 Best Intranets of 2012 Report. This yearly report lists what Jakob and his highly regarded team believe are the ten best intranets of the year from submitted entries.

While the report is very useful in many respects, particularly the large number of screen shots, it doesn’t cover what I believe is the most important quality of an intranet: What do the intranet users think of it?

Enterprise Content Migration: Lessons From the Trench

Nitin Mehta: Change is constant. Evolution has always pushed us to migrate to a more assured state. You don’t have to be Darwin to realize that software development is no different in this regard. Migration becomes all the more relevant in the Enterprise CMS space when looking at the rapid pace of development driven by new requirements that concepts like content intelligence create.

The case for migration is further strengthened in light of the shifting Enterprise CMS Vendor landscape, which has been witness to a high level of consolidation in the last few years. The total to be spent on data migration has been projected to be roughly US$ 8 billion in the coming year and considering that more than 80% of data is unstructured, the Enterprise CMS migration market will be blossoming. In this article, I am going to share my experiences on how to plan and execute an ECM migration project.

Don't Forget Everyone's Sweetheart, SharePoint

Information Architecture – SharePoint’s Story

Steven Pogrebivsky (@metavistech): Consider this: Microsoft has sold over 125 million licenses of SharePoint. It is a multi-billion dollar business. SharePoint is a platform that everyone seems to have, many actually use and most don’t understand how to implement and manage properly. There is no platform more in need of a proper information architecture than SharePoint. But what exactly does that mean?

SharePoint Implementation the Right Way

Joe Shepley (@joeshepley): In my last post, I outlined the decision point that the SharePoint user community faces right now. I caught some flak after the post that I want to address here head-on: some folks pointed out that whatever SharePoint can or can’t do in theory, in practice SharePoint implementations frequently fail to provide improved document management…and organizations find themselves with as big (or bigger) of a mess as they had with shared drives, Lotus Notes or whatever else was in place before SharePoint came along.

Now, I see SharePoint in action, day in and day out among my clients, so I think I have a good perspective on this issue, both in terms of how to fail at SharePoint as well as how to succeed. That having been said, with this post I want to provide a bird’s eye view of how you can use SharePoint successfully to move off of your current ailing repository of choice and provide improved document management capabilities to your organization. Next post, we’ll drop down a bit into the weeds and look in some detail about how you go about implementing the best practices I introduce here.

Is Legal Ready for SharePoint?

Mike Ferrara (@mikecferrara):  Last year I wrote an article entitled “Is the Legal Industry Ready for SharePoint?" as I had just gotten back from ILTA with fresh questions in my mind from inquiring customers about using the platform as a Document Management System (DMS), in lieu of Autonomy Worksite or OpenText DOCS Open. The article was a simple walk through on the viability of moving to SharePoint as a DMS in a law firm.

I’d like to expand on that topic now and share with you some of my experiences with respect to recent client engagements of this type.

Let me preface this by saying that I won’t be suggesting specific tools or methods to accomplish a project like this. I simply want to shed some light on what is becoming a larger trend in legal technology in regards to document and content management system platforms. In other words, we’ll be talking about firms who have or are in the process of migrating to SharePoint http://www.cmswire.com/news/topic/sharepoint completely for their document management needs.

Video Blog: DataFacet Refines Search in SharePoint 2010 with Autoclassification

Mike Doane (@mikedoane): Taxonomies in Enterprise CMSs like SharePoint 2010 can be made more valuable if content can be autoclassified. This month, I show how the taxonomy management tool DataFacet can be used to precisely control how autoclassification can be done to get better search results.

The Art of SharePoint Success: Strategy – The Business Case For SharePoint

Symon Garfield (@symon_garfield): Last time on the Art of SharePoint Success we concluded our exploration of strategic lenses that I use to help clients understand and articulate their SharePoint related goals by looking at Enterprise Content Management and Collaboration.

In this scintillating installment we are going to delve into the third and final part of the Strategy element, the business case for SharePoint.

Office 365 or SharePoint Foundation – What’s the Best SharePoint Trial?

Chris Wright (@scribbleagency): For those organizations contemplating a move to SharePoint, there are a couple of ways to test the product before committing to a purchase. Which trial method is right for your enterprise? Read on.

When SharePoint 2010 launched, the product range was fairly simple. There was SharePoint 2010 (Standard or Enterprise) and SharePoint Foundation. Both products could be downloaded or came on a CD, required local installation and typically needed to be maintained by an IT department. Foundation, formally Windows SharePoint Services, is a cut down version of SharePoint 2010. It doesn’t include all of the features of SharePoint Standard or Enterprise, such as My Sites or much in the way of business intelligence functionality.

That's it for this week. Check in next week for a pun-free (I promise!) look at our weekly features.