Blogging and Content Management

Can Blogging applications be categorized as Content Management Systems? I think there is a very thin line dividing the two.

ECM suites are so expensive that Gartner created a new category called “Basic Content Services” to refer to content management offerings that provide very basic features at low costs to a large number of people. Most people, anyway do not use most features and would prefer simplicity.

On the other hand, there are softwares (like WordPress and Typepad ) that let people create blogs. Blogging (and these software) actually caught on because of the simplicity that they provided. Even non technical users could use these applications and get up and running in minutes (wordpress has a famous 5-minute install) and most hosting providers provide a single-click install. However, I noticed that these blogging software are adding more functionalities – workflows, version management and so on and in the process, making these products more complicated.

With Blogging softwares adding more functionality and CMS products offering “simplified” content services, I think the distinction will reduce even further.

Google a step closer to taking over the Internet

I had written earlier about the possibility of a Google Instant Messenger. Google Talk was recently announced. It’s got a simple interface with a small footprint (900 K). However, unlike Yahoo’s IM, it’s strength seems to be voice chat. But then, it is in beta and you never know what course they decide to take.

And yes, it integrates with gmail so that you get email notifications.

Updated August 26, 2005
I’ve had good experience using it when i chatted with my friends overseas. The quality was good and the sound was loud and clear. I think telecom giants are going to be running scared 🙂 Good for customers.
However, I could not have a voice conference with multiple people and I’m not sure if offline messages work. But I guess those are small things that will be sorted out in future versions.

Other News this week
Sometime back, Interwoven had announced a partnership with Microsoft and had promised a tighter integration with MS stack. They recently announced the first step in this direction – An integration of Interwoven WorkSite with MS Office Share Point Server. Will we see a similar integration with Interwoven’s TeamSite?

Oracle has finally made it’s presence felt in the collaboration space. Oracle’s new version, Oracle Collaboration Suite 10g, has Instant Messaging, Content Services and Workspaces for collaboration. Another infrastructure vendor in the PCM space?

Another stand alone portal vendor dead?

BEA Systems announced it will acquire enterprise portal solution provider Plumtree Software Inc.

Plumtree was one of the few pure stand-alone portals remaining and has strong collaboration and workgroup features. This has strengthened my belief that the era of stand-alone portals is over.
Some people think BEA has got it really cheap for $200 million as Plumtree brings with it a lot of cash also (about $70 million). However, I am not sure what BEA will gain by maintaining two products which provide similar functionality. The fact that BEA WebLogic portal is a transactional portal and Plumtree has collaboration, search and analytics is, in my opinion not such a big difference.

The other reason that some people think for this merger, apart from the fact that the deal was good is peer pressure. IBM, Sun, Microsoft and SAP are infrastructure vendors that push their portal as part of their overall offering. IBM and Sun have their hardware, Microsoft controls the desktop and SAP leads the show in ERP. BEA has none of these and they needed something to stand out. Plumtree’s cross-platform (It supports both MS and J2EE based environments) ability gives BEA an opportunity to address J2EE as well as Microsoft markets.

Oracle buys Context Media

The consolidation continues. Oracle bought Enterprise Content Integration (ECI) vendor Context Media. IBM also signed an agreement to buy another data integration vendor DWL after it bought ECI vendor Venetica earlier.

These ECI vendors served an important niche. If a customer had multiple ECM systems, they could invest in a good ECI product and marry disparate ECM repositories. However, Continue reading “Oracle buys Context Media”

Improved Usability with AJAX

Google has mastered the art of using simple things to create highly usable applications. This time they have done it using AJAX. There is a good introduction here.

Products in the PCM space are not known for usability, which many analysts predict is going to be a big trend now. These product vendors could do well by incorporating AJAX in their products. Some of the simple applications that can use this are:

Continue reading “Improved Usability with AJAX”