I like to keep things simple and prefer to use content management system (CMS) as the term used to describe the information system we use to manage all content. However, I will acknowledge that it is sometimes good to categorize a CMS by purpose. This differentiation of a CMS by purpose has given us subcategories of the CMS which include the enterprise content management system (ECM), the web content management system (WCM), and the social publishing system (social business system). In a press release this week, Alfresco introduced me to social content management, another new marketing term to describe a CMS with the purpose of managing social media.
Alfresco is tying to evolve the social content management system higher than the social publshing system within the information system food chain. If you ask them, a social content management system would do something much more than a social publishing system. I'm not convinced of that, but they do make a good arguement.
Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 is purpose-built for managing content in a social world. Enterprises are increasingly deploying social business systems like Jive, Salesforce.com’s Chatter, Lotus Quickr, Drupal and Liferay, among others, in the hopes of making employees more effective. According to Alfresco, these social business systems are creating volumes of unmanaged content if left un-checked. Using open standards like CMIS & JSR-168, Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 is a content platform with a goal to co-exist with social business systems to help manage and retain the content created by social business systems.
The marketing team over at Alfresco are pure geniuses. In this case Alfresco is using the social business systems as another catch phrase to describe what I know to be social publishing systems. Alfresco on the other hand identifies their product as as a social content management system that co-exist to manage the social content created by all these other systems. A CMS that is needed to clean up after the mess created by all these other social publishing systems. I'm not sure I buy the argument that there is much difference between a social content management system and a social publishing system. But I will bite that social content management has a much better ring to it than social publishing system or any other term we use to describe the management of social content.
From now on when I describe a CMS for the purpose of managing social content, I'll likely use the term social content management instead of social publishing system. It seems to be a more fitting term for describing the direction the CMS is currently evolving toward. So hats off to Alfresco for pushing this term in their marketing. In a CMS world where ECM and WCM can exist, I see no reason why there can't be a SCM. On face value, there is nothing wrong with this logic. Except, of course, I like to keep things simple and prefer to simply call all these information systems a content management system. However, who am I to argue with progress.
Bryan Ruby is the owner and editor for CMS Report. He founded CMSReport.com in 2006 on the belief that information technologists, website owners, and web developers desired visiting sites where they could learn about content management systems without the sales pitch. Besides this site, you can follow Bryan at Google+ and Twitter.