One might think that the content management problems within an organization do not directly concern each and every individual within it. But one couldn’t be more wrong. A key to resolve the content management problems and increase the productivity of an organization is to help the individuals to organize and manage their personal content so they can find, use and share it when they need to.
Most people have lots of problems, or at least spend a lot of time, with keeping their content organized, correct, complete and up-to-date. If this work is neglected or not done properly, it will be hard to find the right content you need just the moment you need it. Just think about yourself and how much time you spend every day on searching for content such as contacts, e-mails, images, music and documents on your computer or other devices. I can easily think of several problems that I myself am struggling with on an almost daily basis:
- Contacts are located in multiple places (Outlook, webmail, mobile phone) with redundant, missing and outdated information
- Large amounts of documents received via e-mail and downloaded from the web that have not yet been organized, thus making it hard to find them
- Documents on my hard drive are organized in a folder structure, making it hard to organize documents that are logically belonging to more than one subject
- Drafts and final versions of my own documents are sometimes mixed up, making it hard to find what version is the latest and thus correct one
To attack the content management problem at its root, an enterprise content management initiative should include providing each and everyone within the organization with the proper methodology, tools and training to help them manage their personal content. Once we get organized and in control of our content on a personal level, communicating and collaborating with others will be much easier and more efficient. We will allocate more time and energy that can be spent on improving processes and products.
A key question is if there is a single Personal CMS that which can help me solve my personal content management problems? I don’t believe there is. Yet. I myself use a lot of different tools for different purposes, all with different advantages and disadvantages. This, in turn, is also one of the reasons why I have problems managing my personal content from the start. The content I create and manage is often not easily moved from one location to another, from one tool to another. I also use different computers, which complicates things even more.
In an ideal world, I believe that the operating system on each device should provide me with all the tools I need to organize and manage my content, regardless of which applications I use to create, manipulate and distribute the content with. It should let me organize the content in different ways by the use of metadata, but not tie it to the physical computer or a specific application. Instead, I should be able to take my repository with all the content and metadata with me to plug it in to another computer or mobile device. Or access it remotely. The question is, is this too much to ask for?