The Content Management Handbook
The best thing about the Content Management Handbook is that it provides something that has been missing for some time: a simple and clear overview of the whole field of content management. While other books have delved in-depth into specific aspects of content management, Martin White’s book aims to provide a 10,000 foot view of everything that goes into a successful content management implementation.
Martin is one of the leading vendor-neutral intranet and CMS consultants in the UK, and his experience shines through in this book. This is not just the “sales pitch” for all that CMS could be, but rather a balanced view of what works, what doesn’t, and what will require some serious work and thinking.
This book is written in a casual, chatty style that makes it light work to browse through the chapters. The material covered is diverse, including:
- key content management system capabilities
- developing a content management strategy
- role of information architecture and usability
- building a business case
- state of the CMS marketplace
- capturing requirements and building a tender
- selecting a product
- implementing the CMS
To clearly set expectations, however: this is not one of those two-inch-thick “definitive tomes” that seem so popular in the IT bookshops nowadays. This is a slim volume that does not attempt to provide every detail required in every section. Instead, it provides key references to further reading in each chapter, pointing the reader to additional sources of in-depth coverage on specific topics.
So, if you are new to content management, read the Content Management Handbook to get an overview of the work that is ahead of you. If you are already knowledgeable in the material covered by a specific chapter then skip over it, and if you need more detail then follow the references to further reading and resources. In either case, by the time you finish this book, you will have a clearer idea of the whole content management landscape.
Overall score: 7/10