Blogs and wikis have become the darlings of the Web over the past year but their free-wheeling and open collaborative nature present clear challenges and concerns for corporate environments. Now, Stellent, Inc., a provider of enterprise content management solutions, has added support for managing wikis and blogs to its Stellent Universal Content Management (UCM) system. The new capabilities are designed to address the challenges of infrastructure management, security, and compliance. The company said that its implementation provides features and functions that are not found in standard wiki and blog tools. Stellent is also adding expanded RSS support, which will let users subscribe via an RSS feed to intranet, extranet, and Internet content managed by Stellent's UCM.
The folks at Stellent view the content in blogs and wikis as just additional information resources that need to be managed within existing tools that provide the necessary controls and security. "A blog or wiki is simply another Web site among the tens to hundreds of sites a company must manage. For example, a wiki could be used to create a competitive analysis or review documentation online, and a blog might be utilized to gather immediate feedback from employees, partners, and customers about new product features," said Dan Ryan, executive vice president of marketing and business development for Stellent. "Similar to other information within an enterprise, this content should be managed within a unified content management architecture. In this way, organizations can leverage the same skills, processes, and software to manage all of their Web sitesóleading to a lower total cost of ownership and the ability to more effectively maintain consistent branding and security across all sites."
The Stellent UCM now provides "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" (WYSIWYG) form-based editing plus various templates and workflows for wikis and blogs. Blog entries can be submitted via e-mail or using applications such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. Security features control who can author and view a blog.
Wiki contributors can create hyperlinks in both pattern-matching and wizard style formats. This allows users to quickly link to other topics and pages within a wiki site, as well as other Web sites. When an author creates a new hyperlink about a particular subject, the Stellent system will automatically link to a wiki page about that topic. If the page does not exist, it will automatically create a new page. The new wiki linking feature uses double brackets [[ ]] to automatically create new wiki pages. A revision history tab lets users examine all revision details for a wiki.
Here's a list of the additional benefits that Stellent said its new capabilities provide that are not found in standard wiki and blog tools.
- Single-source content management and reuse
- Branding management
- Granular security
- Integration with enterprise security systems (such as LDAP and Active Directory) for single sign-on capabilities
- Records and retention management
- Link management
- Tagging using a robust in-context metadata engine
- Enterprise search with full-text and metadata indexing
- Native file conversion
- Content subscription services
- Enterprise-class workflow engine
- Content auditing and usage analytics
- Integrations with client applications such as Microsoft Outlook
- Digital asset management capabilities
- Automatic tagging or categorization
- Multi-lingual support
"Companies increasingly recognize the business value wikis and blogs can generate and are looking for ways to bring these technologies into the enterprise," said Lou Latham, research analyst for Gartner, Inc. "However, there is high concern among organizations regarding how wikis and blogs can be securely managed and monitored to protect confidential or proprietary information and mitigate risk. An optimal way to address these fears is to incorporate wikis and blogs into an existing enterprise content management infrastructure offering workflow, audit trail, and records and retention management functionality that can be easily applied to these types of Web sites."
InfoWorld reported that another enterprise content management vendor recently introduced support for blogs and wikis. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendor iUpload released its Enterprise Blogging Suite, which combines blogging, wiki, and ECM tools with functions such as security, workflow, compliance, and app integration.
Over the last few years we've heard of bloggers in trouble with their employers because of something written in their blogs. A recent survey conducted by the Employment Law Alliance (http://www.employmentlawalliance.com), a network of employment and labor lawyers, reported that only about 15 percent of employers have specific policies addressing work-related blogging. Companies are increasingly advised by legal counselors to establish specific policies about employee blogging. I've learned that to be "dooced" is to lose your job due to blogging about the company. Now, for companies looking to contain the blog efforts of so-called "dooce dodgers," Stellent offers a way to ensure that workplace blogs and wikis present content that the company wants to be seen.
Stellent's expanded support for RSS in its UCM provides new out of the box templates that help organizations to quickly deploy RSS feeds for intranet, extranet, and public Web site content managed in the Stellent repository, integrate managed Stellent content with desktop applications and portals, and enable users to incorporate external RSS feeds within their Web sites.Stellent is doing an online Web seminar on March 2 at 1 PM CST, "Multi-Site Web Content Management for Corporate Blogs and Wikis." For more information and to register, visit Stellent's site (http://www.stellent.com/blogswikis).