Announcing the Annual EContent 100 List

Dec 02, 2008

Welcome to the eighth annual EContent 100--our list of companies that matter most in the digital content industry.

Rightafter I joined this magazine, we built our first content managementsystem. One of the most challenging parts was choosing the topics forour website’s research centers, which also serve as the subject matterclassifications for our content. We were lucky enough to have a fewinformation professionals on the team, but as the centers would bepublic facing, we didn’t want them to be overly esoteric or complex.Nor did we want there to be too many. The fact is, when one begins toconsider the subjects that fall into the domain of "digital contentindustry," one is at great risk of offering too much of a good thing.

Don’tget me wrong, the breadth and depth of this space indicates howall-pervasive digital content is and reinforces how important it is fororganizations of all kinds to maximize this most essential resource inorder to succeed. Compiling this year’s list, I was again astonished atthe number of companies hard at work to help make the most of digitalcontent—from those offering classification solutions to those bringingpeople together online and helping their voices be heard.

Tohelp the magazine better evaluate the vast range of products andservices on the market, not to mention the ever-emerging novelapproaches, our EContent 100 judging team has changed a bit this year.This incredible group gathered together in our Socialtext wiki for amonth, reviewing previous list members and considering a slew of worthynew contenders. As ever, the process was daunting—yet incrediblyrewarding.

We hope that you find the list as valuable as wedid the process of creating it. As ever, we welcome your feedback andlook forward to the continued innovation in the tools and the way theyare applied in the year to come.

—Michelle Manafy
Editor-in-chief, EContent 

[Click Here to read about the EContent 100 Judging Team]
[Click Here to see the 2008-09 EContent 100 List]

2008 EContent 100 Categories

Classification & Taxonomy
Taxonomyis one of those words that just sound hard. Well, it is. But the goodnews is that it is simply a way of classifying things. When it comes toclassifying content, tools range from autocategorization algorithms toprepackaged taxonomies, and they find themselves woven into many othercontent categories, from services to search. All to make it easier tofind what you need exactly when you need it.

Everyoneknows they should play well with others. But frankly, that’s toughenough for a lot of folks. When those others span the globe and nevermeet, things get a whole lot more complicated. Collaboration toolsenable teamwork, web-style, which emphasizes shared knowledge andmember contribution, regardless of proximity.

Content Commerce
Greasemust be applied to the wheels of commerce lest they squeak—nay,grind—to a halt. When what is being bought and sold is measured in bitsand bytes, solutions that enable the buying and selling of digitalcontent are there to keep the transactions humming smoothly along.

Content Creation, Production, and Digital Publishing
Formerlythe purview of the privileged few with access to a printing press,creating content is everyone’s business today. Luckily, tools keepcropping up that help us make it, convert it, use it, and—mostimportantly—reuse it in ways as varied as the people creating thecontent in the first place.

Content Delivery
Thepaperboy may never get the daily news onto your porch, but you cancount on the digital delivery infrastructure and tools to help all thenews that’s fit to, uh, print find its way to you: online, in yourinbox, or in line at the grocery store.

Content Management
CMand its kin—ECM, WCM, DAM, MAM, TCM, and so on—are the darlings oftechnology acronyms. CM’s predecessors, document management andknowledge management, along with new buddies such as globalization andlocalization tools, nip at its heels as it leads the pack as theend-all and do-all for managing today’s amorphous information masses.Yet while content management purports to be all things to all people,its true power may actually lie in its flexibility to change shape tofit each new business problem set before it.

Content Security
Overand above the trafficking in entertainment, business, and academiccontent, our very identities are being transacted online. Thus, beyonddigital rights management tools (which guard our content like bouncersat the backstage door), we must have tools that bring a more subtleapproach to the nuances of corporate content, which is also in need ofsafekeeping.

Fee-Based Info Services
Whilemany say, "Information wants to be free," or at least that most peoplewant their content to bear that price tag, another old saying goes,"you get what you pay for." Gutenberg-era dinosaurs and social mediawhippersnappers alike vie for information-seeking dollars by flexingthe power packed in the "e" of econtent.

Intranets & Portals
Infusingorganizations with an internal knowledge and information hub might notbe as hot as portals that purport to proffer every piece of content ona given subject. Yet intranets—despite their unsexy image—bear manysimilarities to their more outgoing cousins. So it follows that theseunlikely kin share some powerful tools and technologies to suffusecontent inside and outside the enterprise.

Mobile Content
Thesedays, content gets around. See all those cell phones? Yep, people aredoing a lot more than talking on them today: From stock tickers tosubscriptions services and search, content has places to go and peoplewho want to see it.

Search Engines & Technologies
There’sa lot more to searching than the G-word. Through algorithms, bots,spiders, metatext, and more, people are using more than single-keywordsearches to find ever-more-targeted information on the web or behindthe firewall.

Social Media
While many bemoanthe erosion of human interaction in the wake of the internet age, stillothers extol the virtues of the extension of community to all cornersof the globe—if only virtually. Yet, without a doubt, the web hasopened up a world of opportunity for readers to become the writers,reviewers, and producers. Here we look at the tools that helpproliferate the vox populi.

[Click Here to read about the EContent 100 Judging Team]

[Click Here to see the 2008-09 EContent 100 List]

[Click Here to see all previous EContent 100 Lists]