Why developers hate content

The impetus for this post is a
long standing belief that developers regard the content in content management
systems as something largely extraneous to their work and entirely the
responsibility of the client in a CMS project. In my opinion, this is of more
significance than the closely related belief that
developers hate content management
, a companion post. Consider this post a seed as it is on a topic
which I intend to develop as I collect more examples, ideas and resources.

In summary, the reasons are:

  1. unstructured content is low value information with a low
    organizational priority;

  2. users find CMS hard to understand, use and maintain which
    defaults to IT support;

  3. IT people aren’t authors and generally write poorly so don’t
    find CMS useful to their work and project that on users generally;

  4. the infrastructure requirements are large but generally

  5. IT find separating technical from business support difficult
    and can’t provide the latter (usability, content lifecycle, etc.);

  6. [to be continued]

Are these cause, effects or a

To illustrate the dearth of resources on this topic, one of the
very few is the Web content is not just ‘fluff’
sidebar in
Get your content under control (Kathleen
, itbusiness.ca, 2009-09-11). [The
sidebar wasn’t published with the article so I summarized it,

In reading that article, I was prompted begin this topic in a
post in order to set out my thesis and to collect resources more
systematically. In due course, I will turn it into an essay.

In a nutshell, the argument in Web content
is not just ‘fluff’
is that content production and management is viewed
by IT departments as marketing fluff not worthy of their attention. It isn’t
first class data in the enterprise notwithstanding the huge investment
in creating it. She bases this largely on the views of David
, an executive with content management vendor
Ingeniux. [See also
Understanding Web Content Management Deployment, a blog
post by David Hillis (“deployment” means how a website
is published and delivered).]

The Content Strategy for the Web
(Kristina Halvorson,
Content Strategy for the
) book does an excellent job explaining why text content is neglected in
the following except (screenshot).

Screenshot image of a page from the book, Content Strategy for the Web.

A Rant (Mostly) About Web Content (Keith
, 2005, 950 words and 3,800 words in comments) is an interesting
angle on this issue.

Content is king … when can I get it? (Katz Web Services, Inc., 450
words) is a web designer/developer’s lament on the difficulty of getting
content for sites from clients. He argues that a web developer must take
content into his or her own hands failing which you won’t get paid.