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Jakob Nielsen: End User Content Creation Key to Evolution of Internet

A lot of companies building Content Management tools have identified so-called P2P (peer to peer) tools as the next area of rapid development. Jakob Nielsen has touched upon that in his latest Alertbox. But, he has done so in the context of a larger question: How can we increase the number of people who contribute content to the Web?

Nielsen believes that a larger percentage of Internet users need to create content in order to maintain the current growth rate. However, a number of difficulties will need to be overcome in order to make this happen.

Jakob has gotten a lot of feedback on this article, both submitted directly to his Web Site and posted to other Web Sites like Scripting News. Read on for our comments.

Some of the comments that have been offered miss Jakob's point. Dave Winer's comment, ("What does the software do for you and how does it work, how accessible is it, and does it give you control?") is a great example. Users at the level that Nielsen is talking about are interested in services, not products.

This is why we are interested in discussion about and analysis of any application that can be used as a Content Management platform, whether we like the tool or not. But our primarily interest is in the deployment of available services on individual Web Sites, not the mere availability of a feature within the chosen framework.

When we look for new features to deploy to one of our Web Sites, we look at other Web Sites from the user's perspective. We hardly ever look at the underlying publishing application from the editor's perspective. Why should we? Products like Interwoven and Vignette are frameworks, not applications.

A lot of corporate applications developed on top of these platforms look like Client-Server applications, and not like best-of-breed Web Content Management Systems. So, the palette of features available inside these frameworks is not truly significant unless:

  1. these services are exposed to the user in highly usable ways
  2. the services needed by editors are deployed:

    1. rapidly,
    2. in ways that allow the underlying Web Site to scale, and
    3. in ways that enhance professional authors' and editors' productivity.

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