Hippo Inviting Others to Support Standards For Web Experience Management

There has certainly been a lot of debate about Web Experience Management. Some analysts like Janus Boye have called it "meaningless vendor jargon". Some others like Scott Liewehr of Gilbane have said that understanding Web Engagement Management is "crucial to your business". Forrester has attempted to create its own definition – calling it "customer experience management". And, finally, others such as Julie Hunt – have written how Web Engagement Management even extends into the intranet of Enterprise 2.0 – and how content should be utilized to engage employees.

So here’s my take on it:

The trend in Web Content Management for the last couple of years has been Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - and it was all about getting your audience to your site. Period. Just make sure they find you. But then what? What happens once they get there? How do you keep them on your site? How do you make sure they come back later, how do you get them to start doing business on your site? How do you make your visitors fall in love with your site?

That’s Web Experience Management. It’s whatever comes after they’ve found you.

The trend is becoming clear. The web – and how we create, collaborate and consume content is becoming more personalized and contextual. It’s what makes people love your site. And, at Hippo we’re absolutely committed to helping our customers empower their audiences through contextualized web content experiences. We hope you’ll join us over the next year as these standards become reality.

We’re extraordinarily excited to be an instrumental part of a new technical committee as part of OASIS, the open standards consortium. OASIS has just announced that a new draft charter to establish the OASIS Web Experience Management Interoperability (WEMI) Technical Committee has been submitted. I’m very proud to say that Hippo is taking a leadership role with other member companies such as Adobe, Jahia, Liferay, Magnolia, Nuxeo, OpenText and SDL on this important committee.

In the charter – the idea of Web Experience Management is defined as an evolution of Web Content Management. Basically it says “where WCM provides the foundation for collaboration by offering users the ability to manage content, WEM emphasizes the importance of the delivery of the aggregated content into a total Web Experience."

Regardless of whether you think this is jargon, or just another word for “personalized" content – our belief is that developing standards for how this type of data can be made portable from tool to tool and how interoperability between different tools for content management, display, reporting, search indexing and meta data management all become an incredibly important factor for customers.

Our goal will be to agree on a simple domain model for WEM and, additionally, create an abstract set of standard features that would be commonly implemented by these types of tools. We will also be looking to identify future functionality that would be useful – but may not yet exist.

At Hippo we really believe that multi-channel content management is not enough. Through our continued work on the Apache Rave project – our new work on this WEMI standard – and our commitment to open standards and open source in general – Hippo is striving to make the Web a more contextual, personalized and empowering experience. As I said in the committee announcement:

“The ability to bring together different streams of information from disparate content systems using a standardized API is part of our vision for a more contextualized web experience. We intend to support WEMI in our Hippo CMS product line."

And, we hope you - our extended community - will join us in our effort.

The first meeting of the WEMI TC will be held on 16 Jan by teleconference, and a Call for Participation is currently open for OASIS members. If you want to join, please see the OASIS WEMI page.