More often than anybody cares to admit, we wind up recreating versions of the same content over and over. It's nobody's fault in particular. It's just that there has been no simple way to discover what content we already have and then to reuse it.
But MarkLogic has a pretty simple idea. The company has developed a MarkLogic Server that is a database specifically designed to manage content. Each piece of content in the system is tagged as an XML file that not only makes that information easier to find, it also makes it easier to repurpose that information in another document.
Of course, content management systems are supposed to provide this capability. But most end users can't navigate a CMS they way they can a database. By giving end users access to this type of database, the idea is that they can easily discover content without IT intervention. So now book publishers, for example, can make all the chapters on a particular topic available to professors that want to create their own coursework by mixing and matching chapters from different titles. At the other end of the spectrum, companies have huge volumes of information on products that could be repurposed in any number of ways if only that information were more accessible.
MarkLogic CEO Dave Kellogg said most companies are not coming close to maximizing the value of their content for two reasons: the limitations of the technology and that we still think too much in terms of printed documents. That's a basic flaw in this supposed aged of information. Instead, said Kellogg, we need to think about content as discrete pieces of information that can be recombined in a thousand different ways.
If we can address that flaw, says Kellogg, then the revenue we can derive from getting more value out of the information we already have should all drop straight to the bottom line.