FatWire is gingerly extending the reach of web content management to Wikis and blogs with the acquisition of Instoria, a 12-person start-up with its own management tooling for Web 2.0-styled content. Although the tiny startup will be absorbed into FatWire, for the foreseeable future, the acquired technology will likely be federated.
Helping grease the skids for the acquisition is that FatWire’s new CEO, Yogesh Gupta, and the founders of Instoria, are each CA veterans.
To recap, FatWire is a high-end web content management system that includes the kind of configurable personalization and localization capabilities that you’d expect from an enterprise-level offering. The 200-person company claims to be the largest independent web content management pure play that remains privately owned.
Instoria has its own set of content management tools for blogs and Wikis. However, given the nature of this content, which tends to be highly dynamic, it tends to take a lighter weight approach.
For instance, blogging systems tend to preserve archives because it is all supposed to be part of a continuous diary, whereas conventional web content management approaches would quickly migrate obsolete content offline.
Furthermore, the spontaneous, grassroots nature of blogging and Wikis is at odds with traditional, content life cycle workflows which tend to be managed in top-down fashion.
Infostoria’s flagship offering is a workgroup collaboration product that enables workgroups to share and, base on member role, modify content. It employs agents that enable peer-to-peer sharing of large files for internal purposes, and provides the requisite file transfer and caching, access control, indexing, tagging, and collaborative communications expected for content development and deployment.
Infostoria also offers Zeegzaag, a Wiki creation tool that is offered via a hosted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tool.
Creative types don’t like to use content management, admits Gupta, who adds that with Wikis and blogs assuming more prominence, traditional web content management approaches could no longer afford to ignore them. That’s why it was important for us to make an acquisition, Gupta added.
Initially, there will be an integration point between the workflows that will likely occur probably just before or after a blog or Wiki goes live. The idea is not to require those blogs or Wikis to endure the same detailed workflows as static content. From a technology standpoint, integration should be facilitated by the fact that both products are written in Java.
FatWire promises to have a product roadmap within a few weeks.
FatWire is striving to bridge what is an obvious generation gap between Web 2.0 content and its predecessors. The dynamic nature of Web 2.0 content makes it a different creature from the he static HTML pages typically governed by web content management systems.
The acquisition reflects the fact that Wikis and blogs are becoming mainstream web content for one simple reason: companies are seeking to engage their customers or business partners, with blogs and Wikis providing the kind of real time, collaborative tools that can help make that happen.
Of course, just as companies are striving to open up the lines of communications, they are also under the gun from regulators to watch the statements or promises that they make publicly. At the end of the day, managing Web 2.0 content amounts to a delicate balance: you can’t afford to under-manage it to the point of getting into legal hot water, but you don’t want to weight it down with so much red tape that you wind up killing it.