“Placed” vs “Placeless” Content

By Deane Barker on November 16, 2007

Trends: Placed and placeless content in Vignette: Here’s a really interesting concept in the latest version of Vignette. You can “place” content in specific spots, or you can tag it with metadata and let the site decide where it goes.

[…] it allows you to have “placed” and “placeless” content on the same site, or even the same page. That is, sometimes contributors need to actively place content in a particular spot or spots and know it will appear there. In other cases, you want content to appear according to its classification (you tagged a content item “Manitoba”, so it will appear in the “Canada” section of your site).

With most Web CMS tools, you have to have to choose between placed or placeless approaches, and many customers are quite rightly reluctant to turn their entire site over to a placeless, metadata-driven model where authors and managers alike can never be quite certain where a new page will appear. With Vignette, you can tag content against a hierarchical taxonomy, as well as assign items to particular “channels” which are representations of website locales. In a well thought-through publishing regime, this combination can offer a lot of power.

On the back-end, being able to organize content items against an arbitrary scheme that doesn’t actually reflect the published site is also handy. It makes it easier for individuals and teams to work on ad-hoc projects, sorting and storing information in a way that makes sense to them, before it gets published.



  1. It seems very interesting. This functionality may bring more flexibility to content management than I could ever hope. But I can’t imagine how carefully publishing process has to be designed when using such a facility. Do we know of any users who have already experienced it?

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