I attended a panel discussion consisting of Raju Narisetti, managing editor from The Wall Street Journal and Andrei Scheinkman, Interactive News Editor from the Huffington Post. They are concerned with the similarities between personality traits of coders and content creators, which is obviously relevant to developerWorks. We're all about creative coders (who can communicate well, of course). They cited statistics of "Over 27 Million links to content are shared via Social Media every day." Companies are looking for employees who can span the perceived gap between technical skills and creative communication skills. The roles of Coders and Content Creators are merging, and both "types" want to work on creative projects with interesting people, and to be recognized for their contributions.
Coders and Content Creators are not short order cooks! The main lesson the panel wanted to convey was this: Don't pre-empt creative solutions by coming to the table with a solution (i.e., We need a Drupal solution, code that up!); instead, formulate a problem statement and let the coders and creators solve it. The panel also suggested new job titles to more fully encompass merging and expanding job roles.
The drupal discussion led to one of the more interesting tangents of the panel, which involved the very idea of "managing" content. Content Management implies that content is just another hunk of data like any other hunk of data. But that sort of thinking destroys the core purpose of the content (which is, by the way, to convey a point of view about something), and that leads to commoditization of content. "CMS reduces the heart and soul of journalism - stories, photos, graphics, the news - into generic content, something akin to the unidentifiable filling in a Twinkie." In other words, if we think about content as just more data to manage, the content of our content becomes a secondary concern, when it should always and only be the primary concern.