Macromedia Contribute

"Web Publishing for Everyone"

"Now anyone can update a website without knowing HTML," says Macromedia, in introducing the latest addition to its Studio FX Suite (Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, etc), Contribute.

The spread of the web has created a division of labor into two types of web-workers:

    1. web professionals
    2. content contributors

Contribute caters to both groups. It enables content people to update websites without messing around with website structure and code. Built-in version control and a check-out system keep things in sync and reduce the risk of one author's work overwriting another's. The Web pros get to control who does what -- and protect the integrity of their sites.

The content provider browses to the page she wants to change and clicks "Edit." Then she may enter new text, insert an image, or drag in a Word document. The system administrator may grant more extensive permissions, e.g. to add new pages.

Live Test
I set myself up as a user and surfed over to Clicked "Edit." Changed "presenter" to "speaker." Changed a few other words. Changed alignment of an image from Default to Right. Changed margins of several tables. Applied yellow highlights. Clicked "Publish." All the changes took. Easy as shooting ducks in a bathtub.

I've used Dreamweaver to put together webpages and manage websites for several years. It is, well, a dream to use. Contribute's interface is similar to Dreamweaver's minus 90% of the buttons. Less is more. (I wish Microsoft would do the same for Word.)

First Impression
I predict that Contribute is going to be a big success. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and Contribute makes creating webpages no more difficult than word processing.

Macromedia is emphasizing delegating content creation to the subject-matter experts. Contribute contains everything the content creater needs and sells for only $99, a quarter of the cost of Dreamweaver. This price will drop as competitors mimic Macromedia's strategy.

In time, the benefit of speeding the flow of timely information by making just-in-time changes will kick in. In the old pre-intranet days, organizational policies changed at the rate it took to move paper physically from one place to another. Paper-intensive organizations such as banks were inevitably working from out-of-date manuals. The advent of networks made it possible beat the paper chase by updating one online document to share with all. The time-delay was formatting the document for the web.

Products like Contribute put web publishing in the hands of decision-makers and cut the time from decision to dissemination to zero. (This is a orime reason I've been touting blogs as knowledge management tools.)

Free-market economist Milton Friedman has said that in addition to "the invisible hand" helping steer things in the right direction, we must watch out for "the invisible foot." Rumors are flying that Microsoft will purchase Macromedia. Lordy, I hope not.

Contribute is providing an unexpected benefit for me. I've started using it to edit my own sites directly. It's a breeze. Let hassle than the way I used to do things, first editing in Dreamweaver and then FTP'ing completed items to my sites. (Yes, I know I could have done the FTP from Dreamweaver but I like to see the changes I'm making.)

Posted by Jay Cross at December 27, 2002 12:34 PM | TrackBack

30 Poppy Lane
Berkeley, California 94708

1.510.528.3105 (office & cell)

Subscribe to this Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe. We vow never to share your information with anyone. No Spam.

Subscribe Unsubscribe

Reference Pages

Building Community
CSS, Semantic Mark-Up, and codes
First Principles
How People Learn
Knowledge Management
Learning Links
Learning Standards
Making It Work (Implementing)
Metrics & ROI
Social Software
String theory
The eLearning Museum
Visual Learning


Our Infrequent Newsletter
Sign up for our sporadic newsletter.

Entries by category...

Customer care
Emergent Learning
Just Jay
Recycled from Blogger
The Industry
Workflow-based eLearning


Internet Time Group

© 2004 Internet Time Group

Click for Berkeley, California Forecast
Berkeley, California

Recent entries

New Blog
Blogger Experience, Housekeeping, Something New
Loosely Coupled
Above all
Demographics is destiny
Are you setting the bar high enough?
Virtual Apps
Aerobic Learning
Work as Video Game
Oracle and Macromedia, Sitting in a Tree
The Blogosphere
ASTD Silicon Valley
Performance Support
Kingsbridge Conference Center
First Post by Email
Inactive Blog
RSS Feed for New Site
Comment Spam
Testing ... testing ... 1...2..3
IT Doesn't Matter - Learning Does.
All blogging is political
Mutlimedia Learning
Damn, damn, double damn
Nonverbal impact?
The New Religion
Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!
Business Process Management (2)
Really Big
Business Process Management Conference
Don't Lose a Common Sense: LISTEN
It's only natural
Go with the flow
Time Out for the Fair
Informal get-together in SF this Wednesday
Repetition, reverb, and echoes
Who Knows?
Cognitive Mapping
Push vs pull
The Big Picture on ROI
Art Break
TDF Finale
New Community of Practice Forming
More TDF04
Training Directors Forum 2004
A Rare One-Liner
PlaNetwork LIVE 2
PlaNetwork LIVE
ASTD 2004 Leftovers
Worker Effectiveness Improvement, not KM
Upcoming Events
eLearning Effectiveness?
Jay's Talk at ASTD
Mintzberg & Cooperider
Lest ye forget
ASTD International Conference & Exposition 2004
Knowledge Tips
What is Workflow Learning?
ASTD msg 1 of n
Look out, it's Outlook
Collaboration at ASTD Next Week
Tell me a story
User indifference
The shortest presentation on metrics you will ever hear
Back to Blogger
Windows fixes
The Alchemy of Growth
Grab bag
Very loosely coupled
E-Learning from Practice to Profit
Robin Good kicks off Competitive Edge
China Bloggers
Sonoma Dreaming
Upcoming Events
Emergent Learning Forum: Simulations
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Metrics and Web Services
OpEd: ROI vs. Metrics
e-Merging e-Learning
Loosely Coupled
Search me