Previously, we observed that there are many names for Digital Publishing Platforms.
Some of these included:
- Proceedings Central
- Central Repositories
- Resource Center
- Digital Library
- Body of Knowledge
- Electronic Resource Library
- Knowledge Library
- Knowledge Center
One phrase that is not on the list above and one that is not a synonym for a Digital Publishing Platform: LMS, or Learning Management System.
Digital Publishing Platforms are NOT Learning Management Systems
Organizations like associations usually have a content strategy. An LMS and a Digital Publishing Platform are two different tactics.
Typically, an LMS contains training materials or a library of knowledge. If an organization issues continuing education credits, the LMS probably disseminates the education, administers a test, records a score and issues the credits.
Sometimes it’s not that complex. Some associations want to manage their content inside of a closed system for member benefit only, like with Sharepoint. With a system like Sharepoint, one can manage access to content and hold a large amount of content.
When I talk to people who use Sharepoint or an online LMS, they tell me what’s missing is the discoverability of their content via today’s smartest search engines. Unlike Superman, search engines cannot see through walls. The wall is your Association Management System (AMS) or access control—the control that’s hiding your content from the outside world.
Exposing Educational Content to Search Engines and Members
Digital Publishing Platforms house educational content online and help improve discoverability and searchability.
What does this mean? Your content’s footprint is larger, so it becomes more discoverable.
Here’s how it works:
Suppose one could expose the educational content of an organization to Google, Bing and Yahoo? If an association’s content is indexed by search engines, people who search for its industry’s issues, content and education will naturally find the association’s website, its PDFs, webinars, teleconferences, audio files, publications, proceedings, journals and other types of content it wants to leverage to attract visitors.
Learning Management Systems Can’t Replace Digital Publishing Platforms
Discoverability is only the beginning. Here are 4 more things a knowledge center can do that an LMS cannot:
- Help monetize content with the use of an integrated eCommerce platform.
- Enhanced searchability using metadata.
- Host multiple content types including journals, books, reference work, webinars and other scholarly content.
- Easily share content using integrated widgets linked to Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn or RSS feeds.
Check your content strategy. Are you serving only your members? How will you attract new ones?