A random thought – Out the blue it seems Adobe acquires web analytics firm Omniture. Lots of speculation on CMSWatch on why it may be. Some have speculated they really want to get their hands on a SaaS platform but the company itself claims that it wants to bring the art of design together with the science of analytics. I like the concept but here is another idea out of left field.
Setting aside web content for a moment – how many documents in your organization are in PDF. Along the lines of my contribution to the Future of Content Management meme, imagine if you will a world where documents tell you by whom and where they are being read. Such is one of the promises of information rights management, but what if this was native functionality of one of the most widely used forms of document distribution in the world. Focused not on restrictions but on reporting. This along with a SaaS platform ready and willing to collect the data for you -for a fee of course but without the cost of infrastructure and technical complexity in your business.
What if you didn’t have to rely on a CMS to tell you how many times a document had been downloaded from your repository. What if the document could tell you exactly what was viewed and for how long. Regardless of how many copies are produced you could compile metrics on actual use of your SOP’s, technical manuals and marketing materials to determine if all that investment is really worth it. Not sure yet if I like the idea from a compliance perspective though since real auditing is a different beast.
I haven’t researched it – there is probably a plugin that does it already or its a feature in Reader I never tripped over. The fact that you now have a SaaS based data collection infrastructure married together with the owner of the world’s most popular distributed document format still makes for intersting speculation.
I wouldnt be surprised if Big Brother already has that technology; not that I am a conspiracy junkie. My question is: would you really want to be tracked that closely? Its sort of along the lines of having Google Desktop reporting back your searches back to Google.