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Cooking Up Content Management at

A new content management system proved to be a good thing for

Building a media empire isn't for the fainthearted. Just ask Michael Plonski, CIO of $288 million Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. As Martha's brands have grown to encompass magazines and TV and radio programs, the company wanted to tie them together better on "We wanted to create multiple entry points to information and expose users to content that they wouldn't learn about through single brands," Plonski says.

Doing so meant finding a content management system (CMS) to handle the site's hundreds of thousands of digital assets. Previously, the company used Art Technology Group's Dynamo CMS, which Plonski says was a great e-commerce tool, but not one designed for content-based sites. This time it turned to Vignette's Next-Generation Web products to feature videos, organize pages contextually and topically, and introduce user polls, blogs and chat functions.

"We have a rabidly active user community," Plonski says, "and we chose Vignette with that in mind. Since it's Java-based, standards-based and has a portal front end, all of that put together is the right recipe to enable user-generated content at a very quick pace." And recipes are one thing Martha knows about.

Lauren Horwitz, former managing editor, production, for CIO Decisions, is now managing editor for TechTarget's Data Center Media Group. Write to her at

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