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Rich Media Publishing and Management: Definitely Here Today - Part 1

Historical Context
In the late 1990s, the "early" streaming media days, many well-funded small and medium sized companies leveraged the talents of their founding engineers by using the latest database technologies. They invented products that performed a few targeted tasks very, very well, and hoped to slot them in below (or to the right of, if you prefer to think of a workflow from left to right) what was expected to be a cascade of digital rich media content. Recall the 500 Channels myth?

Large streaming media service providers with dozens or hundreds of enterprise and entertainment industry customers were the first to encounter the need to automate publishing workflows and developed solutions specific to their networks and business processes for publishing rich media. In this category, Yahoo!Broadcast was frequently a leading innovator. Analysts predicted that enterprise rich media publishers would encounter many of the same challenges facing the service providers. At the time, solutions to manage enterprise knowledge and information in text-based documents lacked the specialized hooks for rich media management and delivery.

As the dot com bubble burst, the capital resources dwindled and interest in rich media publishing and management solutions waned. Vendors turned their attention beyond the FORTUNE 100 to focus on specific vertical markets and smaller companies. In the medium size company, vendors found that content managers were handling media publishing tasks manually, and were unable to justify purchasing solutions dedicated to the management and publishing of rich media (with five or six digit price tags). This state of affairs was highlighted during a telephone and web briefing I arranged to demonstrate the capabilities of an emerging web-based content management and publishing/distribution system to several of my contacts in a large semiconductor company who were early adopters and evangelizing streaming media in enterprise.

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