San Diego’s MindTouch Launches Next-Generation Version of Content Development Platform
To MindTouch CEO Aaron Fulkerson, websites are becoming the primary storefronts for most businesses and their chief way of interacting with their customers.
And in this age of metatags and search engine optimization, Fulkerson says each page of website content viewed by customers represents a business opportunity—a chance to generate new customer leads, increase sales, and generally increase business. As a result, Fulkerson contends companies should be using more sophisticated software tools than Microsoft Word or Adobe FrameMaker to generate and manage their content—whether the content is internal or online. He contends that such content authoring tools also should make it easy for different groups in a company to collaborate on website content as it gets developed—so the interests and concerns of marketing, product management, customer service, and even business sales are addressed.
With this in mind, the four-year-old San Diego startup is launching a new version of its collaborative application development platform today. The company says its MindTouch 2010 business collaboration platform was specifically designed to enable product and service documentation created for online content to be used to help companies generate revenue while also reducing their costs. (In one case, Fulkerson says the average cost of handling a customer support call went from $150 per call to a nickel, using self-service documentation integrated in the MindTouch 2010 platform.)
As I reported in September, MindTouch initially developed its software as a free, wiki-like open source program, which the company says is used today by more than 18 million people. MindTouch 2010 represents the next generation of the more robust and comprehensive platform the company developed as a commercial product for customers with more extensive content development needs. It’s available as both an enterprise software installation and as a software as a service offering. Fulkerson says the company’s customers include Intuit, Mozilla, and Autodesk design software.
Fulkerson says MindTouch 2010 address many of the existing problems that companies encounter in terms of creating and managing content created as word documents or PDFs by incorporating what he calls “the three pillars of strategic documentation.” MindTouch identifies these pillars as:
—Authoring. The new platform offers customers a multi-user, XML-driven platform that supports all types of rich media.
—Discovery. MindTouch 2010 publishes content in a Web-based format, and incorporates the use of content semantics and search engine optimization tools. The company says results of an integrated “adaptive search engine” improve over time as the adaptive search engine learns for user patterns.
—Curation. MindTouch says its “curation analytics” represents a new class of analytics that enables a business customer to analyze its documentation by quality, aging, and customer behavior in aggregate or by specific topics.