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Brightspot 2024 User Conference: Content is everywhere

Brightspot 2024 User Conference promo

Brightspot's 2024 User Conference brought together an audience of Brightspot CMS users, practitioners and partners for two days of conversation, learning and networking in Reston, Virginia. The in-person event focused specifically on CMS enhancements and features coming with the latest version of the platform. It also delved deeper into topics such as navigating the fast-evolving world of AI, building successful digital experiences and orchestrating content journeys with effective strategy, governance and delivery. Here are some key takeaways and insights from the event.

AI is driving innovation but also carries risk and uncertainty.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been driving the conversation for the past year, and it was no different during the Brightspot User Conference. But what came through was that Brightspot and our customers are not waiting for this conversation to tell them where to go.

In his preview of the product roadmap, Brightspot co-founder David Gang introduced a number of new AI features and enhancements coming to the platform, all of which are designed to help create great content faster, deliver actionable insights and generally make life more productive with AI. Additional breakout sessions highlighted the breadth of these enhancements and the programming framework that will allow customers to leverage OpenAI, AWS Bedrock, Google Vertex AI as well as their own large language models (LLMs).

Paulo Tomas quote about AI from the Brightspot User Conference

Along with bringing new AI features to empower CMS users to be more productive, Brightspot is dedicated to addressing customers' other concerns around AI such as intuitive content workflow integrations, data governance and trusted, verifiable quality control.

In conversations throughout the conference, it was clear that Brightspot customers are thinking through these concerns and challenges but also moving to innovate and deliver on the promise of AI.

During a panel on the topic of AI, Eric Schvimmer, Bloomberg Industry Group's CTO and EVP of Technology, shared how the business publisher is using AI to assist editors with summarizations of complex legal and regulatory topics as the newsroom shapes its stories.

On the same panel, GoTo's Paulo Tomas (Director, Global Digital Customer Support Platform) noted several ways AI is being used for customer support workflows, coding innovation and performance and analytics insights.

When it comes to the future of AI, it's here. But it's not without risk, as all the AI panelists noted, including the severe reputational and financial damage that might arise when AI gets the facts or story wrong.

The takeaways when it comes to AI were to embrace the change and opportunity, but also to do so with the specific business needs and use case in mind. It might not always make sense from an end-user or, indeed, ROI perspective.

Or as Paulo Tomas put it, "Don't be afraid of AI, embrace it. But if it doesn't work for you, you don't have to adopt it."

Do more—and extend your reach—through a structured content approach.

image show mise-en-place concept as it relates to content creation

During their keynote session on unlocking Brightspot’s full potential, Brightspot SVP of Customer Engagement & Product Delivery, Will Chu, and his team demonstrated several different approaches to scale and manage content across large and complex digital ecosystems.

Using the analogy of the French cooking style of mise en place, Will illustrated the concept of considering all your content assets as the ingredients that go into making up a recipe that can then be served up for different flavors and tastes.

Brightspot is built with the idea of modular content at its core, meaning content creators can assemble any content asset to be delivered as a single entity, or as individual elements—say, the headline, embedded chart or footnotes for a reference manual—that can be reformatted and distributed based on the channel and the audience.

Will and his team were able to show this notion of structured, reusable content at scale with several Brightspot-hosted experiences including live scoring for the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship and content delivery and orchestration for a nationwide media brodcaster.

This same structured content thinking extends even further to what Will described as managing content and sites at "mega scale." The example he used was of large residential real-estate group, which is equipped with a shared framework of global settings, styles and configurations that can power hundreds of thousands of individual agent sites. Not only can these sites benefit from access to structured, modular components, they can also be easily turned on or off for new and exiting agents.

The takeaway? Whether a single site, a portfolio of sites or a house of brands, everything starts with the same set of ingredients and tools to build, manage and scale those experiences.

Consider your internal users as much as your customers when creating delightful digital experiences.

How to select right CMS: editorial teams graphic

Our customers are entrusted with delivering successful digital experiences (DX) for some of the world's biggest brands.

They are experts at understanding their audiences and meeting them where they are, whether that's through push-alert notifications on a smartwatch, convenience store kiosk or e-newsletter bulletin.

During the User Conference, we heard from different customers across industries and use cases to understand the various ways content is used to inform, influence and inspire.

Amazon's David Biderman (Senior Manager, Technical Product Manager, Amazon PR and Public Policy) shared how the tech and e-commerce giant turned to a more traditional, news-focused approach to shape the story and perceptions about the company with

When asked about current innovations for the publisher during a customer panel on DX, Chicago Public Media's Chief Product Officer, Matt Watson, further spoke to the importance of delighting internal audiences.

For Chicago Sun-Times editors and reporters, it was the realization that innovations to introduce better workflows and publishing processes were translating into real-world savings in terms of time and improved content output. Not just that, but a happier and more productive newsroom with the tools needed to excel at their craft.

Everything is connected. A composable content performance platform is at the heart of it.

Raleigh McClayton quote from the Brightspot User Conference

As Brightspot CEO Raleigh McClayton noted in his closing remarks, "The only constant in a content creators life is one, rapid change, and two, the proliferation of content."

In order to stay on top of this demand, publishers need to be equipped to push out content across a multitude of channels and not be hindered by a siloed and fragmented tech stack.

As we've seen the role of a CMS evolve from a place to author and push out content to be more of a multifacted platform for orchestrating content experiences, it's also become even more important for a CMS to extend out across the digital ecosystem.

illustration depicting DXP ecosystem and the place for e-commerce

Meaning? We see the CMS as a mission-critical control tower. Not only the primary source for content management, it needs to be capable of delivering predictive insights and intelligence to help users plan and create world-class digital experiences.

It needs intuitive tooling for workflow automation and optimization to ensure content creators can work efficiently and effictively.

And it needs to be organized in such a way that content—words, media, audio, data—can be fed out to whatever the delivery channels are today and out in the future.

Alistair Wearmouth
About the Author
Alistair Wearmouth is a content director with Brightspot, where he helps craft content-marketing material about the company, our customers and the technology behind our award-winning CMS. He also supports various customer accounts with their content strategy and publishing needs. With over two decades of experience in digital content and product management, Alistair has helped lead implementation and development for homegrown as well as off-the-shelf CMS solutions at companies including USA Today, Orbitz and National Geographic.

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