Canadian Living magazine to pilot search-friendly content system

One of Canada’s largest publishers of consumer magazines is in the process of migrating the online content of one of its well-known women’s sites onto a new Web-based publishing platform.

Transcontinental Media Inc. has signed a contract with a Montreal-based developer called Nstein Technologies to deploy its Ntelligent Concent Management (NCM) Suite to over 20 online information portals, starting with Canadian Living, which is set to launch in January.

The NCM Suite, which is based on a European-developed platform called Eurocortex, contains semantic analysis tools that are designed to make online searches easier and faster for Transcontinental portals.

This feature will help Transcontinental generate more revenues with online advertising, said Jean-Paul Chauvet, vice-president of e-publishing at Nstein.

“For Canadian Living we’re going to add our semantic capabilities to post links to more content that reaches (the readers’) interests,” said Chauvet.

The system will also create automatic lists of key words in articles that will allow for better indexing within the search engines, said Yves Auger, director of operations and Web technologies at Transcontinental Inc., which also publishes

“Right now how it works is somebody writes an article and there is a section or field that needs to be filled with keywords,” he said. “Nstein will provide automatic keywords for each article. It will also provide automatic related articles.”

The other main reason for switching systems is to optimize the process of production. Editors currently have to copy and paste content from their print publications into the content management system.

“Internal users and IT are fairly unsatisfied with the system for many reasons. Stability is one of them,” said Chauvet.

Transcontinental’s women’s sites, including Canadian Living, Elle, Homemakers and Style at Home, as well as other sites such as Investment Executive, use a content management system (CMS) developed by Varennes, Que.-based Marcotte Systems Ltd.

Transcontinental’s Auger said Marcotte’s system was a good CMS five years ago but struggles to keep up with the demands of online publishing in today’s environment.

“The current CMS system is quite outdated,” said Auger. “It has not evolved a lot in the last four years. It was becoming very difficult to use it and it was not very flexible.”

Transcontinental Media’s president Natalie Lariviere, who took the helm in June, replacing Andre Prefontaine, is one of the key people behind the company’s recent push to expand its digital media presence. In an interview with Masthead’s September/October issue, Lariviere, who has a background in electronic banking, said she “believes in the digital marketplace,” to, “complement the traditional model and be used to attract new consumers.”

Nstein’s Chauvet said his company is looking to bring 150 of Transcontinental’s Web sites onto its system in the next four or five years. But Auger is only concentrating on the first 20 portals right now.

“The other ones we’ll decide on what it is depending how fast it is to complete the process,” he said. “We don’t know how much time it will take for site number two and site number three.”

The next phase of the project will involve implementing a tool that will allow editors to extract files from Adobe InDesign desktop publishing software and populate them into the CMS.


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