When James Deer led digital design agency DEER/digital, he says he encountered the same issue over and over — when his team built content-rich websites, it was largely an email-based process, where they had to dig up images and files from email threads that were months old, or copy content from Word documents that were hundreds of pages long. To reduce their own headaches, Deer’s team member built a product to manage the content collaboration process, and eventually the agency spun that product out into a new startup, called GatherContent.
“Content chaos is just rife,” Deer says. “We want to bring content harmony.”
To do that, GatherContent (which is launching publicly today), offers a drag-and-drop interface to lay out the structure of each web page. Someone can create a template that identifies each element of the page, as well as guidelines for length and content — for example, you could say, “The product description goes here (no more than 200 words)” and “product screenshot goes here.” Then other users can come in and fill out the content. So a design agency could work with their client to develop the structure of the website, then different team members can come in and add the element that they’re responsible for.
Of course, you can already manage some of that process through a product like Google Docs, but GatherContent adds more structure, for example by allowing users to manage their approval processes and deadlines. Different users can also have completely customizable privileges depending on their roles within their organization. And there’s a chart showing you how much progress has been made on each project.
When you’re done building the website, you can export the document as a PDF, and GatherContent is also working to integrate with other content management systems, starting with a plugin for WordPress.
The product has been in private beta testing until now, with customers including Unicef and JWT. And although it was built for agency-client collaboration, Deer says companies are using for other types of content creation too, for example writing internal newsletters.
Deer adds that he has actually turned some investors away from the company — for now, it’s being funded by the agency (in the form of loans), though he’s open to raising money later, when the product has more traction. Pricing starts at $24 per month.