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How does your CMS work with your editorial workflow?

     
9:31 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A CMS usually needs to be accessible by many editorial contributors. More often than not, the people using it are not web and HTML savvy and the CMS is their gateway to creating web content easily. Because of this, a CMS is really a tool that must work like a well oiled machine. On top of that, besides working to actually produce your website, your CMS needs to work with your employees and their workflow.

It seems the ultimate CMS is one where articles and websites are created in it from the beginning with little to no use for outside tools. That includes not needing to use outside spell checkers, FTP programs, or word processing programs. I think this is the ideal that every CMS attempts to hit but I'm wondering how much everyone's staff or customers actually work in their CMS? Are the articles authored in word and then pasted in? Do they sometimes have to revert to using an FTP tool?

For us, we're pretty good at using our CMS but not as good as I'd like. My staff really prefers using Word and the commenting and highlighting features it has when authoring pieces. Once they have pieces to a certain level they "HTMLize" them importing them into the CMS. I feel this is a failure of our CMS because it's not being used throughout the entire workflow.

What are the experiences of others?

10:14 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Could it be that creating content items in an offline wordprocessor gives people more of a sense of ownership and redundancy than composing directly into a text area in a publishing environment?

I have to to point to projects like the recently Google-purchased Writely.com. That service's success--as does the success of any similar offerings--will depend on how comfortable people are composing text into an online workspace.

Another consideration is the editorial process, i.e. the time from developing the content's concept to actually producing it. If that timeframe is longer than a single session at the computer you'd need to include some form of offline production.

Or at least have a cms with a stable versioning/drafting environment...

Just a thought.

-jlr1001

6:43 am on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A good alternative to Word for the Web is the Xinha editor. If you have a CMS that you need people generating HTML/stylized pages with, best to give them a javascript interface that's fairly stable across major browsers.

At least this way you know your HTML won't be full of <div class="mso_Normal"> junk -- just fairly-well structured HTML.

1:32 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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At least this way you know your HTML won't be full of <div class="mso_Normal"> junk -- just fairly-well structured HTML.

A good Word code cleaner built into your CMS's Rich Text Editor should be able to get rid of most of this. It might not be 100% effective, but it should be good enough for 99% of material posted.

d

4:38 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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many CMS platforms now come equipped with the WYSWYG format, catering to the less HTML savvy.
10:25 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Many enterprise-level CMSs have some form of Word document interpretation capabilities. Basically you format the wordprocessor document, then upload the file to the CMS for processing and publishing.

Typo3, my current CMS of choice, has an extension that does this with xml files from Word 2003 or in the native OpenOffice Writer format.

With something like that you get around the whole, should you compose in an offline wordprocessor or not debate.

-jlr1001

 

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