December 10, 2011 § 5 Comments
I recently came across Localwiki.org an open-source platform to drive community-based wikis. It currently powers Denton Wiki. It reminded my of one of my New Years work-related resolution from 2009 – to start a community Wiki.
That resolution never got anywhere, mostly because it didn’t really fit my schedule of projects and because at the time the process for setting up useful wiki was still daunting. The Local Wiki project seems to have solved that hurdle. From the demo video, it’s pretty feature rich and has a slick admin interface. Easy to set up pages, create templates, manage media files and a nice mapping feature.
In the next month or so I’m hoping we’ll be able to install this and start playing around with a local wiki.
In the meantime, we’ll need to start brainstorming to develop a framework of pages/categories and also develop a list of local agencies that could become partners. And I envision monthly meet-ups to keep the community involved and aware of the project.
Some early ideas for pages that fit our community:
I’ll be posting updates as we move forward.
I’d love to hear from anyone that has helped set up or is involved in maintaining a community wiki or if you have an upcoming project using Local Wiki.
December 9, 2011 § 5 Comments
We’ve recently developed a company-wide strategic plan. One part of that plan is the redesign of our website. And I’ve been tasked the job of leading a committee to do it.
I’ve decided to attack the project not as a design project (although, that obviously is a part of it) but as a content strategy project. As such I’ve identified a number of areas, each of which we are tackling with small groups of 3 or 4 people – subcommittees – which then report to the larger group.
The areas I’ve identified are:
- Website audit
- Tagging and categories
- What are we doing
- What’s working
- What isn’t working
- What are we missing
- And how can we integrate our SM strategy into our website as seamlessly as possible
- How and when is content being produced
- How does our editorial system affect the workflow
- How can we streamline the workflow toward a digital first strategy
- How does this workflow fit in with our revenue and social media strategies
- Reassess our pay wall – hard wall vs. metered
- Strategy to convert free users into subscribers
- What is free vs. paid
Each of these areas are daunting, none more so than the issue of content workflow. However, I think this process, as tedious as some of it may be (I’m looking at you website audit,) needs to be undertaken. It was an opportunity we missed in our last redesign. Each one of these areas will affect our ultimate design. In addition to what comes out of these groups, we also have data from a recent reader survey that we conducted. My hope is that we will be able to use information from these groups and the survey data to help steer us into the process of developing wireframes and mock-ups and eventually to much improved
website digital products.
The way we are attacking this project (or set of projects) has evolved from my interest in the growing field of content strategy. I have been reading blog posts, books, watched video presentations like the keynote speech at this year’s Content Strategy Forum by Karen McGrane.
For some months now I’ve been wondering how content strategy as a discipline could be implemented in a news organization. Obviously, the newsroom editorial process is strategic, but I wonder how much of this strategy bleeds over into the digital realm. And how much of the current newsroom online strategy isn’t still about just “uploading the stories.”
In this video, McGrane talks about how most organizations choose a CMS. Our news organization has gone through that process before and repeated the process leading up to the current redesign project. So it is of interest to me, especially as it relates to our editorial workflows. Our lack of online usability, to a great degree, is a result of our workflow:
The above quote begins at about 12:11 in the video. The video is worth watching all the way through.
We have to stop thinking that usability in content management is entirely based on having pretty interface widgets or a nice color palette or a pretty font. Usability comes from workflow. It comes from having tasks that can be completed easily that follow the users mental model.
I’d be interested to hear what news folks think about content strategy and how it fits into our industry. Again, I know that our content really begins with some form of editorial strategy but for the most part, that strategy doesn’t take into account design, workflow, data structure, multiple platforms. It’s still very much about the print deadline and workflow. Chime in below, please.Flickr photo by Melody Campbell
August 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
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