Managing Your Content Management System

Monday, March 15, 2010
Presenters:
Alex Will – Spoonfed Media
Henry Erskine Crum – Spoonfed Media

Description:
An effective content management system is a must for any content-based web service. This technical session will discuss elements of designing and building a custom CMS that leverages technology and existing web data from sources such as Flickr and Wikipedia to automate research and increase time spent writing original content.

  • Most important factors when making a decision about a CMS: context of your content business and process of content production.
  • Tools to evaluate what CMS you need for your business
  • "A computer based system that allows one or more people to manage the online publication, storage and display of content."

Landscape:
Many CMS systems out there for many different types of content (from many sources). The focus of these will be mainly people-created editorial content.

The production process
This process is very important and often overlooked.

Data collection (going out and getting the raw data) >
Workflow management (assigning tasks and divvy up labor) >
Research (follow up with different sources) >
Write >
Review >
Publish!

Why did we go down the custom CMS route?

  • Events are a moving target with a finite shelf-life
  • Incentive structure for UGC in events is small
  • Opinionated content for target market

What didn’t matter?

  • Amount of data (most CMSs can handle all amounts of data)
  • Size of web site
  • Complexity of idea

What did matter?

  • Data aggregation from multiple sources
  • Workflow management between editors
  • Reducing research time per event
  • Search Engine Optimization (made it really easy in the system)
  • Lead generation and contact management

Getting the raw data:

  • Automate and aggregate non-editorial elements (have it easy to access and it comes together somewhat automatically)
  • Create different processes for different parts of the information
  • Dealing with issues of quality and duplication (example: deciding what news stories to write real-time)

Workflow management

  • Dividing tasks, vertically segmenting, prioritizing and assigning responsibility
  • Incorporate automated steps into workflow process
  • Reduce or remove the time that is spent by humans prioritizing the information (bigger events need longer lead time)

Reducing research time: the golden ratio

  • Give editors research resources without leaving the page: wikipedia, flickr, and google news
  • Rise of real-time news as part of this process increases relevancy and quality
  • Re-purposing data

Thinking about SEO

  • Tools to aid editors in the production of content for SEO (keyword research)
  • Suggested linking (try to pull in other pages inside or outside similar links to make it as efficient as possible)
  • Major benefits if you’re not using off-the-shelf systems

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