Someone told me recently that the amount of material in one Sunday edition of the New York Times contains more information than the average person in the 19th century would be exposed to in his or her lifetime. That's a ridiculous amount of content published on the web daily. Combine the large volume of information with the pressure to create not just good but great quality content, and the task of maintaining the process of content publishing becomes a tricky one. If we don't have a process architected for publishing content, content strategy fails.
At Phase2 we build large content management systems for our clients. These systems are often built for large organizations with multiple content teams and departments. An effective publishing workflow will help content editors coordinate the various tasks of publishing content, from draft to review to posting content publicly. Here is a collection of resources to help you define your own content workflow system.
Keep Content Strategy In Mind
Your content strategy should always define your content publishing workflow. Here are some great blog posts to get you acquainted with content strategy and designing a content workflow with your specific organization's content processes in mind:
- Designing With Content In Mind
- Crafting Content Management Experiences
- Workflow systems and hair styles. Best practices for designing either but mostly workflow systems.
Consider The Content Administrator
The next step in creating a content publishing workflow is to consider your content editors and administrators. Ask yourself how they can use this system most effectively. These are the people who will be using this system on the day to day basis, and really need to embrace the workflow in order for it to be successful. Here are some great posts about considerations for the content administrator:
- 3 Drupal Modules to show your content managers you love them
- 3 Tips For Making Your Admin UI More Intuitive
- Four Tips For Training Clients On A CMS
Build The Needed Functionality
Once a content strategy is established and the content administrator's needs have been considered, there are many different technical strategies to architect a content publishing workflow within your CMS. Here are a few strategies that we have taken:
- Building State Machine With State Flow To Build Powerful Workflows
- Extending Your Workflow With State Machine
- Content Staging Initiative- Improving digital workflow for efficient content publishing.
- Real Site Preview in Drupal
- Building a publishing workflow with scheduled transitions at node creation.
Real World Examples:
Check out these examples of workflow systems that we have developed with our clients:
- Creating a Custom Editorial UI For Reuters London 2012 Olympic Site
- How Robin Hood And Phase2 Created An Online Response To Hurricane Sandy
- Making The Admin Back-end Shine For Pac-12
Given today's 24/7 news cycle, it is more critical than ever that content managers be empowered to execute on their goals. Taking the time to design the workflow based on your organization and its content will reap huge benefits for your content team and the content itself (and therefore your site’s visitors). When the system is streamlined, it will be that much easier to produce large quantity, and high quality content that stands out from the ever-flowing stream of information. Happy Content Publishing!