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Resources and Reference Material

Content Management - Evolved

The heart of any website is the information it contains which is referred to as "content". This content can take on many forms including text, photos, web links, calendars, newsfeeds, user comments, documents, ratings, and more. However, most of the content contained in a website consists of text which is added to the website as articles and made viewable in a process referred to as "publishing".
The old outdated approch
The classic and now outdated approach to "publishing" content required the services and special skills of a webmaster. The webmaster would receive new or updated content and writes "code" to embed the information into the website pages. Any change in website structure or layout also required coding changes. This was and is a very ineffective and inefficient process. First learning how to write "html code" is time consuming and finding someone else with the requisite knowledge may be difficult or expensive. Then the webmaster is a bottleneck for updating a website, as all changes needed to flow through them. If you have multiple changes coming simultaneously from mulitple contributors, they are serviced on at a time by the webmaster.
The improved modern approach
The modern contemporary approach to publishing content utilizes a Content Management System (“CMS”) that separates the website “content” from the website “infrastructure” eliminating the need for a webmaster. First, no special skills are needed to publish new or updated content, as coding is no longer required. If you are computer literate enough to use Microsoft Word, you have all the skills you need to add and change the content in a CMS based website. The webmaster is also no longer a bottleneck as multiple people can simultaneously update a website at the same time.
This new approach changes the entire dynamic of content management as anyone with the proper authorization can edit or add content. This allows you to have an entire network of contributors and is the critical enabler of e-communities and member generated content contributions. These content contributions also occur in a controlled manner. You can (but not required) differentiate between the roles of author, editor, and publisher, where authors can only submit new content that has to be reviewed and approved by an editor, and finally a publisher. And you can have mulitple people in these roles that may be assigned according to topic and or content type. All of this is done through use of an on-line editor, automated notification systems, and check-box functionality.
The Tradeoff
The tradeoff with using a Content Management System is that it is a "system" and much more complex in technical structure than a classic web page. Instead of a simply sequence of coded web pages, a CMS is a structured software application that utilizes a separate “database” and application. A “website architect” is needed to configure the desired website and then monitor and maintain the application. Although this requires a certain level of technical skills and knowledge, all activites are in the background, and totally independent and transparent to managing content.
DooWooWoo, LLC provides turn-key CMS application services. These services includes configuration of web site functionality, ongoing database and application maintenance, and training in how to manage the content on your website. You manage your content, we do everything else. If required, we can even manage your content for you for additional fees.

Writing Web Content

There are some things to consider when creating content for display on a website. As you may have noticed, a single web page has a limited amount of "real estate" for presenting information. Therefore that information has to be arranged in mutliple articles and topics, and connected in a way that makes it easy for the viewer to find what they are looking for. Also notice in your web browsing that a page of all text is not very appealing. At the same time it doesn't take a lot of words to fill up a space.
A fundamental technique for web content is to write a very brief introductory paragraph designed to catch the viewers attention, and then have a link to the full article. This is accomplished by the Read More button on the bottom of the editor window. Place your cursor in between paragraphs and click on this button. It will insert a special control code, such that when the article is viewed, only the text before this control code is shown, along with a Read More link. The viewer must then click on the link to read the rest of the article. This approach allows you to have multiple article introductions on a single page.
The other buttons allow you to embed a link to another article, a link to a document, or embedd an image in your article.

Overview of Articles

Welcome to the Content component where you can create and edit individual articles for display on the website. These articles will comprise the bulk of the infromation you will add. There are several topics here including: organization, display, create & edition, workflow, advanced features, access rights, and navigation.

Please read these short descriptions and then click on the Content Demo link in the menu after reviewing these topics. This will take you to an demo area where you have full access rights to edit and create content articles. Whatever you do here will only be visible to others with access to the demo area, so feel free to experiment. However, since there are others will full access to this area, they have the ability to change whatever you post. Cool

Make sure you review all of the articles in this section first. There are additional topics to the lower left, and listed at the bottom of the page. Use can also use the page numbers at the bottom of the page.

Website Content Organization

Websites can contain significant amounts of information in numerous individual articles they contain, creating the need for some way to organize content. In these regard, your website is like a newspaper where the content is arranged by category. In a newspaper these categories include the business section, sports section, national section, regional section, etc. The categories used in your website depend upon the context or subject matter focus of your community and are defined by you. Your individual articles are then organized by these "categories".

Each category can also have numerous subcategories associated with it allowing for the creation of a hierarchy of levels. These defined categories create the skeleton for how your information in your website is organized. Every time you write or submit a new article, it must be placed in a category or subcategory. Individual articles or entire categories are then access through links in various menus. These links can be set to display an individual article, a list of articles, or a multi-column display of articles. These page layouts are parameter driven and can be changes without any special skills or required changes in website code.   

Each category also has associated access rights that limit who can view, edit, or approve content related to that category. Thus you can have a collection of both public, restricted access, and private categories that are accessible only by approved individuals.  Each can have their own unique page layout and design.

Creating an Article

The form below allows you to submit a new article for presentation on the website. The only fields required are those marked with an asterisk and include the Title and some text in the editor window. The title you provide is the title that will show up on the web site.

The fields STATUS and ACCESS are visable because for the purposed of this demo, you have been given Publisher rights. Otherwise, these fields would not be visible, and your article would require review before it could be made visible on the web site.

The STATUS field determines the state of the article.  The article is not visible to anyone other than the author until the status is changed to PUBLISHED.  When published it's visibility then depends on the value of the ACCESS field.
The ACCESS field defines who can read the PUBLISHED article. If this is set to PUBLIC, then anyone can read the article.  In this case, set this field to DEMO ACCESS so only people in the training group can see it.  WARNING - If you select any other group, you will no longer have access to the article.
The START and STOP publishing values allow you to put an automatic timer on the PUBLISHING status of the article.  This is useful for articles that have a limited time value, such as an announcement for an upcoming event.   The FEATURED defines whether or not the article should also be shown on the frontpage of the website.  Featured articles are included on the frontpage, regardless of their category.
The CATEGORY field is the category assignment for this article.  As explained earlier, MENU links are tied to CATEGORIES, so where you assign an article determines where it will show up in the website.  In this case your category is lock down to User Demo Content.  But on the live site, it may not be, and you will have to select a category for your article. 
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