Archive for April, 2009

Simple WCMS

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Easy way to manage your web sites :

Web sites are increasingly having content from XML files and Databases apart from the traditional HTML files and associated static files. Design of websites is moving from being static sites with rich content to dynamic sites with rich content. This makes it harder for websites to be maintained and updated by using traditional tools.  Tools need to be capable enough to connect to data/content in different forms and different sources and allow editing of content by the Content Contributor. In the absence of such tools, Content Contributor needs to understand complex tools and follow complex processes to get the content edited.

A content management system allows authoring, aggregating, updating, maintaining and serving of content to end users. The content management systems can vary very broadly in terms of functionality. Analytics and storage are equally important components of a content management system.  Authoring and Editing components are used by Content Contributors along with Web professionals to contribute content to the web site and also to keep the web site updated. While Analytics/Storage and such capabilities are needed by Web Administrators to ensure efficient management of the web site and make sure the web site is fresh and easily recover from any errors in the processes.

Three major sub systems of a  Content Management System : Content creation, Content storage, Content Delivery.  Content Creation sub system    provides modules and tools to author Content.  WYSIWYG components make it easier for the content authors to visualize the web site design and the look and feel of the content. Content storage sub system deals with the way the content is stored and retrieved. This sub system provides versioning support and ability to manage the web site storage. Content delivery systems provide capability to serve content on demand to the end users.

What does a SWCMS mean?

Simple can be applicable in different ways – overall I look at it as a low TCO product which helps in creation/maintaining and distribution of content.

Simple to install, simple to create/author/aggregate content, simple to publish content.

Simple to install – many times the content is from subject matter experts who would like to work with the tools they usually use and comfortable with but make sure that the latest information is provided to everyone.

Simple to acquire content

Make it simple for administrators to  manage users and delegate permissions to update the content making sure that the content contributors cannot affect the structure and design of the site.

How about the capabilities – any content management system needs to provide the basic functionality to acquire/modify/publish content variety of content.

 

Is Contribute a content management system?

Contribute in simple terms is a very easy to use WYSIWYG HTML editor for Content Contributors. Contribute  allows users to author the web content. Contribute is rich in terms of aggregation capability. The Contribute users can aggregate content varying from  text documents to images to  rich media content. Contribute strongly leverages native editors for the corresponding content. It has certain functionality lacking as of now.   The content exists in variety of forms. Although majority of content is still available on a file system, there is availability of content in Databases. Contribute cannot handle the content inside databases well as of now. Contribute along with Contribute publishing server will help manage web sites easily.

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    Adobe Contribute  Contribute Publishing Server   Ramesh Gopalakrishna, Product Manager, Adobe Contribute


Tagging and Trackbacks

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Add more visibility to your blog – Tagging and Trackbacks

Tagging:

Tagging is a new phenomenon started by del.icio.us and Flickr several years ago, and accelerated by Technorati and IceRocket.  Tags are like categories or keywords, but are different in at least two ways:

  • Tags are visible and actionable by readers.  Categories and Keywords are often hidden from view, so users hardly ever "use" them
  • Tags are bottom-up information architecture.   Categories have to be defined before being used, and because so few users enter Keywords, search engines can’t made good use of them.  For many systems, Tags can also be added by readers as well, so that IA grows organically as numerous readers add their own organization to content.

Adding tags using Contribute is very simple. When the user enters a tag in the tag field for a blog entry, Contribute creates a tag link along with providing you the WYSIWYG editing experience of the blog entry. After the user publishes the entry and clicks the tag link, a list appears in the embedded browser showing all the blog entries indexed by the tag repository using the same tag.

When you create or edit a blog entry in the Pages panel, you can enter as many tags as you want for the entry, separated by commas.

Tagging

In Contribute you can control the placement of the tags in your blog entry, and allow you to label tags with prefix. Also you can specify your tag repositories and set your default tag repository.

Tagging perferences setting dialog

Trackbacks:

 Trackback URLs are used to maintain a list of other blogs that are linked to your blog entry. To link to one of your blog entries, other blog authors add that blog entry’s trackback URLs to their blog entry. Your blog maintains a record of these linked blog entries for each of your blog entries. When you create a blog entry, you can add one or more trackback URLs to it. Also you can prevent other users from adding your blog’s trackback URL to their blog entries by disabling the Allow Trackback option in the Contribute toolbar.

Allow trackback option 

You can set preference to determine whether trackback is enabled for blog entries. Some blogs don’t support the trackback feature or require you to set a preference to allow it.

Once you allow track back and publish the entry, it will display the trackback URL for tracking.

After inserting the trackback in the entry

You can add this trackback URL to you entry, by clicking “Trackbacks” button in the Contribute toolbar or through Insert–>Trackbacks menu.

Menus for inserting trackbacks

Which will through an dialog for adding trackbacks URL. Enter the trackback URL for the blog entry in the Trackback URL(s) field, and then click OK.

Trackback dialog

Contribute adds the URLs to the blog entry, and the Trackbacks field appears at the bottom of the Contribute workspace. You can add, edit, or delete trackback URLs in this field. These modifications are also reflected in the Trackbacks dialog box.

After adding the trackback URL

Publish the entry. It might be required to go to the typepad account for approval of trackbacks.

Approval image on web console

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   Adobe Contribute  Contribute Publishing Server        Dominic Michael

Post To Blog

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Post To Blog feature in Contribute

Post To Blog operation can be done through, browsers (IE and Firefox), Word, Excel and Outlook.

How does Post To Blog work with browsers?

  If you come across some great stuff in a site while browsing, and wants to blog about it. Make a selection in the browser, and then clicks on the “Post to Blog ” button in the browser toolbar.

PostToBlog in Browser

  If no blog connection is already defined in Contribute, Contribute is launched which then gives her an option of making a new blog connection. After making the connection, Contribute opens up a new blog entry, containing the text that had selected. Then add your contents to the blog entry and publishes the blog.

How does Post To Blog work with office documents?

  If you love to blog on technical documents and come across a great document and want to blog on it. Simply makes the selection on the word/Excel/Outlook, and then clicks on the “Post to Blog” button or the menu Contribute -> Post To Blog.

PostToBlog in WordIf already connection exists, then Contribute launches with a connection to the blog site and creates a new blog entry in the default blog site mentioned in the preference. If no blog connection is already defined in Contribute, Contribute is launched which then gives her an option of making a new blog connection.

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    Adobe Contribute  Contribute Publishing Server   Michael Dominic