​Your CMS is the Elephant in the Room

Your CMS is the Elephant in the Room
Jeff Abuzzahab, Web and Multimedia Lead, University of Minnesota

Jeff Abuzzahab is going to tell us about the elephant in the room.

Downton Abbey = HigherEd “don’t rock the boat.”

Put people first and then content – worry less about a unilateral CMS deployment.

They spent years struggling with a single solution but now they deploy several solutions (blogs, CMS, homegrown, etc…) but that is ok because of HTML and CSS standards.

3 miles between campuses and lots of internal stakeholders. Web team has 4 people (hybrid communications and IT but lives in IT.)

Each major unit has a content strategist who works with the web team. The framework is HTML and CSS so content strategists work closely with web team.

Eventually a desire to create global content strategy emerged. News, events, people, courses, search.

COPE Create one publish everywhere is key.

The news feed is powered by MT and RSS out to web pages. (Do they track clickthroughs for UX? Do they get pushback about bounce rates?)

They organize content by topic instead of using huge content trees. (Where does metadata category come from? How do they create/manage?)

An RSS script is given to each area that wants to insert content on their web page.

XSL match “key” that sorts tags based on decade (pulls “195” posts.)

Events have similar criteria as news.

“Link Pro” (proprietary dashboard for managing RSS feed creation) creates a URL RSS feed for events that is custom, plus iCal and Google cal.

People – main difference is in source of content (comes from internal database and adds profile.) Auto data doesn’t look good and only 1% of faculty will fill out new profile data. They’ve done a mash-u.

Courses – all internal data (often hidden) need to be more dynamic and organizable. Courses pushed out to “link pro” tool and each school can choose to distribute the view they want.

Search results distributed according to above categories too – like searching “baseball” in iTunes shows apps, movies, etc…

Content first software LAST.

Web standards are your best friend (RSS) etc…

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  • Guest

    I, for one, am happy to see trends move more towards quality instead of quantity when it comes to textual information. More does not necessarily mean better, and more thoughtful text would be a breath of fresh air.