From Content Strategy to Drupal Site Building - Connecting the dots

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Content strategy is, undoubtedly, a hot topic these days. A lot is being said that spans the range from concerns regarding the ability to display content on any device to the ability to drive …

Content strategy is, undoubtedly, a hot topic these days. A lot is being said that spans the range from concerns regarding the ability to display content on any device to the ability to drive engagement and increase traffic through better content creation and social media strategies. In this presentation we will connect the dots between these issues and practical Drupal site-building concerns with tools that are readily available now.

We will show, through specific examples and references to available modules, how different approaches to content strategy can be practically implemented on Drupal sites. The aim is to equip Drupal site-builders with a handy toolkit that will allow them to both implement a content strategy for their sites as well as better exchange information with content strategists.

The examples will include:
- Different approaches to building content types so as to empower content creators to create a range of different structures.
- Best practices in using vocabularies (fixed, open, user-generated, moderated, etc) or where alternative categorization methods may be relevant.

We will also discuss:
- Editorial calendars and scheduling.
- The true benefit of workflows (and how, sometimes, they can be a disadvantage).
- Analytics and how the ability to measure the effects of any strategy is as important as defining the strategy itself.

Attendees will go away with practical examples and techniques that they can apply to their sites as well as a better understanding of what content strategy really is and how they can use it to improve their sites.

The examples are a result of our own experiences in helping both clients develop their content strategy as well as applying it on italymagazine.com, an in-house product of ours. We grew italymagazine.com to a relevant online digital brand with a strong community by expressing our content strategy ideas through the tools that Drupal 7 made available to us. The resulting ~250% increase in traffic over 3 months is a testament to both the value of a content strategy as well as the power of Drupal to allow you to flexibly and iteratively support it.

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  • 1. FROM CONTENT STRATEGY TO DRUPAL SITE BUILDING: CONNECTING THE DOTS R O N A L D A S H R I , B L U E S P A R K @ronald_istos, #drupalcs
  • 2. D E F I N I N G C O N T E N T S T R AT E G Y
  • 3. - S A R A WA C H T E R - B O E T T C H E R , C O N T E N T E V E RY W H E R E “The practice of understanding what content is needed to meet both users’ needs and organisational goals, producing it and creating realistic publishing and governance plans to keep it that way”
  • 4. R E L AT E D D I S C I P L I N E S • Information Architecture • User Experience • Content Management • Editorial Management • Social Media Engagement • Community Management • Site Building • Development • Business Goals
  • 5. W H AT D O E S S U C C E S S F U L C O N T E N T S T R AT E G Y L O O K L I K E ? • Content is not bound to a page - flexible and future-ready • We can provide the content that best stands a chance to fulfil user goals given context • Finding, using, sharing and repurposing content is easy • Message and editorial vision clear • Content creators can focus and enjoy the process, not fight with technology to get their message out • We know it works because we measured it
  • 6. D E F I N I N G D R U PA L S I T E B U I L D I N G
  • 7. D R U PA L S I T E B U I L D I N G • From drupal.org: “implementing business functionality and features into your Drupal site.” • Thinking of the structure and creating the content types, vocabularies, views, panels, menus • Taming the thousands of modules on drupal.org into a coherent set that performs useful functionality
  • 8. T H I S I S D R U PA L
  • 9. D R U PA L + C O N T E N T S T R AT E G Y
  • 10. D R U PA L + C O N T E N T S T R AT E G Y
  • 11. D R U PA L + C O N T E N T S T R AT E G Y
  • 12. The Drupal Site Builder is often an unrecognised Architect. Assimilating a wide range of concerns and implementing them in a way that can support evolving needs
  • 13. M O D E L L I N G T H E W O R L D I N D R U PA L
  • 14. A B S T R A C T I O N A N D M O D U L A R I T Y A R E Y O U R B E S T F R I E N D S A N D W O R S T E N E M I E S - W H E N I T W O R K S I T A L L O W S Y O U T O A C H I E V E A L O T W I T H B A S I C E L E M E N T S G U E R N I C A - P I C A S S O
  • 15. … O R I T C A N L E A D T O S O M E T H I N G T H AT I S H A R D T O U N TA N G L E Number 8 - Jackson Pollock
  • 16. There is no mathematical proof as to the correct structure of a site
  • 17. C O R E P R I N C I P L E S + B E S T P R A C T I C E • stick to a core set of tools as much as possible • balance flexibility with complexity • build prototypes, test, break them and build them again
  • 18. L O R E M I P S U M C A N B E B A D F O R Y O U R W E B S I T E ’ S H E A LT H • build, prototype and test with a realistic simulation of the actual content • let content creators test the process from early on
  • 19. TA K E A D VA N TA G E O F C O R E D R U PA L F U N C T I O N A L I T Y T O C O N S T R U C T F L E X I B L E D ATA M O D E L S
  • 20. E N T I T I E S TA K E A D VA N TA G E O F C O R E D R U PA L F U N C T I O N A L I T Y T O C O N S T R U C T F L E X I B L E D ATA M O D E L S
  • 21. E N T I T I E S F I E L D A P I TA K E A D VA N TA G E O F C O R E D R U PA L F U N C T I O N A L I T Y T O C O N S T R U C T F L E X I B L E D ATA M O D E L S
  • 22. E N T I T I E S N O D E S U S E R S T E R M SC O M M E N T S F I L E S F I E L D A P I TA K E A D VA N TA G E O F C O R E D R U PA L F U N C T I O N A L I T Y T O C O N S T R U C T F L E X I B L E D ATA M O D E L S
  • 23. E N T I T I E S N O D E S U S E R S T E R M SC O M M E N T S F I L E S P R O D U C T S P R O F I L E B E A N S F I E L D A P I TA K E A D VA N TA G E O F C O R E D R U PA L F U N C T I O N A L I T Y T O C O N S T R U C T F L E X I B L E D ATA M O D E L S
  • 24. E N T I T I E S N O D E S U S E R S T E R M SC O M M E N T S F I L E S P R O D U C T S P R O F I L E B E A N S F I E L D A P I C U S T O M E N T I T I E S TA K E A D VA N TA G E O F C O R E D R U PA L F U N C T I O N A L I T Y T O C O N S T R U C T F L E X I B L E D ATA M O D E L S
  • 25. E N T I T I E S N O D E S U S E R S T E R M SC O M M E N T S F I L E S P R O D U C T S P R O F I L E B E A N S F I E L D A P I C U S T O M E N T I T I E S TA K E A D VA N TA G E O F C O R E D R U PA L F U N C T I O N A L I T Y T O C O N S T R U C T F L E X I B L E D ATA M O D E L S C U S T O M D ATA S T R U C T U R E S - H E R E B E D R A G O N S
  • 26. S T O RY B U I L D R E L AT I O N S H I P M O D E L S A N D R E A S O N A B O U T E A C H E L E M E N T L O C AT I O N A U T H O R ( U S E R ) T O P I CT I T L E T E A S E R B O D Y F E AT U R E D I M A G E
  • 27. C H O O S E T H E R I G H T F I E L D ( A N D W I D G E T ! ) F O R T H E TA S K AT H A N D Numeric HierarchicalSelect Simple Dropdown Text Area
  • 28. F I E L D C O L L E C T I O N S F O R G R O U P I N G R E L AT E D F I E L D S T O G E T H E R
  • 29. U S E F U L M O D U L E S - I • Dozens (hundreds?) of field modules • Geofield - drupal.org/project/geofield • Addressfield - drupal.org/project/addressfield • Tablefield - drupal.org/project/tablefield • Link - drupal.org/project/link • Fieldgroup - drupal.org/project/field_group • Fieldcollection - drupal.org/project/field_collection
  • 30. U S E F U L M O D U L E S - I I • Beans - drupal.org/project/bean • Entity Reference - drupal.org/project/entityreference • Inline Entity Form - drupal.org/project/inline_entity_form • Prepopulate - drupal.org/projects/prepopulate (pre-fill fields based on URL variables) • Conditional Fields - drupal.org/project/conditional_fields • Extra Field Description - drupal.org/project/extra_field_description • Field Placeholder - drupal.org/project/field_placeholder
  • 31. T E X T F I E L D S A N D F O R M AT T I N G absolute freedom
  • 32. T E X T F I E L D S A N D F O R M AT T I N G absolute austerity
  • 33. T E X T F I E L D S A N D F O R M AT T I N G balance between choice and freedom
  • 34. U S E F U L M O D U L E S • Better formats - drupal.org/project/better_formats • WYSIWYG - drupal.org/project/wysiwyg • EDIT - drupal.org/project/edit
  • 35. C AT E G O R I Z AT I O N - I M U LT I P L E O P T I O N L I S T F I E L D limited choice limited content creator control no automatically generated pages ensures consistency good for simple yes/not
  • 36. C AT E G O R I Z AT I O N - I I TA G S open-ended content creators can easily create new consistency quickly becomes an issue
  • 37. C AT E G O R I Z AT I O N - I I I F I X E D V O C A B U L A R I E S better control can introduce hierarchy adding fields turns them into full-blown content
  • 38. C AT E G O R I Z AT I O N - I V F L A G S simple choices allows user to create arbitrary lists
  • 39. C AT E G O R I Z AT I O N - V O R G A N I C G R O U P S group for permissions group for community a wide-cross section content
  • 40. U S E F U L M O D U L E S • Taxonomy Manager - drupal.org/project/ taxonomy_manager • Taxonomy Merge - drupal.org/project/term_merge • Taxonomy Tools - drupal.org/project/taxonomy_tools • Taxonomy Menu - drupal.org/project/taxonomy_menu • Flag - drupal.org/project/flag • Organic Groups - drupal.org/project/og
  • 41. F E E D T H E M A C H I N E S • Facebook Graph - drupal.org/project/metatag • schema.org - drupal.org/project/schemaorg • RDFa - core
  • 42. M O D E L L I N G I TA LY
  • 43. C O N T E N T A U D I T
  • 44. organizational goals user goals personas
  • 45. C O N T E N T M O D E L
  • 46. C O N T E N T C AT E G O R I E S + C O N T E N T T Y P E S • Editorial (stories, features) • Resources (recipes, language lessons) • Listings (accommodations, properties, experiences, products) • Community (community posts, comments)
  • 47. C O M M O N V O C A B U L A R I E S G L U E E V E RY T H I N G T O G E T H E R • location vocabulary: fixed, hierarchical, populated with Wikipedia data • topics: structured, carefully managed • tags: open-ended • sections: define overarching sections (life+style, culture, food + wine, travel)
  • 48. • think of each in relationship to the rest • automagic functionality
  • 49. E V E RY O N E PA R T I C I PAT E S U S E R - G E N E R AT E D C O N T E N T A S W E L L • User-generated content cannot follow rigid rules • Simplify interface and make explicit the benefits
  • 50. E N J O Y T H E R E S U LT S http://pedoriowaterdogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Happy-dog.jpg
  • 51. S E C T I O N S T R E A M • Brings together different content types for the Pinterest generation • Content types have a stream view mode • Can update both manually and automatically drupal.org/project/ nodequeue
  • 52. A global view of the depth and breadth of content on ITALY - for power users and for the editorial team
  • 53. Recipes section takes advantages of vocabularies + facets to allow for search by ingredient, cost, etc
  • 54. U S E R G E N E R AT E D L I S T S
  • 55. C O N T E N T F O R M A C H I N E S
  • 56. P R O D U C I N G A N D S H A R I N G C O N T E N T
  • 57. show the authors love http://www.bluespark.com/blog/bluespark-midcamp-chicago-2014 Adrian Rollett
  • 58. • think carefully about how much workflow you actually need • simple scheduling tools can be very effective • drupal.org/project/scheduler • drupal.org/project/workbench • Depending on the scenario authorship information can be useful • drupal.org/project/ google_authorship P U B L I C AT I O N
  • 59. P U B L I C AT I O N! • study user behaviour • take care of timing • prepare an editorial calendar • think of caching • sharing tools
  • 60. M E A S U R I N G R E S U LT S Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as relevant questions, accurate facts, dislike of anecdotal information and lovely graphs
  • 61. M E A S U R I N G R E S U LT S Make sure to measure specific efforts to provide content creation ROI
  • 62. C O N S I D E R T H E W I D E R E N G A G E M E N T S T R AT E G Y • Who are your users • Where do you engage with them • How do you engage with them • What are pivotal actions that lead to goals being achieved
  • 63. WHAT DID YOU THINK? E V A L U A T E T H I S S E S S I O N : austin2014.drupal.org/node/2368 T H A N K Y O U !
  • 64. WHAT DID YOU THINK? E V A L U A T E T H I S S E S S I O N : austin2014.drupal.org/node/2368 T H A N K Y O U !