Making the Case for CMS!

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Concurrent session delivered at Internet Librarian 2011, October 19, 2011, with Kenneth Varnum.

Concurrent session delivered at Internet Librarian 2011, October 19, 2011, with Kenneth Varnum.

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  • NIna
  • NIna
  • Nina
  • KenEliminate redundant interfaces - Makes creating, managing, and *using* content easier for all - Can make granularity of content harder to see - If you can do one function, you can do all - More burden on center to keep everything up; harder to delegate - Parts of your library may feel loss of control; may become data providers without the “pleasure” of maintaining the interfaceTeach one system - Everyone can be [somewhat easily] taught to use the system on the authoring side - Requires training effort. Easier/harder than Dreamweaver/raw HTML?Democratize content creation - Everyone can be an author – yay! - Everyone can be an author – uh oh. Does everyone understand how to speak with the library’s voice? - Editing/review processed may be needed; can increase bureaucracy when anyone can write, do you trust them to do so?One design (with subdesigns) for all - Gives your site an identify - Lowers user burden to understand where they are and how to get where they’re going - Your operating units may perceive a lack of autonomy - Their expertise is probably not server maintenance, graphic design – but content. Let them do that.
  • NInaEmphasizebrand: - Make sure you patrons are clear where they are (which library and which department). Are you serious (academic)? Fun (public or youth)? Specialized (subject or region)? Let that show - What the heck is your brand, anyway? Can you articulate and design one?Navigation: This is information architecture - Let your users where they are in the context of your site - Provide sitewide access to the services they use and need (not the same thing!) the most - Do you have a complex organization? Hard to set limits on how broad or how deep a subsection’s navigation can/should beCore Services & Functionality - What do you offer that’s unique, special, or just very useful? - Does hiding things that are *almost* that important hurt? - Can your patrons understand what your key services & functions are from a simple label?
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  • KenFunctionalityEnvironmentSecurityMaintenanceTerritoryContent, branding, messageStaffingCostChangeTechnical skillsAuthority (too much or too little)Where are users? They don’t care. They just want a website, dang it.
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  • NinaHttp://Docs.google.com

Transcript

  • 1. MAKING THE CASE FOR CMS Internet NINA MCHALE & KEN VARNUM Librarian 2011 O c to b e r 1 9 2 01 1 @NINERMAC @VARNUM
  • 2. ONE-QUESTION SURVEY What reasons have you been given that you cant use a CMSfor web development in your library?bitly.com/cmspoll
  • 3. MOVING TO CMS: THE ISSUES1. Centralization of development2. Branding3. Democratization of content4. Control over your own destiny
  • 4. CENTRALIZATION OF DEVELOPMENT Eliminate redundancy  One system to rule them all  Simplify everything through consolidation Control  Who had it?  Who gets it? Staffing levels  Put right staff in right place  Outsource hosting, worry about customizing?
  • 5. BRANDING Emphasize your brand Standardize site navigation Push core services & functionality Reduces cognitive overload for your patrons Galvanizes and promotes library identity within your community (campus, city, etc. Doesn’t mean all departments/branches need to look the same. If no brand exists, the scope of the problem is well beyond the web folks.
  • 6. DEMOCRATIZATION OF CONTENT CMS separates content creation from programming  Lack of administrative oversight of content  Focus on consistent message  Perceived (or real) loss of control Removes most skill barriers from authoring  Someone’s expertise may become valueless  Some HTML still may be helpful for advanced users
  • 7. CONTROL OVER YOUR OWN DESTINY You’re not dependent on someone else to make things happen When you want a new function, you can do it – often by mixing & matching existing tools Ability to respond quickly to patron needs You may inherit responsibility for application (CMS) and web server security A security compromise could put your parent institution at risk as well
  • 8. CMS CONCERNS FROM 3 DIRECTIONS1. IT2. Administration3. Staff
  • 9. IT CONCERNS: FUNCTIONALIT Y“CMSs are too limited. We’d have to moldthe site to the CMS, rather than buildexactly what we want.”  Most CMSs are very flexible and can be extended by contributed packages of code (i.e., Drupal modules)  Make a CMS choice carefully; research what strengths and weaknesses of each are and show how they are or aren’t a good fit.
  • 10. IT CONCERNS: ENVIRONMENT“We don’t have a place to put it.”  “Make one. Pretty please?”  “We’re going rogue.”  Web hosting options are inexpensive  Many hosting companies have “one click” CMS install for popular CMS software  Support may be better than what you get in- house
  • 11. IT CONCERNS: MAINTENANCE“No one will be able to maintain thesystem; it will become a security issue.” Adopting a CMS does require taking on a maintenance regime. If the site’s functionality is not too complicated, upgrades are not difficult. See if IT will agree to maintain server environment; strike a balance.
  • 12. IT CONCERNS: SECURIT Y, 1/2“Open source software isn’t secure.”  The nature of open source development communities actually makes it more secure  The managers of these sites think open source CMSs are secure:  whitehouse.gov (Drupal)  wikipedia.org (MediaWiki)  NYT blogs (WordPress)
  • 13. IT CONCERNS: SECURIT Y, 2/2“Too many people will have access to theweb server.”  In most CMSs, only web admins require direct server access  Content creators add content via a browser  Existing accounts (i.e., LDAP/AD) can be used  Permissions of CMSs allow very granular, precisely controlled access
  • 14. ADMIN CONCERNS: TERRITORY“We have to use our parent organization’sContent Management System.”  What are limitations of that CMS?  Does that truly give your users the best experience?  Who “owns” web services within the library?  Admin?  IT?  Public Service s?
  • 15. ADMIN CONCERNS: CONTENT/MESSAGE“Library staff will have free reign on thesite.”  Develop a content strategy  Who speaks on the site, and what should they say?  Set standards for content, branding, etc.  Establish web publication workflows with editorial review (CMSs support these!)  Train library staff on all of the above
  • 16. ADMIN CONCERNS: STAFFING“We don’t have anyone who can do this foryou. No one has the time or the skills.”  “I can do it.”  Install the CMS on your laptop and develop a sample site.  Time saving aspects of CMSs can free up time doing tedious work (link checking, reports, stale content) on a static site to learn how to maintain a CMS-based site.
  • 17. ADMIN CONCERNS: COST“A CMS will be too costly.”  Learning the CMS will be an initial investment, even if it’s free, in terms of employee time  Web authoring software (Dreamweaver, etc.) is no longer necessary for content creators to draft content and connect to the server  Cost of licenses  Cost of staff time learning specific software versus web-based input of most CMSs
  • 18. STAFF CONCERNS: TECH SKILLS“They’re too hard to use.”  Web staff may have to learn the CMS initially  Most CMSs use browser-based editing for content creation  If staff can type in a web browser, they can add content to a CMS
  • 19. STAFF CONCERNS: CHANGE“This will be a big change; will we be ableto manage it?”  “You won’t have to use Dreamweaver anymore.”  “You won’t have to use FrontPage anymore.”  “You don’t have to use HTML (if you don’t want to).”  Point out these and other benefits that will make life easier for content creators.
  • 20. STAFF CONCERNS: AUTHORIT Y“We won’t have control over our content.”  How much control do they have now? What are their specific concerns?  Organization must establish rules for content (workflow, procedures, etc.)  Most CMSs have very robust user/permissions systems that allow staff access to precisely what they need for their work, and no more
  • 21. THE ONE QUESTION SURVEY: YOUR RESPONSESWhat reasons have you been giventhat you cant use a CMS for web development in your library?
  • 22. CONTACT INFORMATION Nina McHale Ken Varnumnina@milehighbrarian.net varnum@umich.edu @ninermac @varnum milehighbrarian.net rss4lib.com