Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Wellness apps, but for news: Can Neva Labs build a news reading experience that feels healthy?
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
June 28, 2013, 11:17 a.m.

Good piece in Smashing Magazine by Lullabot’s Jeff Eaton on how to build a CMS that privileges structured content while also being useful to editors. (This is some of the same turf we covered with Karen McGrane back in January.) Among the highlights:

— Rather than building a manual layout engine, instead create cues for story priority and let the layout be determined by sorting rules.

When we started talking to the editorial team at a major news website, we learned that they wanted to control where articles appeared on the home page — and all of the website’s topical landing pages as well. When we dug deeper and presented simple prototypes, however, we discovered that they meant something different. What the editors really needed were ways to prioritize and organize content on the home page. On their old website, direct manipulation of each page’s layout was the only tool they had, and they were afraid to lose it.

— Use a mixture of in-article shortcodes and custom fields to balance out the requirement for exact asset placement vs. mere association.

— Don’t ruin your core templates to deal with a few oddball pages that don’t fit; let them live off to the side, taxonomically.

Some smart thinking in here. (Jeff Eaton is also host of the Insert Content Here content strategy podcast.)

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 45,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Wellness apps, but for news: Can Neva Labs build a news reading experience that feels healthy?
“If you took away advertising from the platforms we have currently, if you took away the need to addict people and harvest their data and keep them refreshing their pages, what would that experience look like?”
Saying “I can just Google it” and then actually Googling it are two different things
Plus other findings from a new study’s interviews with that increasingly common creature, the “news avoider.”
Combine an “editorially responsible” algorithm + political news, and you have Current Status
“I see my role as a sort of reinforcement editor, ensuring that the good stuff is always percolating to the top. Sometimes the news isn’t as neat as an algorithm wants to make it.”