Five Favorite Online Edit Tools
Editors reveal their best utilities for managing and developing content online.
More than anything, maintaining a website is about keeping its content relevant and up-to-date.
Thousands of toolsâ€”from all-inclusive content management systems to sidebar widgetsâ€”can help online editors manage the task.
â€śOh man, there are so many out there,â€ť says Fred Jandt, senior manager of Digital Operations at Cygnus Business Media. â€śIf youâ€™re trying to decide between them, make a list of what you want or need for your site and see which one offers the most. And test out the user interface.â€ť
Technical capability should be considered, Jandt says, but not at the expense of utility.
Here are some of the most popular (and functional) online edit tools available:
Content Management Systems
The Tool: Drupal is the most comprehensive end-to-end content management system [CMS] out there.Â The open source model is maintained by a community of over 630,000 users and is available for free on the organizationâ€™s website.Â
The Use: â€ś[It] provide[s] easy content management for our digital editorial staff while allowing extensive customization and dynamic front-ends that enable our brands to express themselves individually,â€ť says Sherilyn Keaton, senior vice president of digital products and service for Bonnier.Â â€śWe are relaunching many of our sites now on the new Drupal 7 platform.â€ť
The Tool: For ease and simplicity, WordPress is the way to go.Â The user-friendly platform features an intuitive dashboard that manages content for more than 5 million sites worldwideâ€”the most of any CMS.Â WordPress is also a free, open source platform.
The Use: â€śYes, itâ€™s a blog site,â€ť Jandt says.Â â€śBut itâ€™s also very versatile with lots of options and an easy to use back end interface. WordPress also provides an iPad formatted version built in, which is awesome.â€ť
The Tool: Everyone knows about Twitter, but not everyone knows how to use it correctly or how to maximize its utilityâ€”those questions are still being answered. While it likely will never be the main focus of a site, Twitter can be a valuable, easy way to provide fresh content.
The Use: â€śI think possibly understated is the versatility of Twitter,â€ť Jandt says. â€śTwitter can be a viable newsfeed option with a wealth of information at your fingertips, allowing you to post updates at a momentâ€™s notice from virtually anywhere. â€¦ [T]here is a real understated strength to how it can be used in conjunction with a site.â€ť
The Tool: Storify is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to curate social content from places like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and publish it onto a site. Editors can balance original content and customized feeds that can bring writer and audience together in one place with a professional look.
The Use: â€śStorify is used on several [Bonnier] web sites to help showcase the social media contributions of our readers,â€ť says David Butler, digital director of Bonnierâ€™s Active Interest Network.Â â€śFollowing a recent Twitter chat with the editors of Scuba Diving and Islands, we used Storify to curate and share a list of our readersâ€™ favorite places to dive and snorkel, and their most notable underwater discoveries.â€ť
The Tool: The live-event publishing tool has only been around since 2007, but itâ€™s now used by several of the worldâ€™s leading media brands.Â While, as a live tool, it has found a natural home in sporting events, the platform has the potential to augment coverage of any real-time occasion.Â Recently, CoveritLive was used by 2.5 million readers to follow the iPhone 5 announcement on Sept. 12.
The Use: â€śCoveritLive is a popular application that allows brands to extend their live-event coverage,â€ť Butler says.Â â€śIt allows for multiple contributors and the inclusion of stats, polls and photos among other offerings. And it works across mobile, tablet and Facebook, as well.â€ťÂ