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 toolsâfrom all-inclusive content management systems to sidebar widgetsâcan help online editors manage the task.
âOh man, there are so many out there,â says Fred Jandt, senior manager of Digital Operations at Cygnus Business Media. âIf youâre 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
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 organizationâs website.Â
The Use: â[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 says Sherilyn Keaton, senior vice president of digital products and service for Bonnier.Â âWe are relaunching many of our sites now on the new Drupal 7 platform.â
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 worldwideâthe most of any CMS.Â WordPress is also a free, open source platform.
The Use: âYes, itâs a blog site,â Jandt says.Â âBut itâs 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
The Tool: Everyone knows about Twitter, but not everyone knows how to use it correctly or how to maximize its utilityâthose 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: âI think possibly understated is the versatility of Twitter,â Jandt says. âTwitter can be a viable newsfeed option with a wealth of information at your fingertips, allowing you to post updates at a momentâs notice from virtually anywhere. âŠ [T]here is a real understated strength to how it can be used in conjunction with a site.â
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: âStorify is used on several [Bonnier] web sites to help showcase the social media contributions of our readers,â says David Butler, digital director of Bonnierâs Active Interest Network.Â âFollowing 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
The Tool: The live-event publishing tool has only been around since 2007, but itâs now used by several of the worldâs 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: âCoveritLive is a popular application that allows brands to extend their live-event coverage,â Butler says.Â âIt 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.âÂ