Guidelines for the care and maintenance of your Content Manager
For Website Owners (Administration, Directors, Deans, Chairs)
The responsibilities of the CCRI Web Content Managers (CMs) require an unusual degree of specialized training, organizational skills, and
just plain hard work. CMs know this going in --or learn it soon thereafter. Because
of the unique skill-set required of CMs, the owners of a website, who are most often
not its CM, may not be aware of the time and effort that go into developing and maintaining
a site. By understanding the responsibilities of an CM, a website owner can better
support the CM in the successful creation and smooth continuance of a site.
Below are some guidelines to help site owners understand the scope of their CM's responsibilities
and some of the ways in which content can be submitted for web publication.
- The CM's Job
- A CM's function is the preparation or "conversion" of content (text and images) supplied
by their organization for publication on the Internet or Intranet.
- Converting content involves more than just "cutting and pasting" text and pictures.
The format requirements for a Web page involve the use of HTML code, as well as knowledge
about the college's requirements for Web pages on its site. Consistency is needed,
which sometimes requires research into how other web pages on the CCRI site (and/or
other websites) are formatted.
- Some changes in content might be required to adapt information to a Web page. For
example, rather than having just a "linear" method of idea arrangement, web pages
require the use of "linked" pages, sections, and content. As with any revision process,
time is needed to review and revise again if more changes in the "linked" are needed.
- It is not the responsibility of a CM to create the source content (write, type or
take photographs) for the site(s) they develop and maintain on the Web.
- Before being delivered to the CM, content for inclusion on a website should be typed, reviewed, and approved by the
organization's head(s) and anyone else who may have feedback. IMPORTANT: No one who may make revisions to the content should be seeing it for the first time
in the web page format.
- If the CM also holds the role of writer or clerical staff in the organization, the
creation of the source content may also be one of the individual's responsibilities.
If writing or clerical tasks are not parts of the CM's role, then he or she should
be provided with content that has been already written, typed, reviewed and approved
- Content submission
- It bears repeating...All content should be reviewed, revised, and approved for publication
by ALL stakeholders before delivery to the CM
- A website should not be used as the initial vehicle for the review of content. Word
processing programs, such as MS Word, are much better suited for this as they have
document comment and revision features built into them. Content in word processing
programs is much easier and faster to revise than content in Web (HTML) format. Plus,
whereas a Word document can be revised by almost anyone in an organization, only a
trained content manager can revise a web page. A serious bottleneck can be created
in the revision process if a site is developed directly from unapproved first-drafts
of the content and every little change must be executed by the only person trained
on the system.
- Written content should be provided to a CM in digital form
- For example, the content can be submitted as a .doc, .docx or .rtf document.
- Revisions should be made on the original document.
- If revisions occur after the original has been converted to HTML, the revisions should
still be made to the original document, but they should also be highlighted so that
the CM can easily spot them and doesn't have to re-convert the whole document.
- Printed images may be supplied in printed form
- Most staff and faculty do not have access to, nor training on, image-scanning equipment.
If an CM cannot scan (digitize) images, then he or she can seek the assistance of Web Services.
- Digital images
- Images, such as those produced by a digital camera, can be sent to the CM as email
attachments --if there are only a few and their file-size is under 1MB each. For larger quantities of images or larger file-sizes, images should be burned onto
a CD, DVD or compressed into a .zip file and delivered or emailed to the CM. Assistance
with the preparation of images can be scheduled by emailing email@example.com.
For more, see: "Creating Departmental Websites"