Category Archives: News and Updates

General Web CMS News and Updates

Content as UX in August

Content-as-UX Content is User Experience! Join me in the Studio@Butler for the Content as UX workshop series. The sessions will be held on August 7, 15, and 21 (all Thursdays) from 10-11:30 a.m. Please RSVP via email to candicekail@columbia.edu.

Content as UX: Creating Content & Writing for the Web is a series of three workshops to help you explore online expression in various forms and to learn about creating effective online content, whether you want to give readers the information they need quickly or entice them to explore more fully. We read and negotiate information differently in an online context. This series explores how we read in online environments and how to craft our online content to best engage our users.

Just as literature encompasses various forms, from sonnets to novels to theatrical comedies, so does online writing and content. From tweets, social media posts, and mobile content to blog articles and expository content, writing for the web involves a mixture of talent, inspiration, craft, and artistry. In much the same way that an informational brochure’s content differs from the content of an article, web content changes depending on its function and where it resides. Like other types of content, the way it is crafted and developed can impact its effectiveness.

In this workshop, you will begin to think more critically about web content, learn writing techniques suited to the web as a medium in its various forms, and work on developing an approach to your own web content. Join me for three sessions and begin to reshape your online communication approach.

 

CUL Blogs: The WordPress Upgrade

On April 11, after much development work and preparation, LDPD and LITO rolled out a major upgrade to the CUL blogs platform.  The move from WordPress MU (Multi-User) to WordPress MS (Multisite) was much needed and long anticipated, and will bring a variety of benefits to everyone involved with editing, supporting, and viewing CUL Blogs.Screenshot of new CUL Blogs Theme

WordPress Multisite is more secure, and will allow us to keep up with current releases going forward.  We’ll also be integrating CUL blogs with Google Analytics, and we’ll install an improved spam blocker to keep unwanted entries from blog post comments.

Along with the WordPress platform upgrade, we replaced the outdated Thesis theme with a custom theme designed by LDPD, which brings CUL blogs completely in-line with the Libraries website design, and greatly improves the viewing experience on mobile devices.  The new theme also provides a host of new features and functionality to improve the content authoring experience:

  • Provides a familiar but simplified interface and navigation.
  • Enables greater control over title and layout options for blog administrators.
  • Offers more appearance customization, such as blog colors and rotating images.
  • Allows us to easily add new functionality with plugins and custom widgets.

One important change is that we’ve updated the rich text editor, which should address some known issues with content loss while using the older version.

Another welcome addition is the integration of Akismet, which should greatly reduce the amount of spam in blog comments.  You’ll find a new spam queue on the Dashboard where flagged messages will wait for your review, and you can configure options for this feature from the Settings menu in the Dashboard sidebar.

We encourage you to spend a little time exploring the new interface and features, and we hope you’ll find this update makes working with your blogs a bit easier.  We’ll be updating our blog documentation on StaffWeb soon to reflect all the changes, so that’s always a good place to start if you need assistance.

https://culis.columbia.edu/content/staffweb/web/wcm/specialized/blogs.html

And of course you can always contact the blog support team by emailing: blogsupport@library.columbia.edu

A New Way To Request New CUL Wiki Spaces

If you’d like to request a new CUL wiki space, please use our new request form, which will streamline our processes and reduce the time it takes for us to fulfill your request:

https://culis.columbia.edu/web/forms/wiki_request.htmlScreenshot of StaffWeb Wiki Request Form

You can always find the form via the link on the CUL Wikis StaffWeb page:

https://culis.columbia.edu/web/wcm/specialized/wikis.html

As always, if you need assistance working within an existing CUL wiki space, you can send email to the wiki support alias: wikisupport@library.columbia.edu.

CUL Websites: What’s up since the CQ/AEM Upgrade

Since upgrading from Day CQ 5.4 to Adobe AEM 5.6.1 at the end of January, the LDPD web team has focused on post-upgrade clean up, but we’ve also begun working on some features enabled by the new platform.  Here’s a rundown of some of the new features which you may have already discovered on your own:Screenshot of AEM Welcome Screen and Website Console

  • Streamlined user interface
    • Unnecessary websites, consoles, tabs, buttons, links, and other features have been hidden to provide a less cluttered, more focused experience.
  • Improved content search/replace
    • Searches can now specify criteria in addition to keywords, such as Modified Date, Template, or Tags.
  • Component-level undo/redo
    • Numerous page and asset editing actions can now be undone/redone, such as creating, and deleting components, or editing a component dialog, even after changes have been saved.
  • More keyboard shortcut support
    • Many CQ/AEM interface actions can now be performed via common keystrokes, such as copy, paste, and undo.
  • Better DAM file type and metadata support
    • Quality and speed of digital asset ingestion into the DAM has been increased, automatic extraction of asset metadata has been improved, and there is enhanced support for Microsoft Office documents.
  • Scheduled Page and Asset Activation
    • Pages can be scheduled for automatic Activation or Deactivation at a future date and time.
  • Automatic link checking
    • Broken links are now clearly marked with a red symbol on pages in the authoring environment.

On the back-end, the new version is significantly more robust and resistant to data corruption, so the uptime of both our authoring environment and public websites should go up.  System configuration options have been reworked to simplify setup and maintenance, and new developer tools and libraries should allow us to more easily extend WCM with custom components, reports, and applications.

The LDPD web team will continue to use these building blocks to improve the CQ/AEM content authoring experience.   Currently we’re working on better contact management, improved support for video assets, and syncing the CQ/AEM login with your standard UNI/password.

We’re always interested in hearing feedback from contributors, so please don’t hesitate to let us know about new things you’d like to do or ways you think the content authoring experience could be improved.

Upcoming Workshop Series: Creating Content and Writing for the Web

Join me in the Studio@Butler for Creating Content and Writing for the Web. The workshops will be held on April 15, 22, and 29 (all Tuesdays) from 2-3:30 p.m. Please RSVP candicekail@columbia.edu.

Creating Content and Writing for the Web is a short series of workshops for librarians and other content contributors within the libraries to explore online expression in various forms. Just as literature encompasses various forms – from haiku to the novel to theatrical comedies – so too does online writing and content. From tweets, social media posts, and mobile content to blog articles and expository content, writing for the web involves a mixture of talent, inspiration, craft, and artistry. In much the same way that an informational brochure's content differs from the content of an article, web content changes depending on its function and where it resides. Like other types of content, the way it is crafted and the processes by which it's developed can impact its effectiveness. In this workshop, participants will begin to think more critically about web content, learn techniques suited to the web as a medium in its various forms, and work on developing an approach to their own web content. Join me for three sessions and begin to reshape your online communication approach!

CQ Upgrade Schedule, Short Content Freeze, & More New Opportunities!

Our upgrade to CQ (renamed by Adobe from Adobe CQ to Adobe Experience Manager, or AEM) is being tested this week by several content contributors as well as LDPD staff. The schedule for bringing it up for everyone is:

13 – 17 January

  • Provide test contributors with information about new features/behaviors
  • Gather feedback from content contributor testing
  • Continue to test internally and fix issues as needed
  • Develop and update documentation

20 – 25 January

  • Make sure everything works as expected for contributors and LDPD staff
  • Schedule and advertise post-upgrade workshops in February

28 – 31 January

  • Content Freeze beginning at 5:00 pm 28 January
  • Content Freeze ends at 10:30 am 31 January
  • Perform the upgrade
  • Continue to develop and update documentation

 

For the many who have responded asking if another Working with Subject & Courseworks Guides in CQ will be offered, the answer is yes! One is being scheduled for February, along with other sessions covering specific aspects of creating and working with website content. The schedule for trainings will be sent out next week.  

New Year, New Opportunities!

New Year! 

2014 has arrived with a blast of arctic air, while we all prepare for Spring Semester! We are looking forward to installing the most up to date version of our web content management system (Adobe CQ) in late January. The upgrade will not be a drastic change, but it will bring a number of noteworthy improvements to both contributors and system administrators. In February, we will hold a full Introduction to CQ training as well as a number of open sessions to introduce you to What's New in CQ/AEM 5.6.1. Check back for dates and times and more information. 

New Opportunities!

You are invited to attend our Working with Subject & Courseworks Guides in CQ session from 2:00 – 3:30 on Wednesday, 15 January 2014, in 306 Butler for anyone who would like to attend. The session will cover the nuances of working with your guides as you prepare them for Spring Semester classes and will cover some of the more advanced functionality, such as how to use the same content in more than one guide. Now that the site has been redesigned and the guides are centrally located, it's a good time to update, add resources, and create new course- and subject-specific guides. All are welcome! 

 

 

      

Launching the New LibraryWeb

As you all are hopefully well aware, our almost year-long effort to redesign the Libraries primary public website is approaching its conclusion.  The new site will go live in soft-launch on June 3.  Hopefully all LibraryWeb content contributors are keeping up with Libraries Website Redesign Blog.  There's a lot of critical information there, so we encourage you to subscribe to make sure you're up to date with the latest announcements.

To preview the new LibraryWeb: http://preview-library.cul.columbia.edu/

To make edits to the new LibraryWeb: LibraryWeb Preview CQ Login

To make edits to Alumni/Friends, BTS, and StaffWeb continue as before: Live CQ Login

After the launch, check back here for more information about changes to the content contributor experience, as well as a preview of what's coming next with CQ, blogs, and other Web CMS updates.