CMS Content Entry Efficiency - A Little Goes a Long Way

“Why do it twice when you can do it once?”

-- Innovative solutions for CMS content entry efficiencies 

When The C2 Group built the Alamo Colleges website, we created specialized Ektron Smart Forms that enabled RSS feeds to populate a large network of digital signs across five campuses displaying content created for news and events pages on the main site.

A hypothetical for you: Let’s say you work for one of the biggest colleges in the country, and your job is to make and publish web content. One day, a major college event changes location at the last minute. You’ll need to send out communications in every way possible – and fast. Now, this school is not just one, big campus. It’s massive, serving 90,000 students over five different locations and online. The word needs to get out, otherwise students and staff are going to start showing up at the wrong place.

A quick audit of your outlets shows you have your website, a mass email list, social networks, and some digital signage. Now, it’s time to draft and publish content on the change of venue.

Now, because I am a child of the 80s, please indulge me in this little choose-your-own-adventure-style post. You can choose one of two paths:

  • Another vendor built your website
  • The C2 Group built your site

Now, choose your own adventure!

  • Another vendor built your website

You’re ready to publish content for the digital signage, realizing it may be one of your most effective outlets for those heading to and from campus, and redirecting those arriving at the original venue. You log into the digital signage system and begin a new content block when Murphy’s Law takes over. First, your images need to be resized. Next, you’ve exceeded your character limit. Then, a server error.

Finally, you get the content posted to just the North Campus for the event, which moved from, say, South to West. But what about the other four signs at the other campuses?

  • The C2 Group built your website

You’re ready to publish content for the digital signage, realizing it may be one of your most effective outlets for those heading to and from campus, and redirecting those arriving the original venue. But wait, you’re already finished. Remembering you’ve already posted to your homepage, the content was then automatically published to the digital signage. Since you set the content to override on the main banner space, your “Event Moved” message has been successfully posted to each of the signs college-wide. Crisis averted.

This is a true story.

C2 has been a partner with Alamo Colleges since five independent community colleges joined to form the 90,000-student institution. As part of our project, C2 networked Alamo’s collection of digital signs over its five campuses with a little coding magic set up in Ektron Smart Forms to push XML code. With a simple check box in the work area, content blocks configured for display on the main site can be resized and pushed to a variety of dimensions of digital signs automatically.

So, with a little forethought and a deep understanding of Alamo’s challenges, we were able to cut the workload of a CMS administrator drastically, maintain brand standards, demonstrate a unified and polished presentation, and improve a massive institution’s ability to communicate.

Contact The C2 Group to choose your own web solution adventure!