Editors Wanted: a Contest!, Part 3

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week was a very busy week for me.

I spent an obscene amount of time writing a plugin for the new publishing system ("Movable Type") so that our Editing Team would be alerted (via an RSS feed) when a new draft article has been submitted by our Team of Bloggers.

My notification plugin, aptly named "RSS Draft Notify", is used in conjunction with another plugin (called "Workflow"). In a nutshell: the Workflow plugin changes the dynamics of the publishing system (Movable Type) such that "Contributors" may only submit draft articles, while "Editors" can edit the drafts and eventually approve them. Once a draft has been approved, the article will appear "live" online the web site.

Much to my surprise, however, Workflow does not have an automated mechanism for notifying editors when a draft is ready to be edited. And since we have a team of Editors 'willing and ready' at any given time to edit drafts, the "RSS Draft Notify" plugin program was absolutely essential to have in the scheme of things (or should I say, "in the flow of work"?).

And, speaking of editing --

I didn't want to announce the winners of our Editorial Contest until this project was finalized; otherwise, you can imagine the amount of confusion that may have resulted. For example:

  • An editor would login haphazardly and check for new draft entries. If there were no drafts to correct, the editor would log out of the publishing system.
  • A contributor submits a draft, but then would have to wait an undetermined amount of time until it was approved by an editor.
  • Editors may be put off by the fact that they need to login 3 or 4 times a day to check for drafts; eventually editors stop logging in altogether because it becomes too much of a hassle. As a result, unnoticed drafts begin piling up in the system.
  • Contributors are then upset at the editors for "not working quick enough" to approve their drafts. Subsequently, contributors stop contributing articles.

Whew! You can see how that could have been a potentially disastrous pitfall.

Thankfully, it's out of the way. And as of tomorrow -- I promise -- to announce the winners of our recent Editorial Contest in the next newsletter. So stay tuned!

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