For the last 3.5 years at the Internet Society, I've been using the insanely awesome EditFlow plugin for WordPress to plan out the content we've been creating on our Deploy360 website. EditFlow is an amazing amount of awesomeness bundled into one plugin... and if you use WordPress and aren't yet using EditFlow, I'd strongly recommend you check it out!
But here's the thing - in my new role within the Internet Society looking at content strategy across all our different sites and channels, I need a tool that lets our team plan:
- content across several different websites we maintain
- content on external websites (ex. CircleID)
- content in social channels
- different types of content (ex. blog posts, articles, videos)
Unfortunately I can't easily do this within WordPress. Yes, I could create a dummy "site" on a WordPress server and then use EditFlow as a tracking tool... but that would be a bit of the proverbial square-peg-in-round-hole.
Here's what I love about EditFlow and use on a daily basis:
- Convenient calendar view - with filters - I can just go into Dashboard -> Calendar and I've immediately go a view into everything we've published and everything we have planned. I can filter the view to see only items based on:
- Status (ex. published, draft, idea)
- Category (topic)
- Post type (ex. blog post, resource page)
- Drag-and-drop re-ordering - One of the single biggest features we'll use is the ability to just drag unpublished content around in the calendar view. When we have our weekly editorial calendar meetings, we will look at what is being planned and just move things around if we need to do. Super simple and easy.
- Fast creation of new ideas - In those meetings as we talk about what content we want to create, we can just click a "+" button and add a new story idea directly into the calendar interface. (In the background it creates a draft WordPress post scheduled for the relevant day.)
- Easy deletion of content - Similarly, if we decide to cancel an idea, we can just trash it from the calendar.
- Story Budget - EditFlow also has another view that it calls the "Story Budget" where I can easily see over a given time period how many pieces of content were created for any given category. On a site where we write about many different topics, this is an easy way to see how balanced we are across the different topics. Similar to the calendar view there are many ways to filter the view.
- Multi-user - EditFlow works well because we can give access to as many people as we want (and you can control who has access) - they just need to have an account on our WordPress server. Our team simply logs into the server from wherever they are in the world and we walk through what we have planned for the week. After we move items or create new items, people need to refresh their browser view - but that's it. It works really, really well.
Now, we don't even use the editorial comments, editorial metadata, notifications and user groups that are part of EditFlow. Our Deploy360 team is small enough (4 people) that we haven't yet really needed those capabilities.
But now I'm looking for something with those kind of capabilities that can be used by our larger Communications team and also other people across the organization. I'm NOT necessarily looking for something that will connect to our various publishing platforms. I'm okay if there is simply a way to check off that an item has been published.
Any suggestions or ideas? Some searching around online has shown me DivvyHQ, which is a hosted service that looks from the YouTube videos like it will meet many of what I've listed above. (Not sure about the "categories"... but I think that may fit into their "calendars".)
Other suggestions for hosted services? Suggestions for software we'd host ourselves?
(Thanks in advance - and I'll plan to summarize what I learn in a future post.)
View a discussion on this topic at:
Suggestions So Far
- CoSchedule (It seems to be focused on a single-site, aimed at WordPress and includes social integration, which isn't really what I'm looking for.)
UPDATE: I'd also love it if the service/tool had some of the kinds of content creation statistics I wrote about desiring earlier.