Customer Thoughts from Norfolk State University: How to Encourage Content Contributors
Content is King, but content can’t become king without its King’s men, the content contributors. Even if an organization has the right system in place, one piece of the puzzle is still missing; how to enable and encourage contributors. A great use case comes from a current Percussion CM1 customer, Debbie Jones of Norfolk State University. In this blog post Debbie shares how she enables 170 contributors and 170 editors to use CM1 to update the Norfolk University website.
You may be shocked to find out that Norfolk State University has over 170 website contributors and editors; but this is essential to keep our website up to date, relevant, and a power house of content for interested and current students. Because we have so many contributors it’s important for me to keep from becoming the bottleneck for content. So how do I do it?
Training is Key
I strongly believe training is an essential component to encouraging contributors. But keeping a flexible training schedule gives contributors the freedom to pick and choose which sessions matter to them most. I’ve set two training slots for every Friday, in which CM1 users can learn about creating forms, adding a calendar, and publishing secure content. One important thing to note is that I’ve made all content creators aware that by a set day in April I will no longer make edits for them. This cutoff date encourages them to attend training and ask relevant questions.
Competition is Key
Another suggestion to encourage engagement is to spark the competition fire between editors and contributors. In a few months I'll announce a usability contest, where editors and contributors can build out their division sections but the winning factor is the usability of those pages. Just to keep the design reins on them a little bit.
Other Methods to the Madness
If you feel this situation resonates with you, I have a few other suggestions that may help. Think of using simulation software such as Captivate. This allows you to record the correct steps for completing a task and then the user can attempt to complete the task themselves. This helps them figure out how to do it themselves, while it giving useful hints along the way. And lastly make yourself available for 1x1 training. In an opening training session, users who aren’t technical may be discouraged and afraid to ask questions. Provide an open office hour’s method where users can spend one-on-one time with you to learn the missing pieces.
I hope the above suggestions will encourage you to encourage and enable your content creators. You need to remember your website is only as good as your content and your content is only as good as your contributors. If you have any suggestions on how you enable your content community I would love to hear them, please post them in then the comments section below.