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Distributed content management

Has anyone addressed the issue of distributed content management, in which editors are located in different offices?  Small institutions, for instance non-profits, are often arranged this way.  They have small branch locations where their local personnel would like to be able to write their own stories.

Often, these institutions are not wealthy enough to have a wide area network, so that a single CTY file is really not shareable. 

Short of having to segment the site into sub-directories (each one will have its own CTY file), which may not make logical sense, I do not know how to handle this gracefully. 

Is there a synchronization function that can work in reverse, using FTP to download changes on the web site back into a CTY file?  This might do the trick.

Thanks.

Joel Finkel
Tuesday, October 15, 2002

In that kind of situation, you're probably better off going with some sort of server-side solution, such as phpNuke. The downside to server-side products is that you need to be online to edit stuff, which can be both inconvenient and costly if you're on a timed dialup connection. You also need a host that supports PHP, MySQL, or whatever your product uses.

Darren Collins
Tuesday, October 15, 2002

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Platforms.html

Quote (about halfway down the page)

"One of the big ones is that people want to collaborate on CityDesk sites over the Internet. A reasonable request. For the next major release, we have to do something about this limitation ... "

tk
Tuesday, October 15, 2002

In the meantime, one possibility is to use Windows Terminal Services. This works well over even low-speed connections.

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, October 15, 2002

In my case, at least for non-profits, this is less urgent than it used to be.

The non-profit folks I know are so busy and so under paid (if they are paid at all) that it's very hard to squeeze anything new into their schedule.  Many are high-turnover volunteers.  If they only publish something once a month, they'll even forget what the CityDesk icon looks like. 

Training busy folks in person is hard enough; training folks in remote locations is another thing entirely.  Before the end of your training session, you'll probably be stuffing envelopes for the next fundraiser.

So, I think the best solution for small non-profits is a volunteer webslave with CityDesk.  He/she begs for content, accepts it in any form: Word, email, handwritten, or pony express, makes them a nice website, and markets it as a means to help them perform their services and raise money.

The advantage for the webslave is that he/she can provide a valuable service for a worthy organization without stuffing envelopes.  Of course they might ask you to stuff envelopes anyway.

tk
Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Another solution is to ftp the .cty file to the server. Whoever is wants it, downloads it and then *deletes* the file from the server. After publishing, upload the file. A simple check-in, check-out way to go, but obviously frought with logistical issues.

Amos Satterlee
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Probably the simplest solution is to appoint one individual as the webmaster, and everyone email their new articles or updates to that person. They then have the CityDesk file, and publish the site whenever something changes.

Of course, this will be a nightmare if there are lots of changes needed.

Darren Collins
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Or something like PC Anywhere to control the 1 computer that has CityDesk on it... This would also satisfy the Fog license agreement, I believe, that it could only be installed on one machine at a time.

MarkTAW
Friday, October 18, 2002

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