COMMENT 

Time & motion

Are your publishing systems fit for purpose? The only way to find out is to watch how your journalists use them.

By James Evelegh

Time & motion
Glide's Richard Fairbairn

No one likes being watched as they go about their work, but it can be a very useful exercise.

Sitting at someone’s shoulder is what Richard Fairbairn and his team at Glide did a lot of when developing the Glide Publishing Platform, to make sure it did what editorial teams needed.

I interviewed Richard at their Islington offices last week (great view over London by the way) for an upcoming sponsored piece in our March / April issue.

Chatting to him, it was obvious that every editor and publishing manager should sit with their journalists and analyse what they do, how they do it and how long it takes; not as part of some fiendish Machiavellian plot to make them work harder, but to find out whether the publishing tools they've been given, help or hinder.

Some things you should be looking out for as you peer over their shoulders:

  1. Are your publishing processes non-linear? Do your journalists follow a logical and sequential route or are you forcing them through a maze, where they are forever having to branch off left and right to get to their destination?
  2. Do your journalists have to remember to do all the things you want them to do with a piece of content (as opposed to being prompted to do so by the CMS)?
  3. Are they performing lots of repetitive tasks, which could and should be automated?
  4. Are they doing lots of laborious work, which, again, could and should be automated?

If the answer to any of the above is ‘yes’, then you probably have an unproductive and unhappy editorial team. Editorial teams need powerful systems designed with publishing in mind, which are intuitive, easy to use and remove much of the spade work, freeing up time for them to concentrate on what they do best, which is creating lots of engaging content.