Posts by: maxcutler

On Building a Generic (News) CMS

Everyone seems to want to create the next popular CMS. Whether it’s for blogging, brochureware, e-commerce, or news, there’s no shortage of people looking to build the next big thing. I admit to being one of those people. But as I’ve been doing market research and competitive analysis for the better part of 9 months now, one thing has struck me in particular: most of these people do not truly understand why software like WordPress and Drupal have succeeded, and thus go down roads towards mediocrity and obscurity.

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Courant News: Pages

Today’s topic of discussion is static pages in Courant News. Virtually all sites have static pages of some sort, such as an About page.  Following is a brief overview of how we have handled such a common feature.

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Courant News: Media

In keeping with my attempt to do one blog post each day, today I’m going to talk about media in Courant News. One of the largest advantages of the web over print is the ability to publish virtually unlimited amounts of multimedia. Whereas articles often have at most one photograph associated with them in the print edition, we have the ability to publish all kinds of multimedia with our articles online: photos, videos, audio clips, interactive graphics, files, etc, etc.  First I’ll look at the reasons for doing this, and then specifically how Courant News handles media.

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News Wikis

Today Joey Baker tweeted about a link to a blog post on the Nieman Journalism Lab which talks about the author’s vision of the future of digital news creation and utilization. One of the core concepts was the idea that a wiki would serve as an authoritative information source, to which blog or news posts would point for background while providing just new tidbits of information themselves. This reminded me of Daniel Bachhuber’s post on topical wikis on the CoPress blog a few months ago. Daniel and I had had a personal conversation about the topic, but I’m not sure I really understood it at the time.

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Email Subscriptions

This week’s topic of discussion at the CoPress forums regards email subscriptions/alerts, something which I’ve given a fair amount of thought to in the past few months. Today’s post will cover how the YDN has used email subscriptions up to the present and some ideas for email handling in Courant News.

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Courant News: Templates

Disclaimer: For those who don’t know me, I have a propensity for writing long-winded posts (and emails), so I apologize in advance to those not patient enough to wade through them fully. I try to be thorough, and I hope such posts are worth your time.

Today’s topic is templating in the Courant News platform; specifically, the philosophy behind it and some of the special or unique features.

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Courant News: A history and status update

This morning on Twitter I announced that the Yale Daily News would not be migrating to the Courant News platform this weekend as initially planned. That immediately prompted some questions about whether this meant that Courant was not going to be released until next fall when the YDN launches. The short answer: definitely not.  The long answer follows.

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This personal blog has been a long time coming. I’ve toyed with doing such a blog in the past, but could never maintain interest. Now that I’m involved in a number of public ventures, I thought it would be appropriate to have a soapbox upon which I can talk about things in more depth than a 140-character tweet will allow. I hope you enjoy!

P.S. If anyone wants to help with a logo/header for this blog, I’d be eternally grateful.

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