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LH11 Using Google Groups as a Content Management System

LH11 Using Google Groups as a Content Management System

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Published by J.A.Morgan
I write about the possibilities of using Google Groups allow a group of people to collaborate on a publication.
I write about the possibilities of using Google Groups allow a group of people to collaborate on a publication.

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Published by: J.A.Morgan on Sep 07, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Using Google Groups as a ContentManagement System
I was originally going to use Google's Groups feature to allow readers of my articles to respondwith comments, and perhaps expand out into providing readers with a forum for extendeddiscussions. Up until now, I haven't been able to find a reliable way of doing this, although Icame the closest with Trello (which requires registration before you can post) and hadinvestigated Disqus just recently.Google Groups has always been a strong possibility, but I shied away from using it because Ihadn't found a way yet of incorporating it with my workflow. This changed when I decided that Icould compose my articles in Google Mail, and then convert them into their two main formats(documents and a blog post). Over the weekend, I realized that I could also email the text into aGoogle Group. This would allow me to start the third branch of an article, which would be anarea where the article could be discussed.But, as I looked at Google Groups and considered how it fit into my flow, I realized that I onceagain had things backwards. If I composed the article in Google Groups, the text would be sentto my gmail account where I could then convert it into a blog post and document. Additionally, I have been looking for ways to open up my work flow to contributors, and I believethat Google Groups is the ideal solution. On Saturday, my daughter wanted to post a blog poston the blog I had started for our new baby who is due in February. I gave her access to the blogas an author, and showed her how to write the blog post and then post it. Unfortunately, I'mpretty sure it went live before she had completed it. To compound the problem, when it went livethere was a danger that it was also posted to Facebook and Twitter, because Wordpress is setup to do that automatically. I realized that it would be risky to allow contributors to post directlyto my Wordpress sites on a regular basis. The other disadvantage is that posting on a blog postplaces content outside of my conversion process.If my daughter was a member of the Baby on Board discussion group, however, she couldsafely post her new article as a draft in that group, and not only could I then convert it when itwas ready but while it was a draft I could respond with feedback and corrections. This is a stepthat I've known was needed, but I didn't know where to fit it in.Once it has been approved, it could be converted into a document and blog post, and then Iwould refer back to the thread as a discussion. Others could join the group as readers, andrespond via comments. They might be able to see original versions of the article, but I thinkthat's okay. It would just show members the evolution of the content, and if there wasinformation or versions that read better they could enjoy those too.This solves one other problem that I always had. I wanted to build in a review process where aselect number of people could review the draft of an article before it was released to a wider audience. I circumvented this kind of stage because I didn't know how to handle it, and it didn'tseem practical when I was the only one producing the content. The content that is posted to thegroup could be put through a review process. The group posts could be referenced in an

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