Publishing is a Process, Not an Action

Good web content needs a publishing process behind it to ensure:

  • It is accurate, consistent, up-to-date, and on-brand
  • It meets the goals of the author and EMU
  • It serves the needs of the reader

Information is published on the web, not posted. That is, the content worth publishing must be identified, then written, edited, reviewed, and approved. Think of the EMU web site as a glossy booklet where the contents are carefully prepared as a coherent whole and then sent to the print shop, not a bulletin board where everyone can tack up documents they have lying around. Every part of the site should look good, read well, and be as professional as possible.

There are three steps to web publishing:

  1. Editing involves writing new content, checking its spelling, grammar, and internal organization, having someone else read it, considering word choice for SEO, revising, checking the facts, guarding against libel or copyright infringement, and having it approved when necessary. Editing also requires correcting already published content and reviewing it to ensure that it is still accurate, up-to-date, and consistent with the new content.
  2. Publishing content means making it live on the web site in the right place and with correct metadata (like the title and the URL).
  3. Promoting content after it’s published means linking to the content appropriately, both on our site and on relevant third party sites. If appropriate, you can highlight your content on blogs, forums, link-sharing sites, Twitter, Facebook, mailing lists, etc. We’re not suggesting you spam other websites with your links; just encouraging you to think about who may be interested in the new content and where links will attract the attention of those who would be most interested in seeing it.

Does it really need to go online?

As discussed in the last section, all content has costs. You can help keep costs down by creating less content. Before you begin the publishing process, ask yourself, “Does this content really need to go on the website?” Is it vital? Can it be distributed another way? Is it part of a process (such as reserving facilities) where at the stage it is relevant, a better choice might be email, a printed packet, or myEMU?

Next: University Editorial Style Guide »