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For CMS Authors

These pages describe the use of the SERC Content Management System (CMS). You can certainly skip down to the links below and plunge in. But if you're feeling disoriented there are two questions who's answers might help clarify things: What is a CMS? Why should I bother to use one?

The term Content Management System (hereafter referred to as a CMS in an effort to conserve virtual trees and the author's fingers) refers to a broad category of tools which help organizations manage their digital content. In our (less tautological and more specific) case we're referring to tools that let folks create and manage websites in an integrated fashion from the comfort of their web browsers.

Website creation traditionally followed a process that went something like this. Create html document in a text editor (or a program that provides helpful props like Dreamweaver or FrontPage) on your desktop computer. Move said document onto the 'server' via cryptic techniques like 'ftp'. Make corrections as needed with your desktop computer, shuffling the updated files onto the server--replacing the old ones in the process.

This process can work quite well for small websites with a single author. But as sites grow and multiple authors are involved it becomes cumbersome. From the simple mechanics of "who's got the current copy of file x", to more difficult problems like how to ensure a consistent navigation scheme (not to mention 'look-and-feel') across the site, the traditional approach offers no solutions.

CMS's provide environments where these sorts of problems have been explicitly addressed in a manner that allows folks with information to get it up on the web with minimal worry about mechanics. CMS's can help authors follow current best practices in website design (information architecture, use of web standards, accessibility, etc...) without requiring them to know the gory technical details (or even to know that they are following best practices). Authors can focus on putting good information up and leave the technical details to the CMS (or the CMS's administrators).

These pages outline how to use the SERC CMS to create web pages for projects whose websites reside on SERC's servers. Both the CMS and this documentation are evolving continuously. Check back often. If you have questions about the documentation or the CMS itself don't hesitate to get in touch (sfox@carleton.edu). Without further ado...how to actually use the CMS.


How to Start Editing Web Pages


Instructions for using SERC workspaces
If you're using a SERC-hosted Workspace here's a quick guide to the features.
Instructions for Authors of Single Pages
If you're working with a single page (perhaps a teaching activity submitted through a form) you can get access to your page and start editing using our QuickEdit interface with these instructions.

Learn How to to Access a Module through the SERC Administrative Interface
If you've been given access to an entire module where you can work with a multiple pages and create new ones this is the place to start.

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