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Opening Your Web Site to New Contributors Successfully

A paper to assist Web managers in preparing for and working with new contributors to their sites

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The More the Merrier: The New Enterprise-wide Web Culture

Once upon a time in a long-forgotten era (about 2-3 years ago), only one or two creatures called “Webmasters” worked on a single company’s Web site. Everyone else in the enterprise had to send whatever they wanted to appear on the site to the Webmaster, wait, perhaps light some candles or make an offering to the Great Internet, wait some more, and hope that their information would not only make to the Web site but also somewhat resemble what the original author had in mind. If there were a misspelling or, error, or new information to add, the whole process had to be rehearsed again and again.

Now more and more members throughout the enterprise have access to web publishing. The result is that there is no longer one single Webmaster within the enterprise. Instead, your role has already or is evolving into that of an editor, manager, coach and/or advisor for the other contributors to your site. The advantage to this shift in roles is that it frees the Webmaster-turned-Web Manager to spend les time keying in changes for others and more time working on expanding, fine-tuning, and developing new functionalities for the Web site. The very real potential risk is that too many contributors may spoil the content soup—creating content that requires significant cleaning to meet enterprise publishing standards and a chaotic Web development environment.

The key to avoiding chaos and achieving efficiency is to have the right tools in place to enable multiple people to contribute to your Web site and prepare your contributors to work on the Web knowledgeably.

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