Events, dear boy, events

What ourlocality publishers should fear most are those repeating events articles, that you need to be able recycle each year, or perhaps more regularly – broadly similar content but with a fresh twist and definitely a new date stamp. But you take the post you wrote last year and change some of the details and and simply hit UPDATE. No! So, why is this bad? For starters none of the automation of the ourlocality platform (syndication to news.ourlocality, twitter and facebook) recognises that you’re really creating a new story and the original publication date is retained – you’ve bureaucratically fulfilled the task, but failed to let the world know. As far as the system is concerned you could be simply correcting an error or restoring a broken link and that’s just for starters.

If you want articles to appear current you should always create a NEW story, which will set a current publication date, which you can also set in the future e.g. you need to embargo the story, or you’re off on holiday or simply at work when you want it to go live. Publication date is also a good reason for using posts over pages if you want to announce something important, for search engines are a bit rubbish at collecting fresh information from pages, especially if your readership is narrow (you and a few friends/critics).

Also, and this is relevant to many website projects, the archive of your website is a useful – perhaps vitally important record of your activities. If you’re a a charity or perhaps you’ve got funding to run a project, you need to evidence what you’ve done. Deleting a story on the grounds that it is a bit old means that the archive and history of your site or project may be lost, forever.

The good news. Well there is some. You have 30 days to change your mind over deletions, after which the trash consigns your deleted articles irretrievably to the bin. We have revisions turned on, so you can turn the clock back (copy your new article and paste it into a new post and roll back – yay!). And finally, we’ve installed a post duplicator. From the list of posts you can CLONE a post and it will appear as a new draft with today’s date. Or from the old post, you can go to the publication options in the right hand block and create a draft copy of the post.

It is so easy, but even easier to ballsup.

By @ourlocality

Publishing Locally in East Lothian since 2010