What is this “Article Production” of which you speak?

Good question. I think it helps to understand what a producer does in terms of the path an article takes from inception to publication.

  1. Author writes an article
  2. Author sends the article to his/her editor
  3. Editor edits article, making sure it adheres to basic XHTML standards (e.g. paragraphs are wrapped in <p></p> tags, etc.)
  4. Editor enters article into our content management system, filling in appropriate metadata fields, leaving a note that it’s ready for production
  5. Editor sends producer any article assets (graphics, audio, code samples)
  6. Producer checks article out of the content management system to process it in Dreamweaver
    • makes sure headers start with <h3>
    • makes sure code blocks are wrapped in <pre><code></code></pre>
    • replaces ” (quotes) in text with &quot;
    • makes sure article validates as XHTML transitional
    • adds content management system specific header, footer, and page breaks
    • adds sidebar that points to a related book
    • checks links
  7. Producer processes article assets
    • resizes images if wider than 500px, taller than 450px, creating thumbnails/popups in special cases
    • uploads images into correct location on webserver
    • fills in the <img> src, width, height, and alt attributes
    • formats captions appropriately, wrapped in <em></em> tags below the photo
  8. Producer checks article back into the content management system, making sure it’s displaying properly, leaving a note that it’s ready to be copyedited
  9. Copyeditor checks article out of the content management system, copyedits article, checks article back in, leaving a note that copyediting is done
  10. Producer tells the content management system to publish article, which creates a static version of the file in a permanent location
  11. Producer uses the content management system to update various site index pages that link to the article

On average it seems to take about 30 minutes to get an article ready for copyediting, longer if there are multiple images. Publishing the article after copyediting takes about 5-10 minutes. Each of our sites has a responsible producer, as well as a publication schedule of 1-3 articles per week.

So at most I’ll be producing 2-3 articles a day, sometimes only one. When I’m not doing article production I’m working on other top sekret projectz.

This post first appeared on From the Belly of the Beasts, a weblog from some of the people who build O’Reilly websites.

1 Comment

Brian

Ahh, so that’s what a producer does, most excellent, explaining the process was insightful, thanks

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