Do you edit collaboratively?
January 9, 2009 4:21 PM   Subscribe

In search of collaborative editing software -- online (cloud) preferred -- for a small/medium-sized news department.

We've been using Outlook email crazytrains for years now and it's just not fun anymore.

Our work flow is as such:

- Researchers create rich text post
- Multiple editors collaborate edits
- Senior editors mark FINAL version
- Editor smooths out rich text
- Webdudes import Word text to site via TinyMCE

So far we have tested Google Docs, Zoho, Windows Live, and Basecamp. Google Docs fails because the exported Word, html, etc doesn't play nice with TinyMCE ... Zoho, I dunno ... Windows live, problems with version history. We've covered a bit of ground but are wondering if there are any big names we've missed.

Posting anonymously because, you know, it's squeamish stuff.
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Google Docs fails because the exported Word, html, etc doesn't play nice with TinyMCE

Webguy fail. It sounds like it works otherwise -- so find out what the problem is and fix it. Toss the TinyMCE dev's $200 and they'll probably fix it.
posted by SirStan at 5:48 PM on January 9, 2009

You didn't mention how your Basecamp test worked out. I have used it for collaborative editing, and it is adequate, with great (for its cost) version history and collab ability, although I'm not sure how exporting from Word works. Of course, you could always use Word's native track changes tool to track edits, and host in a central location on Basecamp.

Not sure what your budget is, but how about MS Sharepoint?
posted by KokuRyu at 7:58 PM on January 9, 2009

This might be insanely expensive, but NewsEditPro works really well, or at least it did several years ago. You can search through the history to see who has edited a particular document, save every edit, and prevent people from making changes after the document has been handed off.

... but no idea on the cost. Considering it's used by giant corporations like Tribune (well, was), MediaNews, and Gannett, it's probably ridiculously expensive.
posted by brina at 8:48 PM on January 9, 2009

In the longer term you really need to look at collaborating within the CMS. Any half-decent system allows you to save drafts, have approval procedures, different roles, etc. all within the online publishing software. Nowadays 'webdudes' shouldn't be needed for copying and pasting, they should be busy working on improving your systems to cut out such donkeywork.
posted by malevolent at 2:09 AM on January 10, 2009

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