This is the initial criteria we submitted to our developers in February 2009.


  1. Provides a system that offers the capability for a transient student staff (with some technical knowledge) to develop new web features or full applications.
  2. Stable, reliable hosting platform with 24/7 support robust enough to support large spikes in traffic and an average of up to 2 million page views a month.
  3. Provides a system that is designed so that formatting, style and presentation changes on Web sites can be done by staffers (without having advanced software language knowledge) easily and frequently as desired.
  4. Provides a searchable archive database of past articles (can be searched by issue date, subject/keyword, author, most recent) – can be done by viewers and users in the backend and that can eventually be monitized.
  5. Provides a system so that the 24-hour news cycle can be maintained and give freedom to quickly change stories, pages and other design elements.
  6. Allows for site to be displayed and functioning correctly in all viable Mac and PC browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari etc.)
  7. Allows changes to be previewed before being published.
  8. Capability to import content directly from Woodwing SmartConnection on to Web site using interface.
  9. Provides a way to also use XML uploading if necessary.
  10. Capability to view news stories on mobile devices.
  11. Provides way to make customizable pages.
  12. Capability to customize and edit section pages and home page.


  1. Provides internal blogs (no need for third-party software) that can be organized by newspaper sections and created as standalone.
  2. Allow for multiple blogger users and comments using Web site usernames.
  3. Incorporate state of the art blogging capabilities including wikis, presentation of multimedia, hyperlinking, font editing, images and other features including in a standard rich text editor


  1. Allows for comments by registered Web site users or anonymous (allows moderator to choose which option; right now, only registered users).
  2. Allows moderators to block a particular IP address from commenting.
  3. Provides an archive of comments organized by article and by time of post.
  4. Allows for moderators to prevent commenting by article and/or change the moderation so that comments must be approved beforehand.
  5. Allows for moderators to remove comments.


  1. Provide a simple way to publish multimedia (videos, slide shows, audio, FLASH presentations) as standalones and attached to text stories.
  2. Provides a customizable player for multimedia presentation.

Social networking

  1. Provides a system that allows users to create user profiles complete with user-generated photos, recent comments, favorite articles and biographies.
  2. Allows the creation of forums for users that can be easily moderated.


  1. Capability to send out an e-mail “newsletter” at any time and also breaking news stories at any time.
  2. Easily editable e-mailed edition should also include space for advertising.
  3. RSS capable.

Article template

  1. Offers numerous article templates for use.
  2. Allows for positioning of multimedia, relate links/articles and other visuals to be edited and interchanged.
  3. Enables tools to share articles through social networks such as Facebook, Blogger, etc.

5 Responses to “CMS specs”

  1. April 14, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Check out CoPress’ ideal CMS feature wiki (feel free to add too!):

  2. April 14, 2009 at 1:53 am

    @Greg Thanks for the link. We’re going back and adding a few things that were on your list and not on ours next time we talk with the developers.

  3. April 14, 2009 at 3:35 am

    A good list. Again, I know I harp on the RSS feeds and I know it’s on the list, but Google News actually has the feature that you can make RSS feeds out of *searches*, so you can basically bookmark certain topics and anytime a new article comes out with that topic you get an RSS feed about it. Really cool for specific topics (like a name, etc) that you always want to be on top of.

    Also, a tagging system might be a decent alternative/addition–instead of just having articles in “sections”, have a list of tags (“University”, “Chapel Hill”, “Academics”, “Advising”, “ITS”, whatever), and allow people to browse / RSS feed by tag or even add their own; it’d probably be valuable since on the internet you don’t need to be limited to physical paper location. I didn’t see that in the list?

  4. April 14, 2009 at 3:39 am

    @Max That’s definitely we want – it wasn’t on the original list but its on a list of things we’re adding when we talk with the developers tomorrow. We also see readers being able to pick topics they’re interested in and get updates on those topics via a customizable newsletter. Thanks for all the input!!

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The Magic Bullet

Our goal for next year is to bring The Daily Tar Heel to the forefront of online innovation. We've got an opportunity to create a CMS that will help the paper transition to Web-first publishing and facilitate an online mindset among staff. We believe there's no magic bullet that will solve every newspaper's problems online, but we're trying to find the magic bullet that will solve ours. This blog will chronicle The Daily Tar Heel's move off of College Media Network onto a Drupal CMS.

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