Shared Content is a major feature of the UBCMS, supporting simultaneous positioning of information in multiple places, and streamlining content stewardship.
Last reviewed: September 12, 2023
Shared Content is literally material that is intended to be used in more than one place at the same time. This efficient practice is encouraged within the UBCMS. So content can be created once, but displayed many times, plus different people can control production of the shared content, completely independent of the people responsible for the pages where it is being displayed. Once the reference is set up, new shared content can flow onto unit webpages, without any need for further involvement by the authors maintaining those pages. Content can be shared within a single parent website, among child sites (e.g. a school and its departments), or university-wide.
In summary, shared content is a highly effective means of:
As each website is created in the UBCMS, a folder for shared content is also created. While authors can view shared content from ANY site throughout the entire UBCMS, but we urge caution before using content from another site's area--get permission first and only use content that is intended for multi-site use.
As part of your strategy for building and maintaining your website, when appropriate, we encourage you to develop shared content for your own site's uses, consider developing content for others' benefit, and where the subject falls outside your own areas of expertize, consider pulling in shared content from other, authoritative sources. Additional content is being developed in University-Wide and Authoritative areas.
In order for any piece of shared content to function properly, there should not be any blank elements, incomplete links or un-activated content on the page (i.e., a Photo component without a image or a component that displays other shared content that is not published).
Shared Content can be used in an endless variety of ways. Here are some general examples. Some are covered in much more details below.
This is a trick question. There are multiple areas. The UBCMS includes an area within the main sites tree called Shared Content as well as another called Assets (the 'DAM'). Each website has its own Unit-level Shared Content, where they can maintain centralized content for their own use. Additionally, there are special folders in the main sites tree for University-wide Shared Content and Authoritative Shared Content that is intended for use on all websites. (Digital Assets are covered in another section of the documentation.)
We encourage sites to develop content modules within their own Shared Content folder, for their own use. This is especially useful for functional content such as forms, addresses, announcements or news articles that will be used in multiple places. We ask unit Web leads to be aware of the Authoritative and University-Wide content, and to use it on their own sites where appropriate.
Content created by your init primarily for re-use on multiple pages within your own website. This content will normally not be intended for use outside of your unit.
Unit shared content is located in the main Shared Content folder, within a sub-folder with the name of your unit.
University-wide shared content is created and maintained by one office but intended for use by the university at large. It can be contributed to by unit who manages content that they feel may be useful to others. This content is developed by content experts, so it is safe to use and will be maintained. Examples include articles from UB's News Center and UB Now.
Univiersity-Wide Shared Content is accessible through the Content Tree (see screen shot below) and its content may be integrated into any website. University-Wide content cannot be modified by campus authors.
These requests are made using the form on the Web Management site and are reviewed by the UBCMS support team. If accepted, donated University-wide content is maintained by the donor.
Modifications to university-wide shared content are communicated to site owners of sites that have indicated an interest in that content. Major additions to university-wide shared content will usually be communicated using the News section on the Web Management site or through the UBCMS-Announce-List emails, which all authors receive.
University Communications produces official news stories that are curated in University-Wide Shared Content for authors to use on their websites. Much of this content is tagged by topic, decanal area and even by academic department.
Every article in our general collection of university news stories has been tagged based on their content focus for each major decanal area (College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Education, et al.) and many of their departments. Additional RSS feeds are available for topics such as philanthropy, as well as for initiatives such as RENEW and UB 2020 (the RSS feeds are listed here).
Use a List Builder component to build a tagged list, limited to the above folder, and then use the general tag Content Type: News Article as well as the tag for your decanal area or department (e.g. Target Website: School of Nursing).
Below is a live list of the five most recent School of Nursing news stories. (If you click through, you will see the stories are set to display in the News Center, but you can easily redirect them to load in your own site's news area using the Host Page setting).
Here's how to build a relative link directly to a News Center press release or UBNow story that is in Shared Content:
University Communications curates general information about our university and the Buffalo-Niagara Region, as well as commonly requested resources such as the visitor's guide directions and detailed campus maps. Authors are encouraged to use this content on their own sites.
Here is some of the more commonly requested content that is available. If you would like something that is not listed, please let us know.
|Subject||Location in Shared Content ||Example|
|description of North Campus||/content/shared/university/page-content/aboutub/campuses/north_campus||live example description of North Campus|
|description of South Campus||/content/shared/university/page-content/aboutub/campuses/south_campus||live example description of South Campus|
|description of Downtown Campus||/content/shared/university/page-content/aboutub/campuses/downtown_campus||live example description of Downtown Campus|
|description of all our schools and colleges||/content/shared/university/page-content/schools-and-colleges||live example description of all our schools and colleges|
|description of each school and college ||look in /content/shared/university/page-content/schools-and-colleges/||(each block on the above example) |
|description of the Buffalo-Niagara Region with additional pages on topics such as 'affordable living'||/content/shared/university/page-content/the-buffalo-niagara-region||live example description of the Buffalo-Niagara Region|
|visitor's guide with campus maps||/content/shared/university/page-content/visitor-s-guide||live example visitor's guide|
|UB facts & figures: |
general, demographic, financial, or all three
(This page is all three, or use one of the child pages.)
|live example UB facts & figures|
Adding this content to your website is simple. In most cases, use a Shared Content Reference component and point the component to the 'Location in Shared Content' as noted in the above table.
For example, to add the Visitor's Guide so that it displays within your own site, use /content/shared/university/page-content/visitor-s-guide as the address within the Shared Content Reference.
So if you were the School of Nursing, instead of linking out to the UB home page (left image), the content would now appear within your own site's context (right image), with your own branding, navigation and other elements.
This content must be used when a unit wishes to display information that exists in the Authoritative Content folder. It often touches on topics with legal or business contexts, is developed by experts in that subject area, and will be maintained, so it can be trusted and its use protects the university's brand. Examples of authoritative content include tuition rates or academic calendars.
University Communications, in consultation with university administration, determines which content should be provided by a single authoritative source and the responsible office. Once that is established, content categorized as authoritative must be used from this shared repository; it cannot be rewritten for local use.
To use this shared content in your site, we encourage you to use the Shared Content Reference component. Any author can view all of this shared content in the Websites console, under /content/authoritative/.
Several offices have been developing content in this area, including University Police, Facilities, Student Accounts and the Graduate School as well as some legal statements and the University Policy Library. We will document content as requested by these offices. Two examples follow.
Usage: For placement on select pages/sites where we know barrier-free access might be an issue. Must have a strong business case and written authorization from the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to utilize.
With this prior approval, authors can provide a Shared Content Reference to this module, immediately followed by appropriate contact details (authored on your own site).
Usage: For placement on select pages/sites where we reference any branch of the United States armed forces whether it be written or visual.
Content can also be shared through third-party platforms, and then displayed within UBCMS websites.
One major example of this is the university calendar of events (calendar.buffalo.edu). Promote your upcoming events on the calendar, and on your website, with the full functionality of the calendar platform provided when a user clicks through for more details.
Approved unit representatives can contribute events to the main UB events calendar, and are requested to take advantage of a series of UB-wide parameters, including categories, schools and audiences. We also encourage units to develop feeds that collect their events into feeds that can then be pulled into UBCMS websites. Select unit representatives can also request additional access to the master calendar to approve new submissions, manage existing events or develop their own custom feeds.
This is a live example, built using the UBCMS Event List component, displaying events that are currently in the university calendar.
This is covered in the UBCMS Basic under Creating and Editing Pages.
This is covered in the UBCMS Basic under Creating and Editing Pages.