Shared Content

Shared Content is a major feature of the UBCMS, supporting simultaneous positioning of information in multiple places, and streamlining content stewardship.  

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Last reviewed: April 20, 2021

Introduction

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:

  • Being consistent when using the same information.
  • Updating all instances of information simultaneously.
  • Providing authoritative sources of information.
  • Reinforcing the UB brand (for University-Wide and Authoritative content).
  • Sharing common feeds, such as news and campus events feeds.

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.

Important Notice for Shared Content Templates

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).

General Examples of Shared Content

the pillars at Baird Point on Lake LaSalle.

The pillars at Baird Point on Lake LaSalle are an iconic image of UB's North Campus.

Shared Content can be used in an endless variety of ways. Here are some general examples. Some are covered in much more details below.

  • an address common to many people (a text module with links)
  • a legal disclaimer (boiler plate text)
  • current tuition costs (text or maybe a table)
  • an iconic photo of UB (digital image)
  • information about living in Buffalo (text with images)
  • a list of the latest news (module or feed)
  • a copy of the latest committee meeting minutes (document; e.g. an accessible PDF)

Sources of Shared Content

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.

Unit-level Shared Content

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.

Location

Unit shared content is located in the main Shared Content folder, within a sub-folder with the name of your unit.

  • Websites
    • Authoritative Shared Content
    • School of Architecture and Planning
    • School of Nursing
    • Shared Content
      • School of Architecture and Planning
      • School of Nursing
        • news
        • announcements
        • address
      • University-Wide Shared Content

University-wide Shared Content

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.

Location

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.

  • Websites
    • Authoritative Shared Content
    • School of Architecture and Planning
    • School of Nursing
    • Shared Content
      • School of Architecture and Planning
      • School of Nursing
      • University-Wide Shared Content
        • UB News Releases
        • UB Now Articles

Submit New Content

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.

Learn About Changes

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.

Available Content

Authoritative Shared Content

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.

Location

  • Websites
    • Authoritative Shared Content
    • School of Architecture and Planning
    • School of Nursing
    • Shared Content
      • School of Architecture and Planning
      • School of Nursing
        • news
        • announcements
        • address
      • University-Wide Shared Content

Using This Content

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/.

Maintaining This Content

  • Normally this content will be under the control of offices which are responsible for maintaining its integrity.
  • If you have concerns about the currency or accuracy of any information in this area, please contact the DCT Help Desk.
  • To update or add to this content, you will need additional access. Contact the DCT Help Desk for details.

Available Content

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.

Third Party Content (UB Events)

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.

Build a Collection of UB Events

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.

Example: Upcoming UB Events

This is a live example, built using the UBCMS Event List component, displaying events that are currently in the university calendar.

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Building Shared Content

This is covered in the UBCMS Basic under Creating and Editing Pages.

Displaying Shared Content

This is covered in the UBCMS Basic under Creating and Editing Pages.

Master Classes

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