Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tech 101 | Take my CCI NewsGate -- please!

Youngman
The editor of The Arizona Republic's Mesa edition lands some pretty good one-liners in a column yesterday about the paper's recent experience with CCI NewsGate, the new multimillion-dollar software publishing system rolling out across Gannett's U.S. newspapers. John D'Anna said the Republic made the switch this week. And?

  • "You know it's worth it because now twice as many stories disappear twice as fast." Bada-bing!
  • "The system is so complicated that we now have to be nice to the interns because they're the only ones who understand it." Bada-bing!
  • "Instead of clicking on a little icon to create a story, there's now a 13-step 'process.' Forget just one step and you're hosed." Bada-bing!
  • "The system is called NewsGate -- and not to be cynical or anything -- but you would think people who bought it would know that nothing good ever ends in the suffix 'gate.'" Bada-bing!
For months now, Gannett Bloggers have said the software is still very buggy, and seems cumbersome compared to the array of different software it's replacing.

In an efficiency move, GCI spent at least $15 million on NewsGate so newspapers could seamlessly share stories online and in print. It's crucial to operations of the five News Design Studios building pages for virtually all the 82 newspapers.

[Photo: Henny Youngman, the master of one-liners]

27 comments:

  1. We seamlessly share stories quite well among the 10 Wisconsin sites.

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  2. The IC folks at my site look so defeated and stressed. This place continues to get worse. We can bank on seeing more jobs lost..

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  3. Can't wait to get those Wisconsin stories in Arizona!!

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  4. They are applying patches at least once a week ...

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  5. 1:19 - we're a special case. We actually have some really good people who take what we're given and find a way to make it work. I.C., I.T., WPC, Advertising, Production, Finance, Circ - every discipline has a couple people that always say 'we'll find a way.'

    1:49 - we'll stream some Packers coverage down to ya, they're doing ok this year. Rodgers isn't quite as popular as Lincoln or Jesus, but he's got seven games to improve.

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2011/11/whos-more-popular-than-aaron-rodgers.html

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  6. "Turkey trot ... Thank you, readers! You more than came through for my turkey challenge. We're at about 60, which means I had to pony up 10 birds from the pittance I make fencing office supplies.

    I paid up Tuesday and was happy to do it. Especially because it looks like my tight-fisted bosses may match that donation. It's the least they could do. Actually, I guess nothing is the least they could do, so I'll take what I can get."

    From later in the same column. My publisher would have sprained something in the rush to fire somebody for pointing out the emperor had no clothes.

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  7. You almost figure the writer KNOWS he's on his way out. It's bad enough to make YOUR BOSS look bad . . . but making your BOSS's BOSS look bad??

    Unless his boss said "Go ahead. Tell everyone what a POS the new system is. I've got your back."

    Ye-e-eah . . .that's the ticket!

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  8. Think the writer is pretty funny. They should apply for the pr job if press releases were written with such wit more people would read them.

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  9. It's time to boycott this amateur system. Just don't send anything to it. Move along.

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  10. Screw ease of use. This is all about a unified system designed primarily to eliminate allegedly redundant jobs across Gannettland.

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  11. The idea behind CCI is fine. The problem is that the software appears to have been created by people who never worked in a newsroom, and the implementation thereof. The software, yes, is buggy, but the feature set is terrible. Basic expectations such as cut and paste are non-extistent in some parts of the application. Getting photos into the system is a nightmare. The implementation is bad, causing the software to be unresponsive. The potential is there, perhaps, but in day to day use, the system is tedious. Very tedious.

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  12. The Wisconsin sites' ability to share is hardly seamless. Appleton and Green Bay don't care about the other papers' deadlines and will send stories out about an hour after everyone else has already gone to print. And the only way to get a story is if you happen to know the right person to email as no one in Wisconsin files stories on the GWM wire we share in our content system.

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  13. 1:32, what in the heck are you talking about? A GWM wire? This isn't 2002 -- that's been long gone. And if you don't know who to email, you're just lazy. And let's be straight about this: Appleton and Green Bay provide a ton of content for the other sites, but not so much the other way around.

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  14. And the winner is...Ding...Ding...Ding... 9:06PM. The only winner with NewsGate is corporate because the new system will make it much easier to eliminate jobs. If photos can be toned off site and shipped to Des Moines and pages can be laid out off site in Phoenix or Louisville or wherever the work could just as easily be done in the Philippines, where they speak American English or India or Bangladesh, where they speak British English.

    They've got content farms to reduce the need for reporters, Presswire to reduce the need for photographers and NewsGate to reduce the need for onsite editors.

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  15. Woo-hoo, NG works for Wisconsin! Golly, if only every newspaper group could be as wonderful as Wisconsin, Gannett would be rolling in cash and customers would be tearing the doors off to run ads. Mmm-hmm.

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  16. If every newspaper group was as good as us, we wouldn't have to lay off our people to cover your sorry asses.

    What's our readership, over 75%? Take a lesson.

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  17. 9:20 I'm the first poster here, with the comment about Wisconsin sites sharing stories. I never said we have NewsGate, which is what I think you meant by "NG." I was just saying we already (for the most part) play well with others. As other posters here have mentioned, we have some pretty good people in the ranks.

    Sounds like you're from Joisey. Sorry.

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  18. Like tiny and barely visible type? Try reading and composing at Florida Today's version of NewsGate... Bring your magnifying glass.

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  19. Bring back Atex!

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  20. So this Newsgate is basically a content management system, a database? 7:56 just mentioned Atex, which is what my non-Gannett company uses, their database Prestige. Plenty of frustrations with it in Pagination, pages locking up, preview PDF's not updating or displaying properly, crashing computers, etc. Don't know if it's buggy software, overworked servers or obsolete computers causing the biggest headache.

    Similar problems with this Newsgate software?

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  21. I sure hope Newsgate goes as seamless as Wave2 has.

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  22. Time is money. Did the people at corporate every try to calculate the lost productivity from clunky and user-unfriendly software?

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  23. Bring back Hendrix!

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  24. 6:31am, you're being sarcastic I hope. Wave2 is a piece of sh@t!

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  25. Anyone who has dealt with Wave2 certainly knows that was sarcasm. You're being way too kind with your assessment of the program, 1:17.

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  26. Some universal truths: 1) Corporations exist for profit, not employee satisfaction. 2) Managers purchase content management systems like NewsGate to save money, not to make their employees more productive. 3) Every piece of software will be viewed as crap by half the people who use it.

    If you take a hard look at other systems out there, and I mean a really hard look, you'll realize that none are fantastic and many really are crap. I've seen and used many, and I have to say, NewsGate is actually one of the best. That doesn't mean it's great. It's just better than most of the rest.

    That said, anyone can buy a huge piece of software and quickly turn it into a turd by not making wise decisions on how to configure it. I've yet to see a newsroom content management system that performs like the Swiss Army knife from hell it's touted to be (both by the company that creates it and the company that buys it), but I've continually seen improperly configured systems obliterate newsroom productivity as reporters/editors/designers/producers are forced to spend more time grappling with difficult software and less time creating and editing stellar content.

    One would think that, at some point, management would be able to accurately weigh benefits against drawbacks, but it's as if they never look that deep. They only look at their wallet.

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  27. Anyone notice that the section dealing with Newsgate has now been deleted? It's style in the web address, but it's gone from the actual column online.

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