Coordinating multiple authors

A web-based CMS can overcome obstacles caused by geography and technology.

Just as too many cooks can spoil the broth, without the proper tools, the collaboration process can break down among web content developers.


It’s difficult for multiple authors in different locations to effectively develop and post content to a website.


Using a simple, single interface can avert program compatibility problems and can provide all team members with the same working document. In addition, Intranets and Extranets allow users to communicate with one another, thereby enhancing collaboration.


Because Internet access is ubiquitous, projects are now able to draw upon experts from around the country and around the world to develop web content. While it’s advantageous to use the Internet to communicate and collaborate, rather than having to schedule conference calls and travel to meetings, the proper tools are needed to ensure that collaboration will be productive, rather than chaotic.

Because multiple authors rely on different computer operating systems and programs, compatibility issues can arise with those working on the same document. Similarly, when draft documents are circulated, there is the very real possibility that one or more authors doesn’t receive or overlooks the most current version. Both of these circumstances can lead to delays, inaccuracies, and frustration.

Utilizing a simple, web-based interface eliminates both of these problems, as the only program needed is a web browser and because the most current document draft is always available online. Collaboration can be further enhanced through the use of complementary software to develop Intranets, Extranets, and an internal message system that allows authors to communicate with one another.

Such content management software (CMS) can also store previous versions of work product, providing an historical record of any given document.

If your project isn’t using CMS, you can still avoid some common pitfalls by:

    1. Appointing a project manager who will communicate with project members on a regular basis.
    2. Having the project manager discuss the mechanics of collaboration with project members, such as which software versions will be used, the procedure for copying email to all team members, and the manner in which collaborative documents will be assembled and edited.

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