Using Synchronization to Improve Content Authoring
MCA Denver is known for its creativity and bold expression. One of the museum's key channels for engaging the Denver community is its events, showcasing local and global artists throughout the year. As an information architect, I'm often just as concerend about the content authoring experience as I am about end user expereince. MCA staff needed a workflow that would help them easily create and manage events, plus provide insight into attendance, leveraging content from multiple outside sources.
MCADenver.org has three pages to account for event information: event landing pages, event detail pages, and event series pages. Previously, the workflow consisted of entering, maintaining and updating content in multiple places. On the backend, a majority of the information for event details was being imported from Facebook, as well as being used for their attendance on events. On the front-end, users were directed to Facebook to view the event but then redirected back to the website to purchase tickets. Since MCA was utilizing multiple sources for event content – Facebook, Eventbrite and Blackbaud – iframes were used on events pages for ticket purchases. The importing of information and use of iframes created limited style options, hindering MCA’s imaginative and bold style. The team wanted a seamless workflow to combine content from the three sources they were already using. We didn’t need to change what was already being used, but rather enhance and simplify the process in line with "Create Once, Publish Everywhere (COPE)" principles.
To help MCA manage their events, we designed a workflow that leveraged the tools MCA was already using and programatically syncronized data back into Drupal. With this approach, we created a system to automatically queue events for import into MCADenver.org along with links to RSVP or buy tickets via Facebook, Eventbrite or Blackbaud as applicable. This allowed MCA to use the same systems they were already familiar with, while drastically simplifying the workflow. The hassle of having to update content in multiple places was eliminated.
If you're interested in learning about the specific development approach we used to syncronize content between Eventbrite and Drupal 8, check out Third-party Content Synchronization with Drupal Migrate.