(but this report is much better used ONLINE so you can click the link to edit an article!)
PLEASE REVIEW “GUIDELINES FOR PICKING A FEATURED THRU DATE” AT THE END OF THIS PAGE!
This report looks at all the posts for the last 90 days. It shows which posts are featured on which days (starting with today and looking ahead forever) so you can be sure we have enough but not too much to feature on a given day.
You can also check for these other errors:
- A Featured post that has no dates
- A post that has a date but is not marked Featured (once you enter a date, you can never go back to “no date”)
- A post that is not Featured, but should be.Â
ERRORS: Featured, But No Date(s)
ERRORS: One or More Date(s), But Not Featured
Guidelines for Picking a “Featured Thru” Date
In general, these types of articles aren’t worth featuring. But any time you think an exception is justified for a particular article, that’s fine!
- Letters, Op-Eds, and Minutes of any kind
- Events in the past that didn’t happen in Andover
- General news from organizations that aren’t in Andover
- Obituaries of people who never lived in Andover (unless the service is in the future and is in an area church)
Articles that are about an event, a deadline, an effective date, etc. that is in the future should always be featured, and picking the Featured Thru (FT) is pretty much inflexible:
- If the article is about an event, etc. that takes place in the future, then the FT date should be the date of the event. But if there’s a “sign-up-by” date for the event, then FT should be the sign-up-by date instead of the event date.
- If the article is about multiple events in the future, then FT should be the earliest date (or sign-up-by date) of all the events.
Anything that’s interesting and/or important to our readers, but whose interest and/or importance will fade as the days go by, should be featured sooner rather than later. And the more interesting and/or important, the sooner it should be featured. Examples: Results of Town Meeting or elections; changes at the Town Hall; interesting new plans or ideas from a committee or org; etc.
Everything else that’s not covered above can be featured, but you’ll want to pick each article’s FT based not on anything in the article, but based on the current array of FT dates in this report. (In other words, these featured articles act as “filler” to keep the front page of the website looking fresh.)
The goals in selecting flexible dates are:
- To have at least one article assigned to every day over the next couple of weeks so that we know the front page of the website will never be exactly the same two days in a row.
- To have no more than about 3 or 4 articles assigned to a given date (if possible), so every featured article gets to appear in the featured section for at least 2 or 3 days.
That said, there are a few things to consider that will help you pick the best date for a given article:
- If any days in the next two weeks have no articles featured, then assign this article to the first date that has no articles.
- Otherwise, if the article is about an event in the past, assign it to the first available day that doesn’t already have 3 or 4 articles assigned to it.
- Otherwise, if it’s early in the content cycle, pick the day that currently has the fewest articles assigned to it.
- As it gets later in the content cycle, consider selecting the next day beyond the most distant day that currently has an article assigned to it.
- If you’ve already got 3 or 4 articles featured on a given date, and now you need to add another because its FT is inflexible, then look at the others for that date. If one of them has a flexible FT date, then change it to a different flexible FT date (click the article’s link; change the date; Update; refresh this FT report). If they’re all inflexible dates, then consider moving the least important one a day or two later (or even earlier, if you have to).
- If you need to “unfeature” an article, for whatever reason, you can’t just delete its FT date (long story … don’t ask). Instead, change its FT date to 1/1/01, which means its window to be featured has passed (years ago!).