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Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

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Content Store update


The Content Store project is well underway, again, and we're moving ahead in conjunction with the Twin Cities homepage redesign. We've faced several interesting challenges along the way and, as a result of both those challenges and the homepage redesign, we've made some changes to the content types. With the homepage scheduled to launch at the end of May, the Content Store is expected to be complete before that time.

The content types now include:

Link list

The easiest way to think of a link list is as a set of related links that can be used in multiple other content items and updated in a single location. Optional fields for added descriptions and other data provide additional flexibility.


Wrapper around images from UMContent, with a default player to be provided.

Graphic spotlight

The spotlight content type was split into graphic and text spotlights. The new graphic spotlight type allows for a three-column (220px wide) image, and includes a suggested height. A link out, with a link title and alternative text for the image, are used to link "followers" of the image to another page or site.

Text spotlight

The text spotlight type allows for a title, descriptive text (a long teaser), a link out, a link type (i.e. "Read more," "Watch video," etc.). An optional image is also allowed, 60px wide and 60px to 96px tall.

Graphic bugs

We've often seen or heard of the problems some site owners have filling in the right column of their 960px wide designs; you don't want the center column to be too wide or readability of text will be impacted negatively. Possible solution: two-column (140px) graphic bugs, to be used in two- or three-column spaces. An image, alt text, a link out, and a link title are all that's needed, and using the existing classification system/taxonomy attached to the content store allows dynamic selection of graphic bugs.

Graphic banners

Graphic banners are the five-column (380px) version graphic bugs. This type may not be included in initial rollout, but can be easily added if there is demand.


A wrapper for video derivatives from Media Mill, along with closed captions and default images. This is expected to be extended once the U's new video solution is launched.


A wrapper for audio derivatives from Media Mill. If the U's new video system also support audio, expect extensions.

Primary content

The generic catchall content type. As shared standards are developed over time, we hope to fork different content types from this one (i.e. news releases as a standalone type).

If you're interested in the Content Store project and want to learn more, write us.

**NEW DATE** Webinar - Less Is More: Writing for the Web

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Less Is More: Writing for the Web
April 26, 2011; 10 a.m. (New date! Originally scheduled for February)
Attend via UMConnect

NOTE: If you had registered for the February webinar, please register again for the April session. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you.

Three years ago the Office of Information Technology (OIT) began a project to integrate its more than 110 separate websites into a single University-branded OIT site delivered with the UMContent content management system. The communications group designs and builds the site and edits content contributed by other OIT staff who have varied educational backgrounds, work cultures, and experience providing web content.

Join Christina Goodland and Chris Moellering on April 26 to hear about the communications group's five good practices for web writing, discuss examples of writing on University of Minnesota websites, and share a your own ideas about how to write effectively for the web.

Register today! A confirmation email with the link to UMConnect will be sent to you prior to the webinar.

Templates for UMContent Available

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We have been working on developing templates for UMContent and we are pleased to announce that these are now available to the University community. The templates were developed from the viewpoint of allowing groups with minimal web knowledge create websites quickly based on the templates developed by University Relations.

These templates do not require any HTML knowledge for users to use them, just simply send a request to the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and they will create a UMContent site that users can start creating content immediately. Some of the features of the templates are:

  • Ability to create a horizontal navigation similar to the home page
  • Option to show breadcrumbs in the pages
  • Option to set header, footer, and background colors
  • Select from a couple of page layouts (one column, two column, etc)

If any group is interested in utilizing these templates, please look at the documentation available here.

Photo Library and DAM Presentation

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I gave a presentation on the Photo Library and UMContent Digital Asset Management (DAM) at the UMContent Site Developers meeting this afternoon. The presentation was about how we are able to use the UMContent Digital Asset Management (DAM) module to build the new Photo Library ( A copy of the presentation is available for download.

UMContent & CCE webinar recording

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Many thanks to the most wonderful Tim Roman and Blaine Cross for their presentation on October 26. Tim and Blaine were the featured speakers for the third Examining Ecommunications webinar.

A recording of the presentation is available at:

For those of you who attended, my apologies for running right up to the time limit. Both Tim and Blaine had such great information, I hated to put a stop to the discussion. Tim and Blaine have graciously offered to answer your questions offline. So, if you did have any further questions, please feel free to send an email to them.


Mark your calendars for the next webinar on November 30 featuring Liz Giorgi, University Relations, talking about video.

Register today for Oct. 26 webinar - UMContent & CCE

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UMContent & CCE by Blaine Cross and Tim Roman, College of Continuing Education
October 26, 2010; 10 a.m.
Attend via UMConnect

Join your colleagues from the College of Continuing Education (CCE) to hear how they have tapped into the power of UMContent. What are their strategies? What UMContent tips and tricks do they recommend? Which features and abilities are they using? Blaine Cross and Tim Roman will present on October 26.

Register today! A confirmation email with the link to UMConnect will be sent to you prior to the webinar.

Content store webinar recording and presentation now available

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Thanks to everyone who attended the content store webinar this morning. A copy of the presentation and audio is now available. The PowerPoint slides (as a PDF) are also available.

If you have followup questions or comments, write us at

Register today for Sept. 28 webinar - Content Store

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Content Store by Pete Wiringa, University Relations
September 28, 2010; 10 a.m.
Attend via UMConnect

The main goal of the Content Store project is to make University information and news easier to share between units on campus and use for both electronic and print publications. By defining topics and audiences at high levels, and creating standard content definitions that others can use, this information can be better filtered, repurposed, and syndicated. Join Pete Wiringa on September 28 to find out how your unit can tap in to the benefits of the Content Store.

Register today! A confirmation email with the link to UMConnect will be sent to you prior to the webinar.

Examining eCommunications

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Join your colleagues as we explore topics specifically related to online communications.

Here's the scoop:

Who: Anyone can attend (University students/staff/faculty or the general public)
What: Examining eCommunications webinars. Each 45-minute presentation will focus specifically on online communication as it relates to the University.
Where: On the web
When: August 2010 - June 2011; 10 a.m. CDT
Why: Learn about new best practices, glean tips and tricks, and ask questions of your colleagues all from the comfort of your own chair.
How: Attendance is FREE with registration. Want to receive reminders of upcoming webinars? Send an email to with subject line "Webinar Reminder" and we'll be sure to give you ample notice.

Here's what's on tap:

August 24, 2010
Images library redesign by Jeremy Casper, University Relations

September 28, 2010
Content Store by Pete Wiringa, University Relations

October 26, 2010
Using UMContent by Tim Roman, College of Continuing Education

November 30, 2010
Video by Liz Giorgi, University Relations

January 25, 2011 **New speaker**
Usability by David Rosen, Usability Services Manager, Office of Information Technology

February 22, 2011
Content creation by Office of Information Technology

March 22. 2011
Analytics by Pete Wiringa & Jeremy Casper, University Relations

April 26, 2011
Social networking by Jennie Lijewski, University Relations

May 24, 2011
Working with web templates by Kathy Jensen, University Relations

June 28, 2011
Tabbed search and keyword by Jeremy Casper & Pete Wiringa, University Relations

July 26, 2011
Events calendar by Jeremy Casper, University Relations

P.S. The series was originally titled "The Super Karate Monkey Death Car Webinar Series: A University Relations Tribute to the Writers of Newsradio." Which title do you prefer?

UMContent Templates BETA

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Our group has been working the past couple months on bringing the UofM web templates available at and bringing them into UMContent. We are at the point where we are ready to start beta testing them.

The UMContent templates have been designed to serve two different groups. The first group is those who want to get a website up quickly and want to use a standard web template. The second group is web developers who use UMContent and want to re-use web template pieces where needed.

For the first group, the web templates allow users to quickly setup a website. Website wide settings are available for users to select pre-defined header images, pre-defined secondary colors, set a horizontal nav, site footer, show breadcrumbs, and other options. For layouts, users can select between one and two column layouts with a left navigation. We will be adding additional layouts and features as they are developed.

For site developers, pieces of the web templates will be available for units to re-use for their own sites. These pieces include the UofM Header, the Twin Cities campus footer, and breadcrumbs. Other pieces will become available as we make them more re-usable for other sites.

If a group is interesting in BETA testing the UMContent Templates, please e-mail Jeremy Casper at Documentation on how to use the templates will be posted within the next couple of days.