Feature Lauch: New Blogging Tool in Bento
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For the past several months, PBS Digital has been working to create a new and improved blogging tool for Bento. For those stations who leverage this feature, we don't have to tell you how much these improves are needed. Well, the wait is over. Launching tomorrow, Thursday, June 26, will be the new blog tool. It has a lot of the bells and whistles stations have been requesting. Listed below are a few immediate questions you may have about the new tool, as well as links to resources and documentation. Read on to learn what you need to know to become a Bento blog guru.

What's Changed?
  1. New Blog Set-Up Interface: The term 'blog' refers to an actual blog. This essentially means that when you are ready to create a blog and all the entries associated with it, you have the ability to create a whole experience around the content. You now have the ability to add branding images, leverage the overhauled category set process, and use a re-envisioned blog set-up tool. As you are going through the process, you will notice there are a lot of things you can add to and do with your blog. If it seems like a lot, keep in mind, just like your Master Page, this only needs to be set up once and can always be edited. Please note: Only site admins and developers can set up this process
  2. Enhanced Blog Entry Area: One of the areas Digital knew needed to be addressed is the blog entry section. When you attempt to create entries through this improved interface, you will notice immediately how much cleaner, clearer, and sophisticated it is. One of the most anticipated new features is the ability to do live previewing of your entry in the same area of Bento.
  3. Improved Metadata Workflow: Just like we mentioned above, you have a lot of key elements integrated with the new blogging tool that will help you create a more successful experience for your users. That said, you also have the ability to more easily schedule publishing of posts, add contributors, build SEO tags, utilize advanced social media integration, and beyond. You can also now manually select dates and times for your blog post [pausing for effect]. So for stations looking to migrate a blog archive, you can actually select dates and back-date your content.
  4. Cleaner Front-end Design: If you aren't as tech savvy or are generating blog content for your station's site, the blog experience has been totally redesigned. We have a working blog demo site available here for you to preview (also check out the image to the right). You can see how much user experience and design QA-ing went into this new tool.

What Stayed the Same?
  1. Integrated with Existing Digital Products: The blog tool still allows you to easily pull in and add content from COVE and Merlin, Bento's FTP database, and Disqus
  2. A Blog is Still a Blog: While a slew of enhancements have been added to the new tool, what hasn't changed is the concept of creating a blog, adding content to the blog via entries, and surfacing it as a landing page or blog river. 
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Who Can Use the Blog Tool?
Anyone can create blog entries, but only developers and site admins can do the initial setup of a blog.

Resources You'll Want to Check Out
  1. Webinar Archive: If you weren't able to attend the Lunch and Learn webinar held last week, you can view the archive recording here. Markham Evans, Product Manager for Bento, demo'd the new front-end design and back-end admin functionality for webinar attendees.
  2. Documentation: Who doesn't LOVE product documentation? We certainly do. So PBS Digital has detailed all the how-to steps required to set-up an amazing blog on your Bento site. You can start by viewing theblog set-up page and continue through the documentation to learn more about what's available for stations to leverage.
With the information listed above, you should be well on your way to creating a great looking and highly functional blog that is also easy to use and teach other station staff how to use. Please feel free to reach out to your SPI Representative with comments, questions, concerns, and suggestions.