A short guide to configuring Channels and widgets for automated content.
Emailing in content is an excellent way to automate content creation. You can send in newsletters, price guides, catalogs, or calendar events directly to Channels in your digital workplace so they're easily accessible and out of people's inboxes. We've talked about the mechanics of emailing content before, but not about configuring your Igloo to make it as useful as possible for your members.
Any content you can use twice is good content. But by using widgets on Pages and Spaces, you can use content dozens of times. Not only does it save time and make searching easier, but it ensures that everyone is working from the same document. It's a member-first approach that ensures everyone has up to date information and can easily see all the conversations surrounding the item.
To cover this briefly, every Channel in your digital workplace has an email address. You can find it on the add content button, by downloading the contact card, or customize it in the Channel settings. You can add this email address to automated services that email newsletters or reports to let them send things into your Igloo. For most Channels, the subject of the email becomes the title, the body becomes the body of the post, and any attached files will be attached to the article. Folder Channels only care about the attachments though, uploading them as files.
Setting up Channels
When preparing a Channel for automated content, it's worth doing more than setting up a custom email address. Set up an archiving policy that fits the cadence of the automated updates, so the current version is always the most relevant in your sitewide search results. You can also use the Subscriptions page to disable automatic subscriptions for the Channel, and subscribe any Groups that need to be notified of updates.
The most important thing to set up is the Access rules. Not only will your members need access to the Channel to see its content in widgets across your site, but the service emailing in the content will need Write access to do so. Access rules eclipse everything else, so without Write access, the content submissions will be cancelled by the platform.
Displaying it where you need
So you have services putting content in Channels. They have the right access, the right subscriptions, and people can find it in search. That's only the beginning. Add your newsletter as a source to a Blog Widget on your homepage to integrate it with the rest of the news in your digital workplace, or use a Channel as a source for a Folder Contents widget to always have your latest pricing guide close at hand. Content widgets like these can display things on Pages and Spaces as needed. Limit the content returned to 1 to have the widget show only the latest result, and update automatically when new items are added.
With the right widgets and Channel settings, you can smoothly mix automated content in with your digital workplace, and put it directly at your member's fingertips.
If you have any other questions about the Igloo platform, workflows, or best practices, you can leave a comment here, ask a question in the Community area.