WorkFlow: How Does Your Garden Grow?

If you thought publishing online was a simple type and click operation, think again. Amy Webb of KnowledgeWebb has updated her popular visualization of the process from story seed to full bloom and then back to seed again. Her model for doing journalism justice in the digital age shows just how labor-intensive the process could be, how the devil is in the details, and what it takes to get it all right. How green is your thumb?


















Given that real live imperfect human beings are still engaged in journalism, ideally software would help facilitate our use of best practices to fully integrate social media, search engine optimization, etc. Perhaps a content management system could prompt content producers with checklists, alerts and other tools to make sure we’ve covered all of the important steps along the way? Do you know of anything like this out there already? I personally would favor pop-up reminders such as “did you check all of your links first, bozo?…”

In her blog post explaining the revised chart above, Amy Webb says that the first version (2008) was tagged and re-posted online thousands of times. It proves how much we as a species crave order, yearn for a map to guide us, need an instruction manual. “The chart even made its way into a few journalism textbooks both here in the U.S. and in Europe,” writes Webb. But given the explosion of geolocation social networks, mobile applications, and other new tools, an update was well overdue.

Webb invites us all to download her workflow visualization from Scribd. It will be interesting to see just how long this diagram stays useful before it needs a renovation once again.