Hello FWIers –
If you missed last week’s blog, I issued a challenge for readers. We’re going to give you one more week to answer via social media or in the blog comment box, then we’ll be selecting one of the correct answers for our prize.
This week, we’re going to look at a simple but powerful concept: scheduling content categories. A “Category” in Content Manager is a folder within the Content Bin. You can create categories in Content Manager Desktop by going selecting Content > New Category from the main menu, or in Content Manager Web by selecting Add New Content > Content Category from the content bin.
Once you have created a content category, you can add content items to it. This is a great way to organize your content, but it allows you some additional functionality as well.
#1 – Assigning Content Permissions
You can assign permissions directly to a content category (if you have multiple users in your database). In Content Manager Desktop, right click on the category and choose “Edit Category”, where Category is the name of your category. Then select the Security tab to assign user based permissions. Using this method, you can allow users to access only certain categories (or folders) within the Content Bin. Very handy.
#2 – Scheduling Multiple Content Items
You can use categories to schedule whole sets of content at a time. Once you have content inside a category, you can drag the category up to the network tree and schedule it, just like any content. The category will appear in the tree, and will have a blue bar in the timeline indicating its schedule. Take a look at the image below as an example:
The content inside the category will only play when the category itself is scheduled to play.
#3 – Making Mass Changes to Scheduled Content
You can use scheduled categories to quickly make changes across your network. Let’s look back at the example image above. The category is scheduled in two separate places in the network tree. However, if I add a new piece of content to that category in the content bin, that change will affect everywhere that the category is used! This is a really powerful way of handling shared resources.
A good use case for this would be rotating videos that play on multiple screens. You might have a collection of 5 or 6 videos that change periodically. Rather than schedule each video individually, and then search through your network tree for where each of those videos is scheduled each time there’s a change, you could create a category called “video_rotation”, and use it to maintain your list of videos. Schedule that category in each location, and make your edits to the list in the content bin one time!
#4 – Randomizing Content
The fourth use case, randomizing content, is slightly more complicated. For that reason, I’m going to break it into a separate discussion which we will cover next week! Please add your feedback in the comments section below, and we’ll see you next week!