From Publication Station
Jump to navigation Jump to search

<slidy theme="a" />

Beyond Social: a hybrid publishing CMS (almost) from scratch

I'll be talking about:

  • Hybrid Publishing
  • How Beyond Social motivated the creation of a CMS?
  • How can Beyond Social develop into new directions and become a tool for teaching

First, concepts

  • Hybrid Publishing
    • Any process that makes two or more instances of the same content public
    • Outputs result from the same workflow, instead of isolated efforts
    • Source content and public manifestations are interlinked: changes in content propagate to the outputs
    • Possible outputs: a website, a fanzine, a book, an ebook, an animated gif, a sound piece or a video, etc
    • A new dynamic: designers don't not need to wait for the content to be finalized. Both processes can develop simultaneously and in dialog.
  • CMS - Content management System
    • "Is a set of processes and technologies that supports the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium."[1]
    • synonyms: publishing pipeline or workflow

The beginning of Beyond Social


  • collaborative (remote) editing
  • web publication

Wiki: editing space

  • web applications dedicated to collaborative content creation[2]
  • anyone can become an editor
  • all content (edited, unedited, draft) is public
  • little editorial structure to begin with (only users and pages): allowing workflows and structures to develop based on project's needs (by using categories, templates, user roles, etc)
  • revision system: keeping track of each page edit
  • enforces semantic structure within (articles) content - making possible conversion between formats


  • not very intuitive
  • difficult to change its visual form

Glue: connecting spaces

  • Wiki API - a programming interface to the wiki.
  • Pandoc: converts the content from wiki pages' content to HTML (More on Pandoc's role in hybrid publishing in [3])
  • gluing scripts:
    • API calls to fetch content from wiki
    • Pandoc calls to convert content to HTML
    • Website HTML pages generation, from the fetched wiki content

Website: publishing space

  • custom visual form: let's you decide how content should be presented:
    • Table of contents
    • image gallery
  • Web-to-print potential: using CSS for print
  • pages are HTML files: easy to archive

Website design: Template

Is it a Hybrid Publication?

  • 2 formats: wiki, website
  • 2 forms of accessing content: Table of Content, image gallery
  • One more format: printable PDF

Tool for teaching-learning: digital & hybrid publishing

  • Environment for collaborative authorship and knowledge sharing: wikis, etherpads, etc.
  • A teaching-learning resource, that develops over time, like Media Design Cookbook or Grafiwiki
  • Web languages: HTML (structure and content), CSS (visual presentation), Javascript (interaction)
  • Markup languages and structured content: their importance to hybrid publishing

Experimental wiki based publications/works




Spin-offs where the same basic CMS (or publishing pipeline) is implemented to produce a hybrid publication from content stored in a wiki.

Note: Although the basic mechanism is common, each project requires redesigning some of the protocols and operations, as well as its visual identity.

Piet Zwart Institute's Master Media Design & Communication: Graduation website

  • Created from wiki pages dedicated to graduation works.
  • Intention:
    • close to graduation show: displays only works from that year;
    • rest of the year: displays all graduation works from last 10 years
  • Resulted in the website:
  • Resulted in a print catalog

Website design: Template

Future: Master Media Design & Communication: Documentation project

Coordination: Anette Dekker, Andre Castro, Kimmy Spreeuwenberg

We want to challenge students to think and implement a hybrid publishing pipeline for the works developed for the documentation project. In concrete terms participants will be asked to:

  • Propose strategies for storing documentation works inside the MMDC wiki;
  • To develop the structure by which content is organized and easily found inside the wiki;
  • To elaborate the publishing pipeline the content needs to follow in order to arrive its public manifestations;
  • To elaborate the visual forms of those manifestations.

Future: Interaction Station: DIY publication

Using the Interaction Station's wiki as the writing platform Yoana Buzova, intends to develop simple and practical DIY manuals explaining how to cheaply create materials such as conductive ink.

This project resembles the FLOSS Manuals in aim and approach, but outside the software world.

It would be interesting to find a entity, like FLOSS Manuals, that could make these manuals reach a wider audience.

Future: Master of Design: research publication


  2. Interview with Ward Cunningham - inventor of the first wiki
  3. D.P.T. Collective. 2014. From Print to Ebooks: A Hybrid Publishing Toolkit for the Arts. Vol. 1. Institute of Network Cultures.