This post is about the upcoming new Topics feature which is scheduled for release in early October 2021.
The Changes in Brief
All pages of Desk-Net will be completely relaunched during 2021 and 2022. The first new page to be released outside of the admin area is the Topics page.
- Significant improvements to the usability of the feature, primarily by allowing a lot more drag & drop interactions (e.g. sort the list of topics with drag & drop).
- No fundamental changes to what this feature does.
- Some improved feature characteristics such as a topic hierarchy across up to four instead of just two levels.
- The page is now placed in the main navigation between Story Lists and Tasks.
What to Use the Topics Feature for?
Topics help you add a meta-level to your content planning.
Need to plan content for specific personas? Have core topics that your team should address? Want to make sure there is enough content for specific products?
Enter these as topics or sub-topics and assign stories to them with a hashtag.
Example: Add topics “Persona Young Families (#youngfam)” and “Sustainability (#sustainability)”. Then enter stories like “New types of sustainable holidays #youngfam #sustainability” and this story will be linked to both topics.
The Two Topics Pages
Just like before the Topics feature consists of two pages:
- List: This is the page to manage topics and to enter additional information such as campaign briefings to them.
- Timeline: The page we currently call “Graphical View” will be renamed Topic Timeline.
Just like currently its purpose is to show the topics graphically across a time range (e.g. a quarter) and below them the stories related to them.
You can switch between these two pages with the new toggle button:
One page related to the Topics has not changed, yet: On the existing Timeline page you can currently see all stories related to a topic.
For now this has not changed. However, once we have released at least one of the new story list pages we will remove this page as all future story lists can be filtered by topics (e.g. you can filter the Short-term Planning page to just show stories related to a specific topic).
The Topics List Page
This is the page to review and manage your topics. The following improvements will be available:
- Structure topics across up to four levels instead of just two (i.e. up to three sub-topic levels below a topic).
- Change the sorting order and the hierarchy with drag & drop
- Add a picture and comprehensive information such as a persona description or a campaign briefing per topic.
- Quickly find topics with the quick search or collapse the topics list down to a specific level.
The Topics Timeline Page
The previous Graphical View is good for reviewing topics and related content.
With the release of the new version this page will be called Topics Timeline and it will change from being a page for reviewing data into one where you can easily edit topics and their related stories.
These are the most important changes:
- More filter options – and they have moved to the right
One important new option is that you can filter the list of stories related to a topic by another topic.
Example: You have entered a campaign as a topic. Now you want to see just the stories that are related to that campaign and to a specific persona (which you have also entered as a topic). Just filter the list of stories by that persona and then review the story list of the campaign.
- Weekly view, not just month, quarter and year
- Quick search to quickly find a topic
- Level selector to easily collapse or expand the list of topics to a specific level.
- Faster entry of a new story
- Improved contextual layers to provide quick info and access to important functions for both topics and stories.
- Extensive drag & drop support
- Sort the list of topics
- Change the start or end date of a topic
- Move an entire topic plus, if needed, all of its related stories and events with it (you will be prompted before that action is performed)
- Drag scheduled stories and events to another date
- Drag undated stories from the story list on the left onto a specific publish date
- Better sharing options: Download the story list, email or print it (access these features via the ... icon in the upper right corner).
The Future Relaunch Process
Over the next few months all Desk-Net pages will be relaunched (read more about it here).
The fundamental characteristics will not change. However, just like for the Topics page the usability and flexibility of the pages will increase dramatically.
Next up is the Long-term Planning page which will be renamed as Story List as it will turn into a much more flexible story list which can be used for more use-cases than just for long-term content planning.
Feel free to contact us at email@example.com in case you have questions or comments regarding the new Topics feature.