Specifications

Story lists

Various story list types

Story lists according to publishing time horizon:

  • Next issue/date
  • Short-term planning (1 to 10 issues or dates)
  • Long-term planning (up to 365 days)
  • Story ideas - for stories without a publication date
Multiple filtering options

Story list filtering options:

  • Date/issue
  • Platform & category (e.g. just Sports online and in print)
  • Group (e.g. just the stories of the Sports desk)
  • Format (e.g. just stories with a video)
  • Status (e.g. hide published stories)
  • User
Sorting options

Story lists can be sorted by

  • platform (e.g. first online stories, then print stories)
  • group (e.g. by desk or department)
  • status (e.g. Top Stories at the top of the list)
  • publication time to see the story flow across the day
Export of story lists

Send out story list of one issue/date by email to a saved list of recipients

Special printout views

Data fields per story

General information per story

Data describing the story:

  • Title/description
  • Event data, in case the story is based on an event such as a press conference
  • Note
  • Attachments
  • Location data
  • Related groups - i.e. the desks, departments working on this story
  • Confidentiality
Tasks

Any number of tasks or assignments can be added to a story:

  • Task type / format (e.g. "Text" or "Video")
  • Task status (e.g. "Edited")
  • Assigned user, including freelance users
  • Confirmation status (assignees can be asked to confirm/reject an assignment)
  • Deadline
  • Task note
Assignment to publication platforms

A story can be assigned to one or multiple platforms and therefore multiple story lists. Per assignment to a platform the following information can be entered: 

  • Platform and category (e.g. "Website > Economy")
  • Status per platform, customizable (e.g. "Accepted" or "Published")
  • Type per platform (e.g. "Cover story")
  • Publication date and time
  • Stories can be entered as repeating stories (standing features) for one platform
  • Story ideas (or Advance Stories) - stories without a publication date
  • Scope in pages, seconds, minutes, etc. The entered values are the automatically aggregated per day or per issue.
Content

Users can upload content such as text, pictures, video files etc. The maximum file size is 2Gb.

This content can then be exported via ftp export or to an API to other systems such as content management systems, digital asset management systems, etc.

Update history

All changes made to a story are tracked and can be easily reviewed on the Update tab.

Calendars for editorial appointments

Calendars with various time horizons

Desk-Net is being used by many clients to manage their editorial appointments or to have an overview of events that need to be covered editorially. These are the time horizons for the calendar views Desk-Net offers:

  • Single day
  • Short-term calendar (1 to 10 days)
  • Long-term calendar (up to 365 days)
Calendar filtering options

The calendars in Desk-Net can be filtered by

  • day
  • platform & category (e.g. just the events related to Sports stories)
  • group (e.g. just the events related to the newsdesk)
  • format (e.g. just events with a video request)
  • user
Sorting options for calendars

Users can filter calendars in Desk-Net by

  • time
  • platform (e.g. first events related to the website, then events related to print)
  • group (e.g. by desk or department)
  • status (e.g. just events with coverage in a certain status)
Export of events and personal appointments

We know that you may need data entered into Desk-Net in other places as well. Therefore we provide the following export options:

  • Export of personal events/appointments to an electronic calendar such as iPhone calendar or Outlook via webcal
  • Export of entire group calendars (e.g. all events related to the Sports desk) via webcal feed

Topic management

Topic definition & overview

Stories can be grouped into overarching topics via a hashtag (e.g. all stories marked with #elections15 are part of an overarching topic called "National elections 2015".

All topics are listed on the Topics page by timeliness

Information stored per topic:
  • Label (e.g. "National elections 2015")
  • Hashtag (e.g. #elections15)
  • Note/description
  • Group (e.g. "Sports desk" or "Internal communications department")
  • Responsible person
  • Date (from when until when is this topic relevant?)
Stories per topic

List of all stories and related entries such as events belonging to a topic on the Timeline page.

The list can be filtered by date range, e.g. just future stories.

Coordination of internal and external staff

Assignments

Assignments can be handed out to internal and external users, even to persons without a user profile in Desk-Net.

Notifications

Desk-Net sends out emails that include all relevant data about an assignment.

In case the assignment is based on an appointment such as a press conference the email contains an ics file for easy transfer of the data into a user's electronic calendar.

Assignment confirmation

Users can be asked to confirm or reject an assignment.

This feature is mainly used with freelance contributors.

Deadlines & notes

For the assignment a deadline can be set and a note to the user can be entered. 

List of personal assignments

Every user has access to his My Schedule page that lists all personal assignments, appointments, shift assignments and absences.

A typical freelance user can just access this page, no other page.

Staff availability

Shifts

Shifts and responsibilities such as "Late Shift" can be defined and users then be assigned to them.

Per shift the following data can be entered:

  • Weekdays on which the shift is relevant (e.g. "Mon - Fri")
  • Time per day (e.g. "2:00pm - 10:00pm")
  • Minimum staffing per shift and day (e.g. "Minimum two photographers on call")
Absences

Users can enter absences such as holidays or a business trip. These absences are displayed on various pages and are part of the data displayed on the Availability page.

 Those users who just work part-time, i.e. on certain days per week can enter recurring absences.

Availability page

This page aggregates the known information for all users of a company or group with regards to their availability: Assignments, appointments, shift assignments and absences are displayed as color codes indicating a user's availability during any given month.

Upon mouse-over Desk-Net displays a user's schedule for one specific day.

Mobile

Smartphone web app

The most important pages of Desk-Net such as story lists, the appointment calendar and the list of personal assignments are optimized for smartphone screens.

Stories and appointments can be reviewed, entered and edited.

The web app is optimized for iOS, Android and Windows Phone and supports just about any modern browser.

Optimization for tablets

Desk-Net has been optimized for use on tablet computers.

Export to mobile calendars

Appointments with assignments can be exported to the mobile calendar of a user (e.g. iPhone calendar) via a webcal feed.

Security, reliability & other technical aspects

Hosting

Desk-Net is hosted at state-of-the-art data centers in Ireland. We ensure that all data centers we use are certified according to ISO 27001 and are Safe Harbor certified.

Secure data transmission

SSL-secured data transmission from the hosting facility to the user's browser.

Data backup

Incremental backups several times an hour.

Full daily data backup.

Daily backup of the story and appointment list for the next five days to an ftp folder provided by the client.

Quality software development

We use agile software development methodologies with frequent releases and the ability to quickly deploy fixes.

Our team of developers is supplemented by a team of quality assurance engineers (QA). Our ratio of developer to QA is 3 to 1 or better.

Uptime

Public uptime statistics for last three months

Time zones

Full time zone support for worldwide usage of Desk-Net

Languages

The Desk-Net user interface is offered in the following languages. Please contact us in case you are interested other languages.

  • English (US & UK)
  • German
  • French
  • Spanish
Supported Browsers

Support for at least the lastest two major versions of a browser including IE8.

There are no known issues of moderate to high importance with any modern browser for PC, Mac or smartphones.

Support

Our users receive support in various ways:

  • Comprehensive support portal in English and German
  • Email support 
  • Phone support

API, integrations and interfaces

API

RESTful API that can be used to read, enter and edit stories, events and story lists.

WordPress Plugin

The WordPress Plugin for Desk-Net enables a bidirectional data exchange between the two systems.

Multiple WordPress websites can be connected to Desk-Net.

XML file export

Content entered in Desk-Net can be exported to an ftp folder as a NewsItem in the NewsML G2 format.

Event/appointment data export

Both personal appointments as well as events of a group (e.g. of the Sports desk) can be exported to electronic calendars using a webcal feed.

Event data import

Event feeds such as those sent out by wire agencies such as dpa or STT, by event data providers such as Zapaday or from other event databases such as LeoEvent can be imported into Desk-Net.