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Mastering Media: An Intro To Photos

Remember User Profile Photos
We've made several enhancements related to user profile photos in the past year.
  • We switched avatars from a rectangular shape to a modern circular one as part of the 'ON' products update to Blackbaud Sky's "look & feel".
  • We improved the process for uploading and realigning user profile photos in bulk to fit the new round photo frame. Learn more here.
  • We added the user profile Photo as an optional column for multiple Lists, so your staff can more easily connect faces to names when you review important data. These lists include the
Candidates list in onBoard,
Students list in onRecord,
Infractions list in onRecord,
Consequences list in onRecord,
Class attendance list in onRecord,
Requests & recommendations list in onRecord,
Day attendance list in onRecord,
o and Report card grades list in onRecord.

Understand the Value of Content Categories
We know many other types of photos and media are important to your school internal and public communications. With that in mind, let's start with an introduction to photos for onMessage. You're also welcome to reply to this discussion with additional tips or questions about using media at your school. 

Typically, to show photos on your school's front-end website, a page or content manager will need to upload the photos to a content category.

From onMessage, select Content and choose Photos.

Alternatively, from Core, select Communication, choose Content Type, and then choose Photos.

To create a category, select Add New Category.

To change content in existing category, locate the category and select Add on the category's row, or select the category name and then select Edit. Then follow the directions on the screen to
  • upload photos,
  • add captions to assist visual impaired website visitors,
  • add tags for search purposes,
  • select photos to delete,
  • and select a cover for the album.
To remove an unused category, select the category name and then select Delete.

We recommend that you consider establishing a pattern for your category's naming convention. Consider using the name to indicate both the content in the category and how you plan to use it. You may want multiple categories for photos of athletic activities and you may want to upload some photos to multiple categories. For example, if your school is known for its boy's lacrosse team winning a championship in the spring of 2018, you might include photos highlighting their achievements in categories like these:
  • Featured/Showcase
  • Athletics 2017-18 All
  • Athletics 2017-18 Spring
  • Athletics 2017-18 Male
  • Athletics 2017-18 Championships
  • Athletics 2017-18 Lacrosse
  • Athletics 2017-18 Intramural
  • Student Life 2017-18
  • Extracurricular 2017-18
  • Fun & Games 2017-18
  • Admissions Showcase of Success Stories 2017-18
Although "organize your photos" sounds simple, it's also an easy step to neglect. Without a clear plan for organizing media, content may quickly become disorganized. When it's hard to tell which categories include which images, it's easy to delay adding new photos to existing categories or to be wary of deleting older ones. Without an organized plan, photo carousels may be updated haphazardly, and overplayed images may make a webpage seem outdated.

When your school's photos and other media content are well organized into regularly updated categories, page managers can edit the layouts of web pages to include new photo carousels, edit existing photo carousels to use photos from a different category of photo contents, and more. For example, when a new season starts, a page manager might update the photo carousel on your school's Athletics' webpage to feature photos from the spring category instead of the previous fall category. The exact appearance of photos in each carousel will vary based on the carousel settings and styles.

Users with Differing Roles Work as a Team
With this workflow, your school may have multiple content managers (who control which photos appear in each category) and fewer page managers (who do most of the work to run your school's front-end website). Together users with both roles keep your site's content relevant and refreshing. Page managers may be able to "set it and forget it" for many web pages during the school year, since content managers can handle the more regular tasks of adding new photos to existing categories (which supply photo carousels with new content to show on the website). At key milestones during the year, page managers can then point carousels at new categories and inform content managers which categories are (or aren't) in use publicly.

Talk about this Topic
Join a discussion here: How does your school organize photos? How does your school determine who is a content manager or page manager? Share your own tips about photos or questions about using media at your school. 
Posted by Derek Nichols on Feb 13, 2018 10:42 AM America/New_York

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