+8
Started

Batch edit utility - change more than 25 at a time

Sara Hardison 4 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 2 weeks ago 28
We have a lot of section tags with hundreds of assets assigned that we are moving around and do change from time to time. The batch edit tool is great, but the limit to only changing 25 at a time makes it quite difficult when we are dealing with the number of assets we are. Would be great to have option to change number of assets you want to change at a time, so 25, 50, 100..etc.

Answer

+2
Answer
Started

There are several different requests in here:

  1. A "mass" batch edit. We are working on this currently... it should be available in Q2 of this year. It allows you to create a search and then apply batch edit to that entire search results, even if it affects thousands of assets. There will be an extra confirmation process where you must type in the number of assets so that you are sure that you know how many assets you are affecting. The task on large amounts of assets happens as a background task (so it can take as long as it needs) and then sends you an email when you're done. So, for Nick's needs, this would definitely work).
  2. The ability to see more assets on a search results page in the BLOX admin. The solution for this will likely come as part of our new backend UI, which will likely end up being some kind of infinity scroll.

Lastly, there is the request for a batch edit function to change headlines and captions. To be honest, we are worried about allowing content to be changed in a batch editing process. Firstly, it's considered bad SEO to have similar titles on multiple pages in your site. Secondly, having all headlines (such as on a vertical gallery) is kind of annoying and repetitive to the reader.

On the other hand, I of course realize that if you don't add a title, we'll use the filename instead. And typing 200 unique, accurate titles is a very time-consuming task to say the least! Also, the only thing worse than a vertical gallery with repeated identical headlines is a vertical gallery with filenames as headlines instead! And, we currently provide no mechanism for them to be hidden as an option.

However, maybe we can fix some of those underlying problems instead. Basically, we're thinking that batch editing headlines and captions is a symptom of a bigger problem rather than a problem in and of itself.

What about something like this:

- A collection asset has the option of not showing photos and captions, even if they exist.

- In places where we have to show some kind of title (such as search results) maybe we show the parent's title instead?

Or:

- A way for the photo itself to know whether or not it has a unique headline, and if it does, display it. If not, display the parent (unless on a collection page). I would have to think more on how it can know it is a unique title... 

    +1
    Big thumbs up. I've actually had this in as a feature request since December 1, 2014. (Ticket # 571035)
    I completely agree. There needs to be a job function to allow a formula such as (if section_tag="local" then change section_tag="local_news") or something like that. I know we had a feature with our previous CMS, Mediaspan(now NewsCycle) and it was very handy.

    I don't think we'll ever see more than 25 assets on the search results page, and I understand and agree with that number as it's set to make the search fast. But a mass changing of assets should be doable through a job, I would think. But from what I understand you need UTL access to make jobs.
    +1

    Bumping this back up simply due to how much time it would save me on a weekly basis.


    Every single time I build a photo gallery (collection) with more than 25 photos it requires entirely more clicking around then it should.

    +1

    Bumping this one again because being able to see and work with more than 25 assets at a time would save us a ton of time.

    +2

    Agree +5. Also need the ability to batch edit cutlines on photos. Again, if you have a large gallery with a generic cutline on most of them, it stinks to open 100 photos and paste it into every one.

    Paul, we're using TotalCMS and have photographers upload images into it via FTP (and a Job folder on the appliance).


    One nice thing we've found is that if we re-upload a photo with the same filename it will update the original instead of creating a new asset. This way our photographers can simply update their cutlines in a batch using Photo Mechanic and FTP them again.


    The only downside to this is that is will undo any changes made to sections, but at least we can then batch change those again.

    We do probably, 1,800 - 2,500 stringer or submitted event photos a month. It's worth over 750,000 page views to us so we do it gladly, but the FTP method you are talking about isn't the best as they never touch photoshop, photo mechanic or anything else. We really need to batch them.

    That is a big chunk of photos! I could see the batch caption edit being useful, but hopefully if implemented it could be a configurable option. I can see our staff really messing up a group of cutlines on accident if they had that feature.

    +1

    This needs to happen. We organize our photographs into collections by weekly issue date and currently have anywhere between 80-130 photographs a week in the galleries. It's a real PITA to add photos to the collection 25 at a time.

    +1

    I agree, it is a pretty standard UI element and sorely missing from BLOX.

    I'd be happy even if we were limited to picking between increments of 25 for the results (25, 50, 75, 100, etc.) but at the same time if I want to only see 37 results why not let me specify that as well.

    And to be clear, not limited to the original topic of this post about the Batch Edit utility, these result increments should be available across the entire BLOX interface.

    +2

    Seriously, it's 2019. Virtually every single website that has a search function allows you pick the number of search results per page. Heck, even the front-end of our TownNews-run website allows you to pick increments (see pic), so why not the back-end???

    +2
    Answer
    Started

    There are several different requests in here:

    1. A "mass" batch edit. We are working on this currently... it should be available in Q2 of this year. It allows you to create a search and then apply batch edit to that entire search results, even if it affects thousands of assets. There will be an extra confirmation process where you must type in the number of assets so that you are sure that you know how many assets you are affecting. The task on large amounts of assets happens as a background task (so it can take as long as it needs) and then sends you an email when you're done. So, for Nick's needs, this would definitely work).
    2. The ability to see more assets on a search results page in the BLOX admin. The solution for this will likely come as part of our new backend UI, which will likely end up being some kind of infinity scroll.

    Lastly, there is the request for a batch edit function to change headlines and captions. To be honest, we are worried about allowing content to be changed in a batch editing process. Firstly, it's considered bad SEO to have similar titles on multiple pages in your site. Secondly, having all headlines (such as on a vertical gallery) is kind of annoying and repetitive to the reader.

    On the other hand, I of course realize that if you don't add a title, we'll use the filename instead. And typing 200 unique, accurate titles is a very time-consuming task to say the least! Also, the only thing worse than a vertical gallery with repeated identical headlines is a vertical gallery with filenames as headlines instead! And, we currently provide no mechanism for them to be hidden as an option.

    However, maybe we can fix some of those underlying problems instead. Basically, we're thinking that batch editing headlines and captions is a symptom of a bigger problem rather than a problem in and of itself.

    What about something like this:

    - A collection asset has the option of not showing photos and captions, even if they exist.

    - In places where we have to show some kind of title (such as search results) maybe we show the parent's title instead?

    Or:

    - A way for the photo itself to know whether or not it has a unique headline, and if it does, display it. If not, display the parent (unless on a collection page). I would have to think more on how it can know it is a unique title... 

      Thank you, Christine! Good to know this is in the works. Any ETA on the new backend UI?

      Or, what if when you're doing a BATCH UPLOAD there is an option (on the final "upload is done" window) that allows you to set headlines and captions (and "copy to all") at that point?

      It doesn't help with FTP uploads... but for photographers who are doing batches to create galleries it would be a big help.

      Another request we have already that would help would be that ability to batch edit from within the child assets panel.

      1. A "mass" batch edit, this sounds great, I could use this today to fix some things so it can't come soon enough.

      2. Again, can't get here soon enough. Infinity scroll works but I'd just take being able to see see a larger number of results in specific increments if that is easier/faster to implement.

      I'm personally not worried about batch editing headlines and captions, that isn't something we need. Headlines for a group of photos (from a sporting event) are always going to be the same for us. There is no way our photographers would ever have the time to write unique headlines and what would they write anyways? I could see unique headlines from community submitted photos in a gallery though. Conversely cutlines are always going to be unique.

      For us the ability centers more around moving (attaching) the assets or changing metadata: Sections, Keywords, Flags, Reprints Yes/No, Start Times, Workflow, etc. Not the actual content of the assets.

      you want to batch edit headlines or cut lines specifically to assign a generic cutline to 200 photos at once, like from a sporting event.

      We did as many as a million page views a month with these kinds of galleries.

      I was speaking about my newspapers specifically. Here all photos have unique cutlines, photographers don't turn in anything with generic information.

      For example here is a gallery of 92 photos shot, captioned and transmitted on deadline: https://www.galvnews.com/blogs/in_focus/collection_c5cda1db-cf1e-5419-ba25-a23e6cb8eba7.html

      I'm not saying the feature wouldn't be useful to anyone, just that for us, I don't want the batch editing of more than 25 items to get hung-up by new features.

      All I'm asking for is the ability to use the existing batch edit functionality on more than 25 assets at once. Bringing headlines and cutlines into the mix is adding new batch edit functionality that doesn't already exist and I don't want the two requests getting tied together.

      +1

      Hey Kevin! No worries, they aren't tied together.

      The good news is that the "mass" batch edit is mostly already done... we're in the product review stage right now... it still has to go through our QA phase and whatnot so it will still be a few months... but there is no stopping it now!

      One thing I just thought of... I have been trying to see if we could get out of the "mass" content editing by just not showing headlines and captions if they were repetitive or not useful.

      However, if we did that, and did not require proper headlines or captions, then those images become almost orphaned in the system because they would have so little metadata... At least if they had a proper headline and caption, it would let you find the image based on the sports team or maybe location, etc.

      So I hereby rescind that idea. =)

      +1

      Some big progress has been made on this very old feature request. For anyone who missed this morning's webinar, go give it a watch to get caught up: https://community.townnews.com/communities/1/topics/1158-webinar-whats-new-in-blox-cms

      This new batch edit functionality sounds great for very large jobs. However I'm worried there is no middle ground.

      By far the largest use case, for us but I imagine others as well, is the ability to batch edit more than 25 assets, but not thousands, with normal real-time speed.

      For example: A photographer files 53 photos from a high school football game for a gallery, on deadline. Right now that requires three separate batch edit operations to add themselves as the author, change the reprint status, edit the start time, etc. We need this to be done in one batch operation (which will reduce the number of clicks needed by two-thirds) and we need it to happen immediately.

      It seems like we need functionality and permissions for a user to edit more than 25, but not thousands. Like 100 is fine for anyone, but don't let them do thousands of assets without the new permission assigned.

      +1

      Hi, Kevin. At our paper the photographers use "hot folders" instead of loading images directly into BLOX. Each folder has a different set of parameters that are applied to each image saved into the folder, then the image is automatically moved into BLOX — for us its primarily a section tag and whether or not an image is marked for sale, but other parameters probably could be applied as well, such as filling in the "Photographer" field, but you probably couldn't change things like the asset's start time (but if there's no site tag applied, these images wouldn't show up on your website unless they were added into a collection that had a site tag). Could this be a solution for your photographers? You'd still have to do three separate "Find asset" searches to add more than 25 photos to a gallery (see my reply below), but at least you'd eliminate the need for batch editing.

      Brad, we already FTP into job folders directly from Photo Mechanic for adding photos into Total CMS.

      I had discussions years ago about having an author automatically assigned through these jobs and was told it wasn't possible. If you've got that figured out I'd love to know.

      I also have an open issue about how uploading photos through Jobs doesn't respect our global setting for sales (they always default to Automatic even when we're set to Disabled by default). Maybe I didn't get the memo that they corrected it as well?

      I was a photographer before moving into my current role and still do most of our pro sports coverage, so I spend more time dealing with photos and collections as an "end user" than any other aspect of the system. Which means the inefficiencies here annoy me more than any others.

      Hi, Kevin. Yeah our jobs folders don't add an author; we don't assign authors to photo assets and just fill in the byline field.

      We basically have two sets of jobs folders, Staff and NonStaff. They are essentially the same (they both apply section tags for where the images should appear) and the only difference between the two sets is that one assigns a #forsale keyword, and the other #nosale keyword, depending on if we want the image to be listed for sale.

      Here's what our jobs folders look like, with folders for regular newspaper sections and others for special sections:


      +2

      Disappointing that this fails to address the fact that we can only yield 25 search results per page in BLOX CMS & TCMS. When creating a collection we have to do multiple "find assets" searches for collections that contain more than 25 assets (some of our collections can have more than 100 photo assets). As I mentioned three months ago, since the Search section of the front end of our website allows users to choose the number of results per page it would seem like a no-brainer to allow users to do the same in BLOX. 

      Oh ya! How did I not even notice that this issue will still exists, it ties right into my post above.

      The main place we will use "greater than 25" item manipulation is photo galleries, and adding individual photos into a collection asset is a big one of those things that takes too many repetitive actions.

      Bumping this back up since it has been three months with no reply. The new "large batch job" functionality does work very well, I've been using it with success.

      However it still doesn't address the "middle ground" that Brad and I discussed above.

      Bumping this again. It is October and we're about to have some late-night, tight-deadline baseball games. I'll be cursing the lack of this "middle ground" (show more than 25 items in a search result so I can attach them to a parent all at once) function every game.

      (Bump)

      I see some comments within this thread promoting the use of Photo Mechanic etc for ensuring a batch of images have the same title. But the argument I think that many users would say stands is that there are already EXISTING images in the system, say older or file photos that you might want to use for a gallery of 100 images - that have old, bad naming conventions. Hiding the titles in a vertical gallery is a great option, but there are some instances where a good title can be a better experience.