Trail Sweep staff WORKFLOW

WordPress is an automated Content Management System (CMS) designed to encourage groups to work together on the joint mission of publishing content in a highly productive fashion.  Productivity requires job specialization and the distribution of job functions as broadly as possible to spread the work out over a maximum number of staff members (known as remotely distributed work effort).

To help develop a staff workflow, out-of-the-box WordPress delivers a starting point for the staff functionality.  Each type of staff member is assigned to the type of work they specialize in performing.  WordPress offers the following jobs:

  1. CONTRIBUTORS are staff members who log in and type news articles.  Their interface is straightforward and simplified.  They only see news articles.  They can start their own article and return to make changes or corrections.  But after their article is officially published, the contributor is frozen out from access to altering the text.  Contributors are not considered staff members and do not attend regular staff meetings.  They are members of NSP who occasionally contribute an article (perhaps twice a year) and are asked to log on to create their work live in the CMS, which lessens the burden on other staff members from the tedium of typing someone else’s words.  If Trail Sweep were to develop “Columnists,” they would become staff Contributors.
  2. AUTHORS are a higher privilege of the staff.  Autors see more functionality in their login interface with the addition of media.  The Media Library is where photos, graphics, and downloadable handouts are uploaded and managed.  Authors also get more advanced post-publication privileges.  However, their work can not be published without the follow-on workflow function done by Editors.
  3. EDITORS manage the Trail Sweep staff.  They chair regular editorial meetings to manage staff member creation.  Their mission is to motivate the staff to create and write, then support the writers with editing duties that move the content from creation to publication.  Editors are the staffers who decide when an article is ready to appear on the Trail Sweep front end; they fact-check, write headlines (Titles), fix grammar, and ensure that content fits the Trail Sweep formula.

Trail Sweep does have one additional “pseudo-staff-member” known as a Ghost Contributor (or just Ghost for short).  At the request of our founders, ghosts are members of NSP who submit an occasional article “over-the-transom” that is worthy of publication. Management wanted a zero-access author who retains their rights as an original content creator.  Because of US Copyright Law, Ghosts retain their rights to ownership of their intellectual property through citation, acknowledgment, searchability, and audit.  WordPress manages such tracking through the assignment of a BYLINE.  Ghosts receive the benefit of protection of their original work through the design and functionality of the WordPress CMS.

In conclusion, described above is the official Trail Sweep workflow.  It is subject to evolution.  Changes will be updated on this page for the entire staff to follow.


Trail Sweep is over 50 years old.  None of us were here from the beginning, and the Trail Sweep staff has changed hands many times over those decades.  It is an institution that lives because of its traditions and organization.  Organization requires a set of rules to follow, and as temporary stewards of this institution, we must ensure that it continues to function smoothly.

As of 2023, which is the founding of the internet-based incarnation of Trail Sweep, WordPress has grown to become the number one CMS.  It is 22 years old and will live for the next 50 years.  Today’s electronic Trail Sweep will be passed on to future leaders to edit and publish Eastern Divisoin’s Ski Patrolling news.  We are only temporary stewards of Trail Sweep.  It is up to us as staff members to ensure that Trail Sweep is organized in a way that assures its longevity.