What's New in Reason?

Updated 5/22/07

Image Galleries

With our old image galleries, you saw a page of thumbnail images and had to click each one to view the photo in a separate pop-up window. The new image gallery offers a friendlier user experience that allows you to click through the whole gallery in the same window. See an example Gallery.

Slideshows

We've introduced two new page types that create slideshows using the images you've associated with the page.

  1. The page type "Image Slideshow" creates a slideshow that plays automatically. See the Image Slideshow in action.
  2. The page type "Image Slideshow Manual" creates a slideshow that can be advanced manually by clicking the forward or backward arrows. See the Image Slideshow Manual.

Bulk Image Import

You probably know how to add an individual image to Reason. But have you discovered our new Batch Import feature? This allows you to import an entire group of images all at once--especially handy if you have a batch of photos from an event, or with a common theme. You'll save a lot of time importing them as a batch vs. uploading each one individually.

Improvements to Text Blurbs

If you've used text blurbs in Reason, you know that they are little bundles of content that can be attached quickly and easily to one or more Reason pages. We've added two enhancements to text blurbs:

  1. They're now sortable, so you can choose the order blurbs appear on any individual page where you place two or more.
  2. You can select them from your page-editing screen. In the past, you had to go into the Edit view of the blurb and select the pages where it should appear. You can still do that--but now you can also select your desired blurb(s) while you're editing a page.

Enhancements to Reason Forms

Reason's form-building tool has several new features:

  • Autofilling of fields. If you use one of the Autofill options, the form will automatically fill in personal information for the person submitting the form. The special field names that can be autofilled are:
    • "Your Full Name"
    • "Your Name"
    • "Your First Name"
    • "Your Last Name"
    • "Your Department"
    • "Your Email"
    • "Your Home Phone"
    • "Your Work Phone"
    • "Your Title".
    NOTE: The Autofill option requires that the user be logged in.
  • Displaying submitted data on the Thank You page. Your site visitors see a Thank You page after submitting a form. To have that page display a copy of the data they submitted, simply say "Yes" to the field called "Show Submitted Data." Reason will automatically place this information below your Thank You text.
    • We recommend using this feature for any form where the submitter may wish to print a copy for their records.
  • Saving form data to a database. Previously, all Reason forms emailed the form results to one or more recipients specified by the person creating the form. Now you can also elect to have your form data save to a database--which you can view online or export to a spreadsheet.
  • Displaying a return link is now OPTIONAL. Previously, after someone submitted a form, the Thank You page would always offer a link to go back to the form. That's now optional; you can set up forms to display it or not display it as you wish.

Random Blurbs & Images

A new page type, "Random Blurb And Sidebar Image," can help keep your home page--or any page--looking fresh. The page will pick one blurb and three images at random from those you've associated with the page. See it in action on the Dean of the College site (refresh to see the blurb and images change).

Site Statistics

Have you ever wondered how many people visit your site, or which pages they view most? That information is at your fingertips. When editing your site, go to your Site Tools menu and click on Statistics.

Image and Asset Sorting

As a Reason user, you already know that you can associate images and/or assets (documents) with your pages to have these items appear in the right sidebar (or other location, if we've helped you create a special page type). But have you noticed that you can now sort those items into the order you prefer?

To use the sort feature, first associate images or assets with the page as you normally do in Reason. Then simply use the up or down arrows to change the order.

Limiting Access to an Asset (Document)

You've probably already used Reason to upload assets (documents) and make links to them on your web site pages. But now you have the ability to restrict viewing of any asset to a specified group. If you need to "lock down" a document this way, the web team can show you how.

Profiles

The new Profiles feature allows users to create an online profile by filling out a questionnaire and uploading a photo--with no Reason access required. Behind the scenes, you control which group(s) of Carleton people are permitted to fill it out. See Profiles in action on the Class of '82 Reunion Biobook.

Using this feature requires some setup work by the Web Services Group, so please contact us for more information if you're interested in it.

Audio/Video and Podcasting

Reason offers an easy way to publish audio, video, and flash media. Each site with media automatically also gets a podcast.

A podcast is a simple way for people to subscribe to your media content. Once they have subscribed, new media files you add to your site are automatically downloaded to their media player software (like iTunes) and they can then listen to or watch these files at their leisure.

Examples on Carleton sites:

Blogs

Reason blogs allow you not only to post news/features on your site in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest), but also invite others to comment on the posts. You can control who's allowed to post and/or comment:

  • The whole world
  • Only Carleton people
  • A subset of Carleton people (faculty/staff, alumni, students, etc.)
  • Only the specific person(s) you choose

See some Reason blogs in action here:

Reason editing improvements

We've also made some improvements behind the scenes, to make it easier for you to use Reason's site editing features:

  • The main Reason editing screen (the one you see when you log in to Reason) now displays recently edited items so you can quickly return to anything you've worked on lately.
  • Some javascript tricks allow you to expand and collapse your list of site pages in Reason without waiting for the page to reload every time.
  • A new logout notification warns you if you're going to be logged out for inactivity, so you can save your work.

New Publications Module

We've added a wealth of new features for handling news and publications on your Reason site. Instead of a single page showing all news items on your site, you can now place a publication on a page, and relate news items to that publication.

Key features of the new system include:

  • A site can now have multiple publications. News items can be shown on one or more publications.
  • The news sidebar can show links to stories from multiple publications, and can optionally be limited to news stories in certain categories.
  • A publication can have persistent featured stories that always appear at the top of the page.
  • Site administrators can control commenting privileges on a publication as a whole, and on individual stories.

Currently, existing news pages are using the old system. Eventually, all sites using news pages will be migrated to use the new publications module.

Reason Discussion Forum

Drop by our new Reason Discussion Forum--and bring your questions and comments!

And More Coming Soon...

Upcoming enhancements to Reason include:

  • New content editing features. You'll enjoy new and improved features for placing photos on your pages, creating links, highlighting text, and more. Contact the web team if you'd like to be a beta tester for these exciting new features.