What Is Contribute?
So with a name like Contribute (see Figure 1), what can you expect to happen by picking up a $99 copy of the software in the purple and blue box? Well, if you're on the Web development team, you can expect your workflow to improve by leaps and bounds because you will no longer have to pop open Dreamweaver or another editor to make a change before uploading it to the staging server, testing it, and taking it live. Also, you won't have to field endless email from co-workers about how you need to swap out the content on the About Us page and that it needs to be done yesterday. Sounds good to you, right? Yeah, I thought so.
Figure 1 The Contribute 2 logo.
On the other hand, if you're responsible for writing content for your company's site but are not on the development team directly, you will no longer have to send the aforementioned email to said Web developer for conversion and posting. You also won't have to call the design team to reformat your lovely Microsoft Word document. Got a PDF? No problem. Contribute 2 enables you to turn it into a Web-ready Flash file (.swf) and have it up on your site in seconds flat.
Here's a typical conversation for you (in fact, I had this one just last week):
Content writer: Hey, jerk. Can you get that new copy up online for me, like, now?
Developer: No. Go away. Got three projects in front of yours.
Content writer: I can't go awayI need this done. You know, I outrank you.
Developer: So what? Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency.
Content writer: But I need this done, and you are the guy who gets paid to tend to my whims.
Developer: Well, that's too bad, Mr. Man. Put it in my inbox, and we'll just see if I get to it this year.
Here's the way the conversation could have gone:
Content writer: Hey, Robert, do you think you could get this new copy up sometime today?
Developer: Actually, Mr. Man, I have several projects that take a higher priority right now, but there's a copy of Macromedia Contribute 2 sitting on the server just waiting for you to install it. If you can pull that off, Monkey Breath, I'll send you a Connection Key and you can drag-and-drop that Word document right onto the pageyou'll be done in five minutes. Now go away.
Content writer: Wow, thanks! That was the most helpful thing you've ever said to me.
Developer: You mean the part about going away? Yeah, that's helpful to me, too.
As you can clearly see, the second scenario is much better. Yes, the developer is still a jerk, but, hey, you can't have everything you want. It's best to just get over it.
In case you haven't picked this up yet, Contribute 2 is for people like you, whomever you may be. If you're involved in some aspect of the Web game, Contribute 2 can solve a lot of your workflow issues and get you moving right into a nicer car via the raise you'll inevitably get for being so darn clever by using it. Contribute is for the CEOs who need their new job title shown off on the home page, the content contributors who need to expound upon the latest promotional thing-a-ma-jig, and the developers who just need to get some sleep once in a while.
It does exactly one thing: It allows you to edit and update live Web pages without the express written consent or aid of anyone, and without knowing one thing about HTML or any other language. And let me tell you, popping Web pages up this easily makes you feel smart. The thing pays for itself in a matter of minutes.