Tag Archives: iwmw

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone


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At IWMW last week I ran a BarCamp session titled “Slate My Website… and Your Website?”.

As I explained on the IWMW blog, the format of the session is based on Nick DeNardis’ EDU Checkup and consists of three parts:

  • 10 second test: show then hide the homepage then try to remember as much as possible.
  • ~5 minute review: surf around the site looking for things of interest – as Roy Walker would say, “say what you see”.
  • Ratings: scores out of 100 for design, content and code.

In the 30 minute slot we had time to slate review three websites:

University of Reading

Scores:

  • design: 68
  • content: 63
  • code: 79

University of Nottingham

Scores:

  • design: 71
  • content: 65
  • code: 62

Edge Hill University

Part of the “deal” for this session was that someone else would review our website so with me sat in the corner with my eyes closed and fingers in ears, Dan Wiggle from the University of York did the business.  Lynda Bewley summarised the atmosphere well:

@lyndabewley: vengeance being meted out on http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ :-) #slatemywebsite #iwmw10

Scores:

  • design: 74
  • content: 74
  • code: 70

Many thanks to Jeremy Speller for acting as scorekeeper and Reading and Nottingham for being such good sports and not lynching me!

If you want me to Slate Your Website in person, I’m looking for someone to act as our “external expert” so get in touch!

Will you be our expert?


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Once again,  Paul Boag from Headscape spoke at the Institutional Web Management Workshop, this year in Sheffield.  The plenary talk was titled No Money, No Matter and was generally accepted to be one of the highlights of the conference.  Much of the content Paul has covered separately on his blog and [failed :-)] podcast but the talk tied it together and brought up some new ideas.

You can see Paul’s practice and links to related posts on boagworld.com and the full video is available from Sheffield.

Paul often treads a fine line between great advice and a sales pitch but he always does it with a glint in his eye so we’ll allow it!  Recently, he has been promoting the idea of bringing in external agencies just for big overhauls of the website and instead have an ongoing relationship.  While at Edge Hill we don’t particularly do web design agencies, I wholeheartedly agree that cycles of major redesigns are a bad thing.

Just when you think the talk is going to turn into hard sell for Headscape, Paul turns it around and admits for many Universities money is tight and suggests instead HEIs act as “external experts” for each other.  This is a fantastic idea and I really want to make this happen for us.  Paul suggested monthly meetings with your expert and while I think that might be a little too often, we can see how it goes.

So I’m looking for volunteers to come to Edge Hill (we’re based in Ormskirk, Lancashire in case you didn’t know!) and give us free consultancy!  In return you’ll get as much coffee as you can drink, a sandwich from the SCR and – if you want – I’ll return the favour and “consult” for your HEI.

There’s a few conditions, chiefly I don’t think TPTB would like one of our competitors coming in but other than that I’m open to offers!  If you’re interested, drop me an email on michael.nolan@edgehill.ac.uk.

Update: after posting on JISCmail’s WEBSITE-INFO-MGT list I received a couple of questions about the areas to be covered.  Our team covers design, development and to a large degree content and while we don’t author the majority of information on the site, we do have responsibility for it.  So essentially I’m looking for a general expert – someone who can say “that doesn’t look right” or “have you thought about doing cool thing X using HTML5 there”.

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Web

A couple of weeks ago, Mark Power and I were approached to cover Anthony Doherty’s workshop Mobile Apps vs Mobile Web.  We spent a week working through some ideas then finalised what we were talking about on arrival in Sheffield on Monday afternoon.

After the session, Kirsty Pitkin collared me to record a short piece to camera about what we covered:

[Aside: Bath’s Phil Wilson described this as “best. still. ever.” You can see and hear Phil laughing like a girl in the background of Adrian Tribe’s Take Away video. :-D]

Many thanks to Jeremy Speller from UCL for demonstrating their implementation of campusM and to everyone in the session for taking part in what I hope was an interesting discussion. There was quite a lot of Mobile Apps/Web talk throughout IWMW this year so I was a little worried we’d be repeating what everyone else said but I think it’s important for institutions to have the debate over what approach is best for them, whether that is buying in a native mobile app, deploying a mobile web app framework such as Molly, or building mobile versions of their website.

Finally, to make this post a bit more useful than just things you can find elsewhere, here’s a list of some mobile websites I may have demonstrated:

Additionally, check out the following universities in the iTunes App Store:

  • Stanford (Blackboard)
  • LJMU (campusM)
  • Trent Valley University (iUni)
  • UCL Go! (campusM)
  • UCLan
  • MSU Mobile

Belated IWMW 2009 wrap up

Once again I’ve broken my golden rule of blogging – “never leave a post in draft for more than 48 hours” – and so I’ve had to prune a few bits that I’d intended to write about.  Some of these may – or more likely may not – be covered at a later date.

I’m writing this sat on a plane to Chicago at the start of my holiday – driving across America from San Francisco to New York.  But I’m not here to gloat this time!  For the last week I’ve been at the University of Essex in Colchester for the Institutional Web Management Workshop – an annual conference for people involved in the web in Higher Education.  This was my third IWMW, following on from great events in Aberdeen and York.

This year I’d been asked by the conference chairs – Marieke Guy and Brian Kelly – to be part of the “organising team”.  I’m still not entirely sure what this involved but I basically gave my opinions on various aspects of how the workshop runs.  I was also asked to chair the Thursday morning session which seemed easy enough!

A few changes were made this year to the structure of the sessions.  Following the introduction of “BarCamps” last year, these were expanded to three 30 minute sessions, replacing the discussion group (which never really worked for me).  The Wednesday afternoon was split into front- and back-end “tracks”.  While one track had a parallel workshop, the other was running a couple of plenary talks.  The idea of this structure was to broaden the event to provide more technical and marketing/governance content to those that are interested.  Additionally, there was an attempt to “amplify” the event through use of video streaming, a blog and live Twitter updates – I’ll discuss that some more later.

Parallel Session: Mashups Round the Edges – Tony Hirst and Mike Ellis

Mike Ellis from Eduserv and Tony Hirst from the Open University presented an introduction to mashups session.  Anyone who follows Tony’s blog, OUseful will know that his work on mashing up various data sources can only be described as prolific.  He’s been doing stuff in the HE sector for a while including a page showing how autodiscoverable RSS feeds on HEI websites.  Released at last year’s IWMW, the number of sites with at least one feed has now increased to an underwhelming 33%.

Mike’s also been spreading the word recently, promoting linked data.  Check out the slides from one of his recent talks to get an idea of some of the things he’s barking on about ;-)

Mashups are one of those things that I always intend to do more with especially when Tony Hirst makes it look so easy!  I’m not going to write any more now but I’ll try to post some examples of what you can do with the data that we make available.

Making your killer applications… killer! – Paul Boag

Paul Boag - Making your killer applications... killerA few weeks ago, Paul Boag’s slides for this plenary came up in my Google Reader feed of contacts’ presentations.  I had a quick flick through, spotted a screenshot of one of Edge Hill’s course pages, and started to worry!  As is the fashion with presentations these days, Paul’s slides contain very little text leaving me to think about all the possible faults he could be picking in our site.  Fortunately he was quite positive.

I completely agree with him that the stuff we have in the online prospectus doesn’t go far enough in terms of engagement – there is much more we can do.  I hope some of this will happen through the new department and faculty websites.  These will provide pages where we can give a richer experience of what it’s like to study a particular subject, leaving course pages to describe the detail.

The main thrust of Paul’s presentation was that online systems – and course finders in particular – should become more like desktop applications.  Using techniques such as Hijax (a method where a JavaScript Ajax call intercepts a regular link to remove page refresh while maintaining accessibility), web applications can provide detail without complexity.

Parallel Session: Scrum – Andrew Male

Demonstrating Scrum techniques using LEGOAndy Male from University of Bath Web Services ran a workshop in the back-end track about using Scrum techniques in a development team.  I’ve spoken to several people from Bath about scrum before but haven’t had the time to invest in working through how it works.  Andy’s session  gave a very useful introduction to the terminology used and then went hands-on using an accelerated scrum cycle to build a LEGO house.  It took our team a couple of cycles to get good at estimating workloads but after that we were knocking out tractor sheds, flowerbeds and lakes left, right and centre!

Seeing scrum in action has motivated me to try the technique at Edge Hill.  With a smaller development team, it may not work for all our projects, but I can see it working really well for certain things.

How the BBC make websites – Michael Smethurst and Matthew Wood

Everybody knows the BBC makes good websites.  Some may point to the amount of money Auntie receives through the licence fee to explain this but just throwing money at a problem doesn’t make things perfect.  I’m sure that every web developer in the country has at some point cited the BBC as a reason for doing something.  The day they introduced their first pages designed for 1024 pixel screens I rejoiced as it meant we could finally start thinking about developing fixed with sites that looked good at higher resolutions.

There’s lots I’d like to know more about at the BBC – the development of iPlayer, how they do mobile websites, their decision to write their own JavaScript library – but one of the best new developments at the BBC for many years is /programmes and Michael and Matthew were at IWMW to talk about exactly that.  If you’ve not seen it before, go and have a look around.  At first glance it might not look like much – it’s just a schedules website similar to the ones that have been around for years – but closer inspection reveals something much bigger.

In /programmes, the BBC Audio and Music team have created something capable of scaling to record every TV and radio programme ever broadcast by the BBC.  The plenary talk was about “designing and building data driven dynamic web applications the one web, domain driven, RESTful, open, linked data way”.  Bit of a mouthful!  What I took this to mean was a real interest in the data that they wish to publish well before they look at designs.  I suspect a few people in the audience were shocked at their opposition to “PhotoShop mockups” but we’ve sometimes had problems with sites when we’ve designed first, coded second resulting in spaghetti PHP.

I blogged about the BBC’s beautiful URLs last year and since then they’ve implemented the functionality promised and much more.  Hackable URLs mean websites work for their users, not forcing users to to work to the website.

Probably the thing that stuck out most for me was their approach isn’t to build content management systems, but to create systems to manage data.  You’ll hear me talking about this again.

The Mike and Mike Show – Mike Ellis and Mike Nolan

I mentioned earlier that I’d been asked by Brian and Marieke to chair the Thursday pre-coffee session.  I perhaps didn’t fully understand that this also involved co-presenting the 45 minute session following the chaps from the Beeb.  The schedule had “Developers Lounge Show and Tell” pencilled in for the slot but the outputs from the developers lounge were – how can I put it – limited!  A quick chat with Mike Ellis over a beer at the drinks reception led to a rough plan – we’d talk about some stuff and it’d all be fine.

Mike went for the Just In Time approach to preparing slides and delivered a great talk about becoming more than a day coder.  I wholeheartedly agree with this – in the IT industry, and for web professionals in particular, it’s vital to stay current and engaging with the geek community or attending BarCamps or hacking on your own projects in the evening is a great way to do that.  I approached my 10-ish minutes like a teacher at the end of term and played a couple of videos.  We finished up with debate answering important questions such as “are design agencies a waste of money?” (Paul Boag seemed to think so!) and “is Web 2.0 ‘where it’s at’?”

I’ll let others be the judge of how the session went, but I was glad when it was over!

Conclusions

During his wrap-up session, Brian Kelly mooted the idea of an Institutional Web Management Community – a way for Higher Education web people to continue the conversations that go on at IWMW.  Like the JISCmail lists, but better.

After last year’s IWMW I asked why so few web teams have a blog.  Twelve months on and what’s the situation now?  It appears a couple more have popped up; I’ve heard there are others but limited to internal viewers but should we do more?  Brian suggested an aggregator similar to the predominantly US-based BlogHighEd.org and while this may provide some focus it’s not the whole answer.  Clearly the US has many more colleges so we’ll never match them in number of active blogs but it could form part of the IWMC.  What needs to be done for this to happen?  Maybe in the spirit of mashups, all we need is a Google Spreadsheet and a bit of Yahoo! Pipes magic?

I saw one comment on the Twitter stream along the lines of “this year seemed very developer-focused – where was all the discussion about governance?”  I was following the backend track so it was likely to be more technical than previous years, but is this a bad thing?  If we get too bogged down in policies and strategies then we run the real risk of failing to innovate.

Oracle Magazine

Time Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times… these are just a few of the quality publications you might reasonably expect to find on a transatlantic flight. So imagine my excitement as I boarded the plane to find Oracle Magazine on the rack! On this eight hour flight I’ve spent literally minutes flicking through it reading about topics including:

  • One Console to Rule Them All: New features of Oracle Enterprise Manager improve the management of the entire Oracle stack.
  • See savings with Linux: Oracle Enterprise Linux, Oracle Unbreakable Linux support services and Oracle VM help save money, time, energy – and the planet. [they can cure the common cold too, so I hear]
  • Imunising code against SQL injection attack by using bind arguments.

From the letters page, Felix writes in:

I am a regular reader of your magazine, and indeed appreciate you and your team for your relentless effort in lifting information technology to greater heights. Still, I want to ask you to publish more about the application of HTML, PHP and JavaServer Pages to Web design and development.

1) Is this serious?! 2) I think Felix would be better served by a good book about web development than a corporate magazine!

Listed in the upcoming events section is eduWeb but sadly IWMW is missing… maybe next year we could submit details!

Granite, seagulls and a surprisingly warm Aberdeen

IWMWIt’s a week since myself, Andy, Sam and Steve Daniels were up in Aberdeen for IWMW 2008. I’ve already blogged about my parallel workshop session, the BarCamp-style sessions and my thoughts about the lack of blogging web teams while Andy has posted his top five lists (#4 worst thing: listening to Alison’s talk).

Everything I’ve written so far is – how can I put this – all about Edge Hill, so I figured it was time to post something that people might actually be interested in!

IMG_3271Unleashing the Tribe

The last plenary talk of the conference was by Ewan McIntosh, a former teacher who now advises on social media in the public and eduction sectors. A video of the talk is available online and a here’s a slidecast for a similar presentation delivered a couple of months ago:

If you’ve got time, go watch one of the presentations, and keep an eye out for the quote from our very own Tanya Byron:

The technology itself is not transformative. It’s school, the pedagogy that is transformative.

Sorry, I’ve brought it back to talking about Edge Hill again!

Ewan’s insight into how students use social networks is really interesting. He says this of how universities attempting to get into Bebo/MySpace/Facebook:

it’s like a creepy treehouse […] one where adults try to get youngsters to come in […] learn with my on my Bebo page.

He questioned the need to a Phd when you can demonstrate your experience so easily, citing a video by Johnny Lee demonstrating a really cool way of creating 3D images on a TV using a Wii remote.

Bath Web Services have run a session on managing your professional identity in the past – Ewan referred to persistence on the web – showing someone’s public Facebook profile which is critical of their employer and reminding us that students are probably saying the same sort of thing about universities, lecturers, tutors, even web services! I think we have a role to play in raising the profile of these issues with staff and students and I’d hope we can look into offering something similar to Bath in the not-to-distant future.

Mobile phones are popular. Really popular. Are we doing enough to cater for users accessing our sites in this way? Probably not yet, but we’ll have to offer something to mobile users (and I’ve got some thoughts about what we should be doing… we just need to find some time to do it!). Another cool video clip, this time showing a flashmob in Grand Central Station.

There’s a few other nuggets of information along the way, but I’ll let you find them yourself. Ewan’s talk was definitely one of the highlights of the conference for me and well worth watching.

IMG_3250Look Who’s Talking Now…

It would be amiss of me not to mention Alison Wildish’s plenary session. Once again, the video is online so you can see the presentation in full if you wish. At last year’s IWMW, Alison’s talk developed quite a lot of buzz around the work we’d done at Edge Hill (sorry, all about us again!) so the pressure was on to deliver again.

Instead of following up with more about her views on web services (personalisation, web 2.0, user generated content, blah, blah!), Alison spoke about the move to Bath and the differences to Edge Hill. There seemed to be some feedback last year that Edge Hill had it “easy” and that big/old/research universities have a whole different set of challenges that we simply didn’t have to face. Would she be eating her words now?

It was very interesting to see the comparisons and in many ways we do have it easy! The links between IT Services and Marketing, the focus on the student, and the freedom that we have to develop across web services is great! In other institutions where web services are far more decentralised it can be difficult to ensure high quality and consistency across the site.

The overall impression I got was more positive than you might otherwise assume. Once the commitment is there to manage web services more effectively it becomes possible to start developing all the cool stuff that the web has been promising for the last couple of years. We, I believe, are in that position so the task it to keep delivering!

Blogging web teams

We’ve been blogging in the web team for over a year now and it’s become another part of the work I do but some conversations I had at IWMW 2008 got me thinking about the wider Higher Education Community.

Blogging web teams are rare. I suspect you could count them on one hand:

There’s a larger number of individuals who work in web teams who maintain a blog – Gareth Saunders (St Andrews), Matthew Bull (Kent), Michael Webb (Newport) for example – but the purpose of those is somewhat different so I’ll leave them to one side for now.

So back to web team blogging! When I asked people why they don’t have a blog there were a couple of reasons that came up regularly. One was that they’re not used to writing like a blogger and would find it hard to come up with the right type of posts. I can understand that, but there’s no one single type of blog post – variety is the spice of life – and there’s value in short posts, maybe just some links to cool websites or embedding a video.

The other main reason given by people for not blogging is that they don’t have time and I’m less convinced by this argument. Blogging has lots of uses both for the individual and team, and for the wider community both inside and outside a University.

Communicating what you’re doing. One of the best uses of a blog is to talk about what you’re doing within the Web Services team. Informing colleagues of current projects, changes to sites, even reporting on problems that have happened to the website keeps them in the loop and it’s less likely to be a surprise at the end of the day. A blog can complement and support other methods of communication. Many IT Services (or Marketing, or Communications, or wherever-you-are) departments have a regular (if not necessarily frequent) newsletter and often blog posts can be adapted for use there.

Personal Development. Universities are big on staff development and a blog is a great way of sharing knowledge with colleagues and turning some of your ideas into a more concrete form. Social bookmarking services such as del.icio.us can help here by making it really quick and easy to post links to useful resources to a blog.

Community Engagement. Most – if not all – web teams rely on the wider non-highered community to support the work they do. Whether it be a simple Google search to find out what’s screwing your CSS design or plugins for your web framework, the web is full of people willing to help! While consuming this is great, you can get more out of it by actively engaging in the community. At Edge Hill, we use the symfony web framework and it has a great community of bloggers and developers built around it. Part of the community is a blog aggregator so whenever we post an entry tagged symfony it gets sent to the symfony website as well. By contributing back to the community we get much more out of it.

Practice what you preach. For years, many web teams have been promoting the use of blogs within our institutions but how can we do this with any authority unless we engage ourselves? Blogs are now an important tool for researchers, marketing, applicant communications and within a teaching environment and web teams need to be able to advise on the systems and services available and prepare themselves for the demands that are coming from colleagues. If we don’t, then they will go elsewhere for advice and service provision with the potential risks that involves.

Networking with peers. We have the IWMW, some regions have additional regular meet ups of web folks, but often this can be a lonely game. JISCMAIL’s Web-Support and Website-Info-Mgt are useful, but they only go so far. Blogs can open up the highered web community by allowing us to share our experiences on a more regular basis. One of the joys of working in this industry is how willing to share people are and there’s no reason that should be restricted to just a couple of times per year. Together with the suggestion from Alison Wildish for an area to share project ideas and increase visibility between institutions, blogs can really help develop the community beyond the key events.

I’m in danger of this starting to sound like a broken record, so I’ll leave it there. If I’ve missed anyone out from the lists of blogging departments or web developers then please post a comment and I’ll be sure to check you out. If you think I’m talking rubbish, then I’d be really interested to hear about the challenges you think you’d face blogging your web team.

Updates – I’ll add extra blogs below:

IWMW 2008 – a 3ish day blur

For the last few days, I’ve had the pleasure to attend the Institutional Web Management Workshop in Aberdeen with Mike, Sam and Steve. Aside from registration, the event seemed to just fly by, so until I can focus on specific events, here’s a few, hazy, memories.

The 5 Best Things

  1. Ewan McIntosh‘s Unleashing the Tribe keynote speech about social media.
  2. Mike Ellis‘s grounding in thinking about, approaching and doing mashups mostly using Yahoo Pipes.
  3. Meeting such a nice, friendly bunch of people who care about what they do.
  4. The “High Street” on which sits the Machar Bar and the Auld Toon Cafe which sells the most wondeful minced beef pies and chelsea buns you ever tasted.
  5. Experiencing barcamp (if only on a small scale) for the first time, and enjoying every minute of it.

The 5 Worst Things (nothing was really bad)

  1. Stalag luft Hillhead
  2. The drive.
  3. It took me three months to lose about 4 kilos, it took me 3 days, to find them again.
  4. Listening to Alison’s talk and regretting not having worked for her for very long.
  5. As good as the song was, its an absolute travesty that the live train times application from Dawn Petherick, Web Services Manager, University of Birmingham didn’t win first prize in the innovation competition (and I told her so too).

5 (nice) surprisesSunny

  1. Sunshine (even though we were inside most of the time).
  2. Learning doric, the official (unstoppable) language of Aberdeen, even though I never met anyone who spoke it.
  3. I can still run 5 miles+, even with a bit of a hangover….just.
  4. Edge Hill’s events timeline might be considered a “mashup” by some.
  5. Discovering I know a little more than I sometimes give myself credit for.

I know that Mike was threatening to expose the lack of institutional blogging, so I hereby pledge to blog … a bit more than I used to, well every little helps…

10ish five-minute ways to improve your website

IWMWThere’s some speakers to do the conference circuit who recycle the same old material each time they present and if I’m not careful I could turn into one of them! At this year’s IWMW, they held a “BarCamp” session. If you’re already familiar with BarCamps then don’t get too excited as it wasn’t a proper one, but it stole elements of the unconference concept to provide a forum for anyone attending the workshop to get up and talk about something that interests them. The organisers converted one of the 45 minute discussion group sessions into two 20 minute slots and provided nine rooms of various sizes to use.

Since I suggested it, I figured I should support it and put myself down for a session. I was busy preparing for my main parallel session so I didn’t have time to think of anything new, so I recycled my BarCamp North East session and delivered that. In Newcastle I only had a few people turn up so I was very pleased to see the room packed with about 30 people this time (although that included three from Edge Hill, apparently there to give me “moral support”).

I came up with the idea for the presentation after realising there were some really easy things that I’ve added to the site that not many other Universities seem to do. [I should add that I’m not saying we were first or unique with any of the suggestions, just that they’re not all “obvious”]. They include things like adding a link tag to your homepage so that the RSS feeds you provide can be easily discovered and wrapping your page footer in an hCard microformat.

It’s pleasing to note that the feed autodiscovery suggestion has got quite a lot of attention. A couple of weeks ago Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus, UKOLN) highlighted the that few Scottish universities were doing this and having already delivered my session at BarCamp North East I wasn’t too surprised, but one of the innovation competition entries showed autodiscovery is quite rare across UK HEIs. Tony Hirst explains the system on OUseful.info then check out the full name-and-shame list.

Edge Hill comes out fine for the feeds we offer on the homepage with news, events and job vacancies listed. There’s a few HEIs who offer other feeds – open days could be useful (and we have a feed available for it through a tag on the events system) – but the one that caught my eye was the University of Warwick’s recent changes feed which allows you to subscribe to find out when the homepage changes. Better still, they have this for every page in their CMS. Where this falls down is when feed readers like Google Reader just take the first feed in the page from those available through autodiscovery thus subscribing you to the recent changes feed instead of the more useful news feed.

You can see the ideas towards the end of my parallel workshop session slides (where I also went through the list) – skip to slide 41 unless you want to read about some of the “stuff what we’re doing at Edge Hill University“!

The other BarCamp session I went to was about Microsoft’s hosted student email solution, live@edu. A few institutions in the UK are in the final stages of deployment – Aberdeen already have some accounts live. Some aspects of Microsoft’s solution seem a bit less slick than Google’s while I was impressed with it’s potential for integrating with other Microsoft systems.

I really enjoyed the experience of presenting and attending the BarCamp sessions and I’d love to see them extended. My personal view would be to scrap the discussion groups, merge them into a solid block – say 2 hours in the afternoon of day two – and make the types of session clearer, whether they’re technical vs marketing or presentation vs discussion.

Other people talking about the BarCamp sessions:

  • Jeremy Speller: “I like the BarCamp idea – quite a lot of pressure to pack interesting stuff in in 15-20 minutes – but I think the format worked well.”

Stuff what we’re doing at Edge Hill University

IWMWA few months ago, the call for submissions for IWMW went out and at the last minute I sent off my idea for a parallel workshop session, “Stuff what we’re doing at Edge Hill University”. I must admit I didn’t really have much idea at the time what I thought I’d talk about other than looking at a few of the sites we’ve developed over the last year and shamelessly use it as a way of finding out what other people are doing in those areas.

I covered applicant communications with Hi, the GO portal and ranted a little about the adoption or otherwise of Content Management Systems. I had about 20 participants in the session and I’m pretty happy with how it went. It was particularly interesting to hear about some of the different ways that Universities are doing applicant communications – information was coming from a range of sources and it’s being integrated into sites in a variety of ways.

My slides are online on SlideShare and embedded below. The last part of the presentation “10ish five-minute ways to improve your website” was repeated for my BarCamp session but I’ll cover that in another post.

Update: a few people have mentioned my session:

  • Matthew Bull: “They seem to be doing a lot of good healthy web 2.0 stuff there, and seem to have been given a lot of freedom in what they do.”
  • Jeremy Speller: “An interactive session – it’s buzzword bingo!!” – my slides are effectively just headings so Jeremy’s notes may fill in some of the gaps for you!