The Web: a Powerful Recruitment and Communication Tool

This was the title of a one-day CASE seminar earlier this week, which brought together HE marketing and web people. I think this has been a community waiting to exist, judging by the level of interest. Alison Wildish was introduced as being the ‘presiding mind’ for the day, and the sessions she had pulled together, and her introductory overview, were excellent. It could have been called ‘beyond the website’ as so much of the interesting stuff has little to do with static web pages – social networks, social bookmarking, tagged content, channels of user-generated stuff. I came away with a lot to digest having had rewarding chats with contacts old and new – so a very worthwhile day.

I was billed as talking about ‘the modern approach’, and various other sessions were about ‘traditional’ versus ‘modern’, so I riffed on the idea of postmodern being a better way of thinking about these things, as
– The web can be seen as a postmodern phenomenon (eclectic, virtual, centre-less, ephemeral, interconnected, non-hierarchical etc.)
– therefore if (to some extent) we live in a postmodern world then the web is highly fit for purpose in engaging with it.

Other stuff I touched on included
– The iGeneration (digital natives) have new expectations that we should meet, such as easy access to information, interactivity, access to information through their channel and device of choice, but
– at the same time we have traditional audiences to satisfy.
– Building relationships with potential students through genuine interactivity is a good thing to focus on.

To illustrate this last point I talked about our Hi site which excited a lot of interest. Dolt that I am, I forgot to mention that it has won an award (of which more later…)

Alison has created a Ning community for the event, where the discussions continue: http://caseweb08.ning.com/