Institutional Web Management Workshop 2005: Panel Session 1: The Web Management Community: Present and Future

Institutional Web Management Workshop 2005: Panel Session 1: The Web Management Community: Present and Future

This starts with Andrew Cox outlining some issues and questions.

Why does email continue to dominate online communication?
Who are the Web Support community?
Interesting point about two ways of looking at web – ‘Information’ and ‘Content’. Information point of view is often about text, publication structures/systems and empahsis on technological innovation. Content is more about communciation and visual aspects.

Brian Kelly now talking about the community:
In the past web support community looking for an ‘answer’, trying to share information and learning from gurus.
But moved from xml, cms, open standards toward strategies etc.

Now the community more realistic that there isn’t an ‘answer’. No longer looking for a destination, but a ‘journey’ – this is where a community is a support mechanism.

Need to build on events and mailing lists.
We can invest in innovative technoliges, invest in regional activities, the ‘professional web manager’

I think we need to start thinking about the skills that have been seen as ‘web manager’ or ‘web support’ skills. Some of these need to be embedded in others – we cannot just take existing people and form the idea of a profession around it.

Duncan Ireland now speaking about the Scottish Regional Web Group. Currently got about 20 institutions in Scotland to participate. They meet approx 3 times a year with quite a relaxed agenda.

Now thrown out for discussion. Obviously the Scottish group has proved useful to at least some Scottish group.

Just to repeat what I’ve said in the discussion – we need to know what communities we are talking about. I think we need to build communities around groups of people with a common cause or purpose – not around a technology.

I can see the need for a web tech conference – but this could well be independent of the HE sector. The communications side seems to be more HE specific to me.

Interestingly HERA came up at the end of the discussion – obviously a lot of concern about the impact this will have. However, I’m not convinced this is going to have the immediate impact that people are worrying about. We are just starting this process at RHUL, so I guess we will know in about a year!

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