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by m.guy

Sponsoring, Supporting and Sharing

1:30 pm in general, sponsors by m.guy

IWMW have been lucky enough to be able to offer a number of sponsored places for those who haven’t been able to secure institutional support for this year’s event. As we are all aware these are difficult economic times and the Higher Education sector is having to make significant cuts. The staff development fund is unfortunately one of the easier targets.

Ranjit Sidhu, founder of Statistics into Decisions (or SiD) who have sponsored the places explains the reasons behind this different approach to financial support:

I first attended IWMW back in 2005 and then 2006, what I learn’t in those two events, from the talks and people, gave me an insight that was unique and could not be replicated by courses or books. I am hugely indebted to the IWMW for my own personal professional development and that is why I feel privileged that Statistics into Decisions is able to sponsor people to attend IWMW 2010“.

Those who have been awarded the sponsered places will be ‘helping out’ with some of back room work that goes on at IWMW such as blogging, videoing and interviewing delegates and writing up reviews of sessions. You will posibly see them out-and-about doing their stuff so we’d like to give them an opportunity to introduce themselves, say why they applied and what they hope to get out of the event.

Amy Chamier, Web Editor, Marketing & Development Unit, University of London

A small, specialist HE institution like mine can’t afford a large web team – there are only two of us. And so we rely heavily on the annual IWNW to keep in touch with the latest thinking and technology, and to learn from the experiences of more sophisticated members of the HE community. My particular contributions will be asking stupid questions (not too many I hope, but enough to give other delegates confidence to ask questions) and introducing people to other people (I like to talk to everyone and then make introductions where delegates have interests in common). I hope to run a Barcamp this year called “Distributed publishing? You can’t be serious”.

Keith Doyle, Extreme Usability

I’m looking forward to returning to the Institutional Web Management Workshop. Last time I attended was in York 2007, when I was Web Content Architect at the University of Salford. This time, I am about to set up a business called ‘Extreme Usability’. I am turning up to facilitate a workshop on Developing Your Personal Contingency Plan for people who are thinking of changing jobs or setting up their own business, having done both since working at Salford. Thanks to the sponsored place, I can attend the whole workshop, be an extra pair of hands for the organisers, and talk user experience with unsuspecting delegates!

Lynda Bewley, Web Content Editor, Birkbeck, University of London

My attendance will:

  • Ensure that the current projects that I am working on benefit from an understanding of the latest challenges and trends in university web development
  • Allow me to learn from the experiences of web teams who have worked on similar projects, and bring knowledge and cost-saving ideas back to Birkbeck
  • Allow Birkbeck to manage as many elements as possible of these projects in-house, therefore saving on external consultancy costs
  • Ensure that the communications team are up-to-date with technical trends and challenges in the sector
  • Help my team to be able highlight/justify the importance of continuing to invest in our web presence during challenging times (the theme of the conference)

I hope to contribute:

  • The perspective of a content editor
  • Experience of leading re-launch projects at HE institutions
  • Experience of developing a social media strategy and managing social media presences on an ongoing basis
  • An awareness of the challenges of devolved editorial management

Owen Stephens, consultant and OU

I am very pleased and excited to running a workshop at IWMW2010 (FlashMash – Parallel Session A7). My current position as both a consultant, and a part-time employee of the largest University in the UK (the Open University) gives me an unusual perspective on the challenges facing those working in the HE sector, and I believe I have valuable insights I can share with other delegates through contribution to formal sessions and more informal networking throughout the conference.

I’m also keen to actively participate in the ‘amplified event’. My blogging for IWMW2010 would form both part of the amplified event and the record of the event which will continue to be a useful resource in the future.

In a previous role (2005-2007) I was responsible for web based services for a small university (Royal Holloway, University of London), including the institutional web site, the student portal, the VLE and a range of library systems. I am eager to hear from current practitioners what has changed since then, and also to see how the continued growth of the web has affected the way specialised services (such as the library and VLE) fit into the overall institutional web presence.

My experience at IWMW2010 is something I will share with colleagues at the Open University, both via my blog, and through local dissemination events.

Billy Fallows, Web Editor, College of Arts and Law, Birmingham

I attended last year’s IWMW in Colchester but was not able to attend this year’s event. I’d love to put my experience to use producing a series of video interviews with participants for your blog at this year’s event!

by guest

IWMW search engine offer from Siteimprove

9:00 am in sponsors by guest

To coincide with IWMW 2010 and the recent interest from universities in SearchImprove (Siteimprove’s bespoke search engine) we are delighted to announce the SearchImprove University Introductory Offer. This offer is all about giving universities the chance to see how much control editors have over SearchImprove and the chance to take advantage of our limited period special pricing discounts made available only to universities!!

Siteimprove will be hosting barcamps to introduce some of the features of SearchImprove, and also our quality assurance tool SiteCheck, which has been our most popular tool with universities in recent months. Don’t forget to check the timetable to make sure you don’t miss out on these!!

Just like last year’s event in Essex, Siteimprove will have a stand to welcome all visitors that are interested in learning a little more about us and how we can make website management easier. There will also of course be a big box of chocolates so any hungry delegates should make their way over to us promptly!

IWMW 2010 promises to be a really exciting event and another great chance to learn more about the educational markets and its individual needs.

We look forward to meeting with you all next week!

Gary Rowntree (

Cerri Mac (

by guest

Site Confidence Load Testing Prize

3:13 pm in sponsors by guest

Site Confidence is pleased to offer a day of load testing as a great prize for the IWMW prize draw. The winner will benefit from Site Confidence’s external load testing services for websites and web applications. No costly software or hardware implementation is required, nor major training courses. Our commitment to the winner will include:

  • Pre-project preparation – our consultant will check requirements and success factors to ensure a positive outcome is achieved.
  • Scripts – working with you, we will prepare and test the scripts in the journey through the site to be used for the load test.
  • Test Day – the testing portal will be opened to test and re-test as many times as required in the day, allowing tests and fixes to be made “live”.
  • Training and support – we will train staff to enable as much self-help as possible and during the test day, we remain on hand at the end of a phone, if needed.
  • Test Results – the results are clear and detailed in the testing portal and will remain available for reference for the following 12 months.

The benefit for the winner of this prize will be a thoroughly checked site for capacity limits and weaknesses, so that problems can be quickly identified and corrections made. The confidence gained from having this knowledge prior to a launch is invaluable, as is the assurance of a successful launch.

We wish the best of luck to all delegates and look forward to working with the winner!

by m.guy

The Role of Commercial Products

10:00 am in barcamps, exhibition, sponsors, workshops by m.guy

The dilema over creating inhouse versus buying-in a solution is not a new one for Web managers or IWMW. Over the last 14 years during which IWMW has been running there have been quite a few sessions asking us to think about the pros and cons or both. For example in 2007 we facilitated a panel session entitled Dealing with the Commercial World: Saviour or Satan? and back in 2003 we had a session on Content Management – Buy or Build?.

In the past different institutions have leaned in different directions driven by different agendas. However today we are all united by a common agenda – cost cutting. We are now working in an environmemt where institutions may place much more emphasis on buying cost-effective software rather than use inhouse developement.

At this year’s IWMW you will have opportunity to hear about various products available. As well being sponsored by commercial organisations (Jadu and TerminalFour) we will also have an exhibition where a number of commercial organisations will be able to tell you about their products.

IWMW is also an opportunity to hear about other institution’s experiences with software products. For example James Lappin and Peter Gilbert, University of the West of England will be talking about The impact of MS SharePoint in Higher Education and Richard Brierton, University of Sheffield will be talking about their upgrade of Polopoly: a commercial CMS.

As delegates you should also take advantage of the opportunity to network with others and ask about their experiences. You’ll be able to do this in person at the event and also online through this blog. You can also share your own experiences either online or by giving a BarCamp.

by b.kelly

Sponsored Place for those with No Funding

11:53 am in Admin, sponsors by b.kelly

We are pleased to announce that, thanks to the sponsorship provided by Statistics into Decisions (or SiD), we are able to offer a limited number of free places to participants who would like to attend the IWMW 2010 but are unable to do so due to lack of institutional support.

Statistics into Decisions help clients understand their online space with intelligent analysis. The company was founded by Ranjit Sidhu who will be giving a plenary talk at IWMW on So what do you do exactly?’ In challenging times justifying the roles of the web teams.

The sponsorship will cover the costs of the 3 day event and two night’s accommodation.

If you would like to apply for a sponsored place you should send an email to Marieke Guy, the programme chair of IWMW 2010 by 17:00 on Friday 25th June with details of:

  • The benefits you feel that attendance at IWMW 2010 will provide for you and your institution.
  • How you feel you can participate at IWMW 2010 in order to enhance the event.

You should also provide details of the reasons you are seeking funding to attend.

Note that in case of the number of applications exceeding the numbers of sponsored places the IWMW 2010 organising committee will allocate the places based on the information provided in the submissions.

by guest

Website Search for Higher Education

3:00 pm in sponsors by guest

The economic challenges faced by web managers in the HE sector are a key theme of this year’s IWMW. Providing effective website search can be a surprisingly efficient way to ensure that the results from your web investments are maximised and can even save you money.

Offering fast and usable access to your online information ensures that users can find what they’re looking for on your websites. This makes your sites more usable, maximises the productivity of staff and enhances the ROI on your business information. It can also reduce the support costs associated with enquires and customer service, and improve the promotion of courses and research.

Benefits of effective website search for Higher Education

There are a number of ways in which investment in effective search can deliver handsome returns:

  1. If prospective students can’t find the information or course that they’re interested in, they are likely to leave the website and look at the next institution on their hitlist. The easier it is for them to find course information, the more likely they are to enrol at the university.
  2. Easy access to information on the web, for both students and staff, can significantly reduce support costs related to handling email, telephone or in-person enquiries.
  3. Staff productivity can improve with time-efficient location of policies, procedures and other online resources.
  4. Potential donors, investors, and business partners may be deterred if they are unable to find the information about staff, projects, activities and research in which they are interested.
  5. The university’s media profile can be increased if journalists are able to locate appropriate people to interview and quote.
  6. Monitoring searches on your website through the use of reports can help to highlight areas of the site which need to be tweaked to meet user demand, and can also highlight documents which need to have their content or metadata adjusted to improve their search visibility –also benefiting SEO for external search engines.

Things to consider for your Website Search

There are a huge number of factors to take into account when appraising and improving your website search, or when selecting a new search product. These factors will depend on your website objectives and the needs of your users, but s a starting point, think about the following things:

  1. Given the importance of these potential returns from a high quality search facility, it is worth clearly assigning the responsibility of monitoring and maintaining the search function within the web management team, ideally to a dedicated “SearchMaster”.

  2. Consider the additional features that you need from a search solution, beyond effective search results. Features such as analytics, reporting, alerts, faceted navigation, spelling suggestions, multi-lingual capabilities, query autocompletion and contextual navigation can all play a vital role in improving the user experience and search effectiveness.
  3. What is the most appropriate deployment option for the search facility? Whether you go for a hosted, cloud based or installed solution will depend on the level of your in-house technical resources, how much support you will need and the degree of flexibility, security and control you’d like to have over your search.

We’ll be on hand at the IWMW to discuss these and other issues, and will also be offering demos of Funnelback Search, our Website and Enterprise Search solution, as well as our Content Management System, MySource Matrix. Be sure to pop by and see us.

By Hannah Cooper from Squiz and David Hawking from Funnelback. Squiz will have a stand at the IWMW 2010 exhibition.