B7: Maximising Institutional Webmaster Impact

This may be a bit late in the day considering how long Marieke has been asking us all to say something about our upcoming IWMW2011 sessions, but I’m afraid the allocated time for a particular “job” always gets lumped toward any actual event associated with it and it’s only this week I’ve got back on wavelength with the abstract I supplied months ago for this particular parallel session.

So here’s what I’m trying to do (Wednesday 11:00-12:30) in B7: Maximising Institutional Webmaster Impact. Not that much by me actually, but together a lot! I’m hoping to facilitate a collaborative authoring, by all of those attending, of a document by the end of the workshop. That document will be the result of an hour or so’s intense deliberation on how institutional webmasters can be more effective at their work. It will form a series of recommendations, grouped under relevant sub headings, which we’ll also confirm during the session.

I’ll be trying to use Google Docs with nominated group collaborators so that we have the result immediately.

I’m keen to use my own (possibly old fashioned and outdated) definition of a “webmaster’”, although this also will fall under scrutiny and possible amendment by the audience! However in the early 90s when the web was in its infancy, webmasters were the exceptional people who took on both a technical and business head, along with the challenge of wide scale education and coordination, who were the harbingers of radical change and the stalwarts who stood by visions that others took a long (often very long) time to understand! I would ask Why should that definition be different today?

We’ll start by discussing and reaching common ground on the roles and responsibilities of a “webmaster” and possibly obligations of a “good” webmaster that may never make it into a job description. We’ll then look at areas where a webmaster needs to be or could be effective, and for each area, under primary direction by a separate audience group, we’ll compile proposed recommendations for optimising effectiveness, maximising the positive impact on the institution.

I will of course be interjecting with some of the thinking I’ve been doing. I’ll be referring to recent Netskills workshops where we have taken participants on an excursion through many aspects of maximising online resource effectiveness (MORE).

I’ll also be tossing in ideas from Stephen Covey, Edward de Bono, 37 Signals, and Malcolm Gladwell along the way, just to keep the stewing pot well mixed with high level clear thinking approaches.

So if you’re coming, then start getting your thoughts together on what you think a *real* webmaster should and could be and we’ll commence a (hopefully) very productive sparking session on Wednesday 27 July! And you’ll all get a credit as a co-author of the document we’ll publish at the end :-) .

The slides I’ll be using to coax the discussion are now on Slideshare with the other IWMW2011 slides.


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