Win a Kindle at IWMW 2011!

All attendees of this year’s IWMW have the chance to enter a competition to win a Kindle. Siteimprove are offering the prize as part of an effort to help raise the awareness in the potential to save money through having the best results possible on your website’s internal search engine.

SearchImprove, Siteimprove’s hosted internal search engine, gives you complete control over your search’s look and feel, ranking weightings, promoted results, language policies and much more, as well as providing detailed search statistics, such as conversion rates. Recently these features were put into practice at Leeds City Council, in which a rolling four month case study was able to demonstrate potential savings of over £3,500 per year on the top five search terms alone. This was achieved through making simple configurations that can be made in a matter of minutes by any SearchImprove customer.

To enter the competition to win the Kindle, Siteimprove have prepared an entry form which includes four multiple choice questions about the use of each entrants internal search engine. The forms will be available from their exhibition stand. A summary of the results, as well as the draw and Kindle presentation will take place on stage during Conclusions Session on Wednesday 27th July.

In recent years Siteimprove have established a real presence within higher education, with 33 of their 130 HE customers worldwide being based in the UK. Almost all of Siteimprove’s HE customers are users of their content quality assurance tool called SiteCheck, but in the past 12 months the first two UK based universities have started using SearchImprove to help ensure visitors are presented with the most relevant search results available.

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A7: Listen, Repeat, Learn

My name is Nicola Osborne and I am the Social Media Officer for EDINA where I advise colleagues working on our various projects and services in how to make the best use of social media – both to connect with our users and stakeholders and in our own interfaces and developments.

Next Tuesday (26th July from 3.30 to 5pm) myself and my colleague Paul Milne will be running the parallel session:

A7: Listen, Repeat, Learn: How to use Social Media Conversations and Activities to Measure and Demonstrate Impact and Improve Engagement

We will be exploring various ways and tools to measure and engage in social media in this session with some hands on activities to help us all think about what will work in our own contexts. I was able to virtually attend the very useful Metrics and Social Web Services workshop last week and that gave me some really interesting areas to think about including in my own session. However I thought it would be really helpful – even at this late stage – to see if you have any views on the topic that you would like to see reflected in this session.

I would also love to know what questions, problems or ideas you might be keen to raise around social media measurement – whether or not you are planning to attend the session. What would you like to see covered in this session? Do you have particularly positive or negative experiences in monitoring and measuring social media that you would like to share and reflect upon?

I would love to hear your thoughts and, where possible, feed them into next week’s session. Please comment below, share on Twitter (to the #iwmw11 hashtag or via @suchprettyeyes) or, if you’d prefer to respond more privately then email me:

I very much look forward to meeting many of you next week!

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Introducing the Sponsored Delegates

Once again 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. This year Statistics into Decisions (or SiD) has sponsored 2 places and Navopia has sponsored one.

Last year our sponsored delegates did a fantastic job of helping out with much of the back room work that goes on. Between them they blogged, videoed, interviewed delegates and wrote reviews of sessions.

This year’s sponsored delegates have a lot to live up to. ;-)

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.

Mike McConnell, University of Aberdeen

I have attended IWMW for around ten years and been part of its associated community for 10 years and the benefits accruing to my institution have been enormous. These include, but are not limited to, advice on selecting and implementing an enterprise level content management system, building a useable information architecture, working with external consultants, legal and policy advice, practical strategies for Web 2.0 use, using data creatively via mash-ups and apps, the use of third party applications like Google Maps, resourcing and staff issues, etc etc.

In terms of my participation I can bring my considerable experience to discussions and am happy to facilitate any parallel sessions if necessary. I would be an enthusiastic participant in any social activity.

We have already signed Mike up as the chair of, what he calls, ‘the hangover shift’ – the Wednesday morning Session on Improving Visability.

Guy Berresford, Web Analyst, University of Nottingham

I would like to attend this year’s IWMW, but my institution is only funding two places. I attended Birmingham, Bath and Sheffield and had a great time at each. I was actually hoping to present one of the parallel sessions at some point.

I have 11 years experience of the web including SEO, Analytics, Adwords, Information Architecture, Usability and user centred design. Being able to attend would be a great opportunity to both share my knowledge and learn from the other attendees.

Guy has offered to use his skills as a photographer and take some photos of plenary speakers, social events and other scenes of interest.

Rich Pitkin, software Engineer, TConsult

I’ve been a software engineer since 1995 working in the defence industry, but have recently joined the family firm and I’m now the company’s Head of Technical Services. My role covers a lot of different areas, but my main focus is developing iPhone apps. I also provide support for the other members of TConsult which sometimes involves supporting my wife at conferences by providing live streaming or video recordings of talks and post production.

Rich is the husband of Kirsty Pitkin, our excellent event amplifier. Rich will be helping us with all things video, including streaming and filming vox pop videos.

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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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Helping You Meet New People

How do you get to meet people at an event such as IWMW? We’ve always tried to provide social events which can help participants to meet new people and develop their professional networks. However since this year’s event has been reduced to two days, there will be limited scope to facilitate such networking opportunities.

IWMW events have sought to provide an opportunity to evaluate new technologies which may help enrich events. This year we will be evaluating the potential of the Shhmooze app.

As described in a post on the UK Web Focus blog this app was tested last week at a UKOLN workshop on on “Metrics and Social Web Services: Quantitative Evidence for their Use & Impact”.

Shhmooze is an app available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch mobile devices developed by a company based in Belfast. The Shhmooze Web site describes how:

Research by Shhmooze shows that 75% of conference delegates find networking to be hard work or ‘a nightmare’!

That’s because it’s really hard to find the right person to talk to within a crowd of dozens, hundreds or thousands of people. And, for many people, it’s even harder to strike a conversation out of nowhere with a complete stranger.

In our initial experiment we discovered one potentially valuable use for the application.  After receiving a post which stated:

Help! Four of us stuck downstairs – Jenni Lee building.

I realised that the app could be used as a communications channel between participants and event organisers for event-specific communications such as this. In this example the four people who couldn’t gain entrance to the building would not want to have published such information on a more open channel such as Twitter – and the event organisers would not want to divulge their mobile phone number to all participants.

Following the post about the evaluation about this app concern was raised that an Apple-specific app was not desirable for a tool which was meant to encourage networking at events. Mehdi, the co-founder of company which developed the Shhmooze app responded with the comment:

I see you and Christopher both want to see Shhmooze on more platforms. We completely agree with you – it’s always been our plan to support every platform. We’re releasing our Android app soon (it’s in the works already) and more platforms will follow.

I’ll leave the final comment to Dan Wiggle who responded to this discussion with support for use of this app:

I’d be keen to see Shhmooze at IWMW and think it would be a useful addition.
This will be my fourth IWMW and while I’ve managed to break into a few of the social circles now, it was tough going the first couple of times around. I rather like the idea of an app that could make that process easier and help me ‘find useful, interesting people’, however cheesy it might sound :)

If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad feel free to install this app on your device.  The IWMW organisers will try and check posts on a regular basis so if you do find yourself locked out we should be able to respond promptly!

Also note that following the initial evaluation of the app we suggest that you upload a photograph of yourself if you would like to make it easier for others to meet you and that you provide a summary about yourself and your interests to help make it easier for people to spot others with similar interests.


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Increasing Demands on Course Data


JISC has announced a HEFCE funded programme designed to help prepare the sector for increasing demands on course data. Information about the call is available at:

All eligible institutions are invited to take part in Stage 1, by submitting a letter of commitment (deadline 12:00 noon UK time on Wednesday 7 September 2011) signed by key senior staff, in order to receive £10k of JISC funding. For the full call document, including details of an online briefing about the call to be held between 15.00 and 16.30 on Tuesday 19 July – go to


Letters of Commitment may be submitted by Higher Education (HE) Institutions funded by HEFCE. FE institutions in England that teach HE to more than 400 FTEs are also eligible to bid providing involvement in this programme supports the HE in FE agenda. HE and FE institutions in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are not eligible to bid.

Stage 1 funding of £10,000 is available for all eligible institutions which submit a Letter of Commitment which provides evidence of support from Senior Managers responsible for Teaching and Learning, Marketing, Management Information Systems/IT and the institutional course web sites.

Relevance for IWMW

Increasingly those involved in the provision of institutional Web services are finding that their responsibilities are going beyond the provision of quality information related to institutional activities to providing access to data related to the institutional activities.  The importance of data for those involved in the provision of Web services is being recognised at the IWMW 2011 event with a DevCSI workshop on “Open Data and the Institutional Web” beginning on Monday 25 July, the day before the start of the IWMW event.  This event, which is free to attend, is aimed at both developers and those with an interest or responsibility for institutional data who may be looking for ways in which such data can be reused.  If you would like to attend please complete the online booking form.

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Welcome to Reading

Alex Brannen, Director of Communications at the University of Reading, has written us a guest blog post introducing Reading, the University and the Digital Development team.


We’re looking forward to welcoming you all to Reading later this month. For those of you who don’t know us or the town – yes we are still officially a town but we hope to have city status by next spring – I hope the following whets your appetite!

The Maiwand Lion, Forbury Gardens, Reading by Jim Linwood

Built on biscuits, beer and bricks in the nineteenth century, Reading is better known these days as a university town and the main population hub for the one of the wealthiest areas in the European Union; one that is home to a thriving business community, with particularly strong emphasis on ICT. Whether we are Europe’s ‘Silicon Valley’ or not, employment in ICT is certainly a main stay of the region and is some 300% above the national average. Not surprising perhaps when businesses based locally include 13 of the world’s top 30 global brands, such as Vodafone, Microsoft and Cisco. As a consequence, Reading has the third highest percentage of employees in knowledge-intensive businesses after Oxford and Cambridge. I am also assured by those in the know that Reading is a great shopping destination and still sells beer!

The University and town mirror each other’s fortunes to some extent. Reading has weathered the worst of the economic downturn – it was awarded the accolade of ‘best European city for infrastructure’ in the Financial Times’ Foreign Direct Investment awards for 2010. The employability of our 2010 graduates is the best it has been for a decade. Reading is a multicultural town with the third most ethnically diverse local authority area in the south east. At the University, our first international student came to study here in 1904 from Kenya and these days we have well over 100 nationalities represented on campus.

The University’s main Whiteknights campus is situated in 130 hectares of lovely parkland a mile from the town centre (buses every ten minutes for those of you coming by public transport). The campus, which will host IWMW 2011, is a real selling point of the university, especially to under graduates. As I write we have just had our busiest summer Open Day for a decade with over 4000 prospective students enjoying the good weather with hardly a mention of tuition fees.

Foxhill house, Whiteknights Campus by pandrcutts

Where does the University fit into the increasingly complicated structure of higher education? We’re a member of the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities, combining world-class research with excellent teaching. We have a top 200 world ranking, strong applications per place, a sense of history but looking forward to an international future. Maintaining the high satisfaction levels for the Reading student experience is at the heart of much of the current thinking at the University and we hope you’ll see and enjoy much of the recent £380 million investment in the campus while you are here.

Our digital communications sits within the University’s communications department and has responsibility for developing plans, policy and codes of practice for our digital presence, co-ordination and management of digital communications across all platforms and improving the University’s digital presence in terms of technical, editorial and visual quality. The team aim to provide the support and platform to allow staff across the University to generate and own the information and to be innovative with our digital presence. We are currently undertaking a review of our digital activity and structures within the university to respond to a growing demand for digital services in the university and to set a clear strategy for future delivery of digital comms.

We want to reach a point where the digital presence forms part of everyday operations of the University. Key to the success of this aim is a requirement not to stifle innovation and experimentation. We see digital communication co-ordination as a soft delivery with an informal style. One initiative we are considering is further developing a system of part chargeable, part free work. We cannot provide the University’s digital presence ourselves but we can provide direction, facilitation, training, project management and up-skilling for colleagues throughout the university.

The Digital Development Team at the Univeristy of Reading

Do take the chance to talk to my colleagues in the digital team about our digital plans while you are here and I trust you enjoy the accompanying Reading experience.

Alex Brannen
Director of Communications

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Sharing Resources From Parallel Sessions


Since the Institutional Web Management Workshop series was launched back in 1997 we have always ensured that the slides used by the plenary speakers were made publicly available – so you can still see the slides from IWMW 1997 and even see the profiles of the 90 participants  who attended that launch event which was included in the opening presentation on 16 July 1997.

The Popularity of Slides Used at IWMW Events

In the past we haven’t sought to make the slides available from the many parallel sessions which have been held over the 14 years the event has been held, primarily because of the time it would take in getting hold of any processing the slides.  However it is now possibly for the speakers themselves to upload their slides and make them available in a shared area.

We became aware of the potential interest in providing access to slides from the parallel sessions when we recently analysed the numbers of views of the slides hosted on Slideshare.  In addition to the popularity of the slides used by plenary speakers we also discovered that a number of slides used in parallel session were also very popular including Mind Mapping for Effective Content Management at IWMW 2008 by Gareth Saunders, St Andrews; Know Me Knowing YouTube at IWMW 2007 by Adrian Stevenson, then based at the University of Manchester; Create a better seach engine than Google at IWMW 2009 by Michael Nolan, Edge Hill University and WordPress: Beyond Blogging at IWMW 2010 by Joss Winn, University of Lincoln. These slides have been viewed by 18,617, 10,146, 3,054 and 1,691 times respectively. When you consider that the parallel sessions normally attract between 10 and 30 people, we can see that these resources do appear to be having a significant impact beyond their initial audience.

Lanyrd as a Hosting Service

According to TechCrunch the Lanyrd service was launched in August 2010. It was therefore not available for use at IWMW 2010 which was held in July 2010. However we quickly recognised the potential for this service for which it was suggested that it “could potentially be the Wikipedia of web conferences“. After IWMW 2010 was over we provided details of the plenary sessions on the IWMW 2010 Lanyrd page and also embedded the slides and accompanying videos on the service.

This year we would like to build on our initial approaches with the IWMW 2011 Lanyrd site. However rather than attempting to process all of the resources used at the event ourselves (which is not a scalable solution) we will invite the workshop facilitators to provide links to their slides rom the Lanyrd pages we have created (which can be embedded in the pages from slides hosted on Slideshare), possibly after the event has been held.

We feel that this will help to ensure that the ideas presented in the workshop sessions are made available to a much wider audience and can help to raise the visbility and profile of the facilitators.

Note that the event organisers (myself and Marieke) will also be facilitating two workshop sessions ourselves. In order to illustrate how the Lanyrd page can be used we have created entries for our sessions on The Web Management Community: Beyond IWMW and JISCMail Lists and The Economical Way to Amplify Your Event. We will add the links to the slides we will be using either after the event – or possibly before if we feel it may be useful for remote participants to access the slides whilst the workshop is being held.

What You Can Do

In order to facilitate sharing of your slides and make the slides easy to find we invite you to go to the Slideshare event group and join this group. When you upload your slides to Slideshare you should click on the More tab above the slide and select the IWMW 2011 group. Your slideshow should then be included with other presentations used at the IWMW 2011 event.

In addition if you visit the IWMW 2011 Lanyrd group you can add yourself at a speaker if you are not already listed – if you are a Twitter user you can use your Twitter ID but if not just give your name as a text string. You can then visit the page for your session and simply add then add any additional resources relevant to your session.

Note that you may, of course, not wish to upload your slides until after the event (we appreciate that the slides may be updated at the last minute or that you may not want participants to be able to view the slides in advance.

An example of the Lanyrd page for the “Engagement, Impact, Value: Measuring and Maximising Impact” session at IWMW 2010 is shown below.

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Sponsored Places for IWMW 2011

Thanks to sponsorship provided by Statistics into Decisions (or SiD) and Navopia we are pleased to offer a limited number of free places to participants who would like to attend the IWMW 2011 but are unable to do so due to lack of institutional support.

Statistics into Decisions

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 OK, we know what you do, so how much is it worth?.

Navopia provides usability testing, prototyping with Axure RP, information architecture consultancy, and usability auditing (expert reviews). Keith Doyle, who will be running a parallel workshop on Developing Using Third Parties – is the tail wagging the dog?, is a user experience architect and the founder of Navopia Limited.

The sponsored place will include attendance at the workshop, refreshments and lunch, workshop dinner and one night ensuite accommodation.

If you would like to apply for a sponsored place you should send an email to Marieke Guy, the programme chair of IWMW 2011 by 17:00 on Friday 15th July with details of:

  • The benefits you feel that attendance at IWMW 2011 will provide for you and your institution.
  • How you feel you can participate at IWMW 2011 in order to enhance the event.

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

You may wish to look at details of last year’s sponsored places to aid your application.

Note that in case of the number of applications exceeding the numbers of sponsored places the IWMW 2011 organising committee will allocate the places based on the information provided in the submissions.

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Survey into Institution Web Management

Not enough time, not enough people, not enough budget. These were some of the major obstacles for institution web managers back in 2009, according to some research funded by Eduserv.

At the time Andy Powell, our Research Programme Director, said:

there appears to be a continued emphasis (particularly amongst senior members of higher education institutions) on using the web as a way of “marketing the institution to new audiences” rather than meeting the ‘business needs’ of existing members of the institution such as lecturers, students and researchers and other staff.

… despite the growing recognition of value there is a perceived mismatch between the expectations put on the web team and the level of resources made available to them leading to significant ‘time pressures’ for many teams.

Take part – you could win a HD digital camera

Two years later, has anything changed? We’re inviting IWMW participants to take part in a survey to find out.

The survey will run until 20 July and should take only 5 minutes to complete – and if you do, you’ll be in with a chance to win a HD digital camera.

Free Workshops

The survey findings will help inform some free workshops for Institution Web Managers that we’re planning to run in October or November each year – you can sign up to receive updates on this when you fill in the survey. You can also visit our stand at IWMW to find out more – or just come and say hello!


Eduserv has been around since 1988. We started life as a collection of services run by and for the education community, based at the University of Bath. We negotiate licences for software and data, develop OpenAthens for single sign-on to resources, and create content-managed sites for the public sector. We also provide a range of hosting services, and have recently been selected as the infrastructure partner for the UMF-funded Cloud Pilot for universities and research.

Find out more about what we do at Eduserv will have a stand at the IWMW 2011 Exhibition.

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