IWMW and #UniWeek Tweets

Last week was Universities Week, a national campaign demonstrating the benefits of universities within UK society.

Friday was ‘Inside Big Ideas’ day and Universities were encouraged to throw open the doors and bust some of the myths about campus life in a 21st-century university. Staff and researchers at the University of Bath took part in a 24 hour Twitter marathon tweeting about the they work carry out by using the tags #UniWeek and #UniofBath.

Not wanting to be left out the @iwmw twitter feed published a series of tweets about IWMW’s work over the past 15 years.

All the tweets were geo-located to the University of Bath. Brian Kelly has written a blog post about the #UniWeek Twitter Marathon entitled Evidence For The #UniWeek Campaign.

For more information on IWMW and Twitter see the IWMW Web site.

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Putting the Usefulness back into Social Networking

The term Web 2.0 almost seems dated.

We have been using social networking services for many years now; as individuals and on behalf of our institutions. But are we doing it right? Are we truly making the most out of the services we use or are they just a distraction with little tangible benefit.

Some of this year’s sessions attempt to answer these questions.


Martin Hamilton, Head of Internet Services at Loughborough University, will be looking at how Embedding Web 2.0 in our institutions. Martin will walk the audience through key lessons derived from his experience leading the Google Apps implementation at Loughborough University and the Google Apps for Education UK User Group, and subsequently co-authoring an institutional Web 2.0 good practice guide.

Parallel Workshops

A session with a very long title that is worth taking a look at is Listen, Repeat, Learn: How to use Social Media Conversations and Activities to Measure and Demonstrate Impact and Improve Engagement facilitated by Nicola Osborne and Paul Milne from Edina. The focus of this hands-on session will be on how to understand, select and make best use of social media to demonstrate the impact of your organisation, project or service. During the workshop the facilitators will allow delegates to explore various tools for tracking, understanding and taking part in the social media conversations about your website, project or service. They will look at techniques for using established tools (e.g. Google Analytics, RSS feeds and alerts), in-site metrics tools (Facebook Insights, YouTube Insights, Flickr Statistics, etc.), aggregation and presentation tools (Storify, Lanyrd, etc.) and statistics and data that can be used via APIs for various social media tools.

Ever wanted to add an interactive map to your institutional web site of your campus allowing students the ability to zoom in and out and pan around the map? Or maybe you’d like to provide simple measurement tools to measure the distance from one campus building to the next? In the parallel session on Enhancing your institutional web site with interactive mapping Addy Pope from GoGeo will help you do so at very little cost. This session will show you how to integrate the open source mapping software ‘OpenLayers’ into your web site and how to pull into that EDINA’s new Digimap OpenStream – a free web mapping service for members of higher educational institutions based upon Ordnance Survey’s OpenData products.

Looking more at social networking and less at Web 2.0 the Web cooperative session will consider how the central ‘web team’ can provide leadership by educating, training, and enabling colleagues at all levels across the organisation. The session will consider how the digital presence of the institution best managed and led and whether it can be improved through management reporting, policies and frameworks, internal processes, procurement, staff training and communication, cooperative working and peer support.

Posted in Plenaries, Workshops | 1 Comment

A6: Birds of a Feather: The Others

Over the years I’ve been to a few IWMWs (five or six I think) – as a delegate, a speaker, a committee member and even a sponsor. I know the organisers pretty well and I’ve always encouraged my team members to attend (in fact I’m sending someone along again this year). All that said I’ve never really felt like I belong. The simple fact is that I don’t work for an ‘institution’ and while I’ve worked in and around the web in higher education and research for a decade or more my audience and priorities have always been different that that of a Uni web team.

I’m not alone in this though. Over the years at IWMW I have met up with people from other Research Councils, JISC (well that was usually me!), HEFCE, Becta, HE Academy as well as museums and charities. There has always been something at IWMW that was transferable and the sense of it being a community led event always made it stand out from the commercial conferences (that at some point always start to feels like a sales presentation.)

This year though I thought I’d claim a spot in the schedule for the ‘outsiders’. For those of us who aren’t concerned with student recruitment, course details or international students. Instead we have the spectre of ‘convergence’ hanging over us, COI guidelines (that become mandatory seemingly at random), incomprehensible procurement rules and ever increasing expectations that digital is the ‘silver bullet’ (especially when savings are demanded).

I’m not sure what will happen on the day – given it is only 90 minutes (and I have no idea if anyone will even sign-up) I thought I’d keep the agenda fluid. What I can promise is though that I won’t be inflicting my own views or ‘death by Powerpoint’ on anyone. It will be a discussion led by the group (assuming it isn’t just me!) which I’ll do my best to facilitate.

I’m reading up on some facilitation techniques that should make things a bit more interesting – hopefully without being to cringe-making – and I can promise Sharpies, post-its and wine gums will be involved.

It would be good to have a couple of topics to focus on in advance so if anyone has any ideas then please let me know – either in the comments here or I’m @jukesie on Twitter.

Anyway hope to see one or two of you there – if you are not at my session I’m sure I’ll see a few of you in the bar!

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Numbers Matter!

It’s been an interesting year for Higher Education. Last year we were very much in the dark regarding where we stood financially. This year things are a lot clearer. The comprehensive spending review outlined cuts of 40% in teaching budgets and the Browne report announced that there should be no limit on fees charged by universities. The end result is that two-thirds of Universities want to charge the £9,000 maximum fees for some or all their courses.

So what does this mean to Web departments?

Well, it means that numbers matter. Higher Education Institutions have  become even more competitive than they were previously: numbers of people through the doors, the percentage of people passing courses and similar statistics have always been important but at a time of cuts there is a even greater need to gather and use evidence of the value of the services we provide.

Plenary Talks

This year’s opening plenary on Tuesday 26th July entitled OK, we know what you do, so how much is it worth? will be given by Ranjit Sidhu from Software into Decisions.

A University dashboard

Last year Ranjit’s plenary on ‘So what do you do exactly?’ In challenging times justifying the roles of the web teams struck a chord with many delegates. Ranjit applied business models to University Web sites to demonstrate the true value of the Web.


This year he will look at combined data and analysis work that he is carrying out with universities which will present monetary values for the delivery information, recruiting students online etc. Ranjit will also be demonstrating the dashboards he helps institutions create, through combining online and offline data.

Following on from Ranjit is a talk by Amber Thomas on Marketing and Other Dirty Words. Amber is a Programme Manager in the JISC Digital Infrastructure Team. She will look at how the resources your institution releases can have maximum impact. How can they be effectively presented to aid in marketing and recruitment, and to increase engagement with the world outside the university. The talk will also consider usage tracking and strategy, with ideas for how we can present our intellectual assets online to get maximum effect.

There are further important metrics which will be described in Tom Franklin’s session on Using activity data to support your users. Tom will consider how usage data (accesses a web page, navigation and form details, searches) can be used to provide better to support your users in a variety of ways. The talk, based on work currently being undertaken in the JISC Activity Data programme, will discuss some of the issues that need to be addressed if you want to undertake this type of work, including intellectual property rights (IPR) and privacy, and it will outline some approaches that are currently being undertaken and the perceived benefits.

Parallel Workshops

In his session Maximising Institutional Webmaster Impact George Munroe, who has recently worked with Netskills, will explore how institutional web managers can be most effective at their work by considering a number of areas that influence a webmaster’s effectiveness, including users, process, technology, skills and metrics.

In their efforts to save money many institutions will want to outsource more. In the session Developing Using Third Parties – is the tail wagging the dog? Keith Doyle from Navopia User Experience will look at what it’s like to work with third parties and the issues we need to be clear about. He will also share his valuable experiences of dealing with third parties.

Another way to save money can be by looking at free tools that can carry out tasks. In The Economical way to Amplify Your Event Marieke Guy and Brian Kelly will consider what you need to do to successfully amplify an event (ideas include effective use of slides, images, twitter, blogs etc. videoing and streaming content etc.); the free and not-so-free tools that are out there for you to use (e.g. Ustream, Bambuser, Lanyrd, Elluminate, Panopto, Big Blue Button etc.) and the equipment it would be useful to have (e.g. camera, phone etc.). They will also look at what issues you will need to bear in mind (e.g. copyright, quality etc.) by offering tips and inviting delegates to share experiences.

Posted in Plenaries, Workshops | 1 Comment

B4: Working with Third Parties

To help plan for my parallel session (B4: Developing Using Third Parties – is the tail wagging the dog?) it would be great if you could add a comment to this post. I’m interested in any of the following:

  • What you’ve used third parties for
  • What you’re planning to use third parties for
  • What you’d like to get out of this session


Keith Doyle

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Introduction: Events Team (Michelle Smith)

I am Michelle Smith, the Events Organiser at UKOLN, responsible for all the logistical arrangements for IWMW. I am there to ensure that you receive all the information you need before and during the event so that your experience of IWMW is a positive one. I will ensure you know where you are going, that you attend the right sessions and have a point of contact throughout the event.

If you have any questions (sensible or otherwise!) before IWMW please do not hesitate to contact me at events@ukoln.ac.uk and during the event you can find me at the registration desk.

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Introduction: Marieke Guy

I’m Marieke Guy. I’ve been with UKOLN for 11 years working on lots of different projects connected to the Web, organising stuff on the Web, preserving stuff on the Web, using Web tools and so on.

I’m currently working on a number of projects:

  • IMPACT,  a European project that aims to speed up the process and enhance the quality of mass digitisation in Europe
  • The JISC Observatory, a JISC-funded initiative to systematise the way in which the JISC anticipates and responds to projected future trends and scenarios in the context of the use of technology in Higher & Further Education, and Research in the UK.
  • Greening Events II, a small exploratory project into how to minimise the sustainability impacts of academic related events.

I’ve been attending IWMW since 2000 and have been co-chair with Brian Kelly since 2006.  I do a lot of the organisation, pull together the programme, create the Web site and blog and add my feminine touch to the event!

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Introduction: Brian Kelly

I’m Brian Kelly. I’ve been with UKOLN since November 1996.  In 1997 I thought it would be a good idea to bring together people working in institutional Web Management teams and so organised a two-day event entitled “Running an Institutional Web Service“.  Fourteen years later the event is still running – probably the longest-running event for those involved in the provision of large-scale Web services in the country.

If you’ve not attended an IWMW event previously attending this year’s event will provide an opportunity to meet your peers, explore shared issues and discuss ways in which Web managers can be approaching the new challenges which we face.  If, on the other hand, you have attended in previous years you will discover that although the event is returning to a 2-day format for the first time since 1997 we will continue to be providing a full programme of talks and workshop sessions as well as opportunities for you to interact with others working in similar roles within the sector.

BTW in case your confused by my portrait, if you zoom in you’ll find it is made up of images of the people I follow on Twitter.  It was created using the Frintr service. I’ve used the image to make the point that many of the ideas I have are based on the discussions I’ve had and the suggestions which have been shared by members of my professional network. Thank you!

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Introduction to the IWMW 2011 blog

As in previous years we are using a blog to facilitate discussion about, and related to, this year’s Institutional Web Management Workshop.

The Institutional Web Management Workshop (or IWMW) is an event for those involved in the creation of institutional (Higher Education and Further Education) Web sites. This year’s event will be 2 days long and will take place at the at the University of Reading from Tuesday 26th to Wednesday 27th July 2011.

The IWMW Web site provides more details on booking a place, the programme and speakers. While the Web site is the formal publishing mechanism for the event this blog will hopefully be the informal publishing/discussion outlet. It is available for all delegates, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, facilitators, remote attendees and any interested parties to use.

Although we want people to be involved it still makes sense for the blog to have some structure so we will be publishing posts related to lots of different aspects of IWMW including:

  • Plenary talks
  • Parallel sessions
  • Social activities including local pubs and meet ups
  • Transport to IWMW
  • Community ideas
  • Discussion topics

We will also be posting interviews with delegates, video and audio content and lots more. Much of this content is likely to be delivered during the event itself.

Enjoy the blog and let us know if you are interested in publishing a post.

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