10 Years In The Hole: A Possibly Cautionary Tale About Being A Higher Ed Web Geek

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Presented at HighEdWeb October 2010. Awarded Best Of Conference Presentation.

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10 Years In The Hole: A Possibly Cautionary Tale About Being A Higher Ed Web Geek

  1. 1. 10 YEARS IN THE HOLE A POSSIBLY CAUTIONARY TALE ABOUT BEING A HIGHER ED WEB GEEK Dylan Wilbanks University of Washington Presented at HighEdWeb 2010
  2. 2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ari/2238969281/
  3. 3. Cause And Effect Season 5, Episode 18
  4. 4. If you could send back a message to yourself when you first started in higher ed, what would it be?
  5. 5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/2696314438/
  6. 6. My 60 sec. CV •August 1999: Join dotcom building site for accountants •August 2000: Quit, join firm doing site internationalization + localization •January 2001: Laid off (company was a Japanese tax shelter)
  7. 7. June 2001: UW Public Health
  8. 8. I didn’t intend to stay for 10 years.
  9. 9. I’m in it for the attache case.
  10. 10. Embroidered!
  11. 11. Ten years, ten lessons, ten stories
  12. 12. LESSON ONE
  13. 13. MISSION > STATEMENT
  14. 14. Brand Essence: At the University of Washington, we have it: great minds, fierce passions, creative energy, and breathtaking surroundings. We share Seattle values and drive for innovation with leading-edge organizations that are shaping the world. But in keeping with the spirit of our region, we don’t believe it’s “the having” we should celebrate. It’s what we do with it that counts. That’s what animates our spirit of discovery: our heartfelt commitments to building stronger minds and a healthier world that will benefit all members of our global society, and our leadership in producing knowledge and integrated insights that are changing the world for the better. It’s our responsibility to lead because we can and we must.
  15. 15. TO CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES, SEE THEM DRIVEN BEFORE YOU, AND TO HEAR THE LAMENTATION OF THEIR WOMEN.
  16. 16. GENERALIST http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/3770642647/
  17. 17. My Job •Web design •Trainer •Web development •Writer/Editor •Information •Technologist architecture •Accessibility •User experience •Social media •Production graphics •etc. etc. •Photography
  18. 18. http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/4272985057/
  19. 19. So, what do you do?
  20. 20. Lesson: Avoid the identity crisis.
  21. 21. LESSON TWO
  22. 22. LOVE YOUR USERS AS YOURSELF.
  23. 23. http://www.flickr.com/photos/metrolibraryarchive/4010072085/
  24. 24. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkhalili/3093401602/
  25. 25. Be crazy and relentless about making the web better.
  26. 26. Be crazy and relentless about making the world better.
  27. 27. Focus on what really matters: making users happy with your product as quickly as you can, and helping them as much as you can after that.  If you do those better than anyone else out there you'll win. Marc Hedlund, “Why Wesabe Lost To Mint” http://blog.precipice.org/why-wesabe-lost-to-mint
  28. 28. Lesson: Fight for your users -- accessibility, usability, etc.
  29. 29. LESSON THREE
  30. 30. AUDIENCE
  31. 31. AUDIENCE http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/3097689953/
  32. 32. UW School of Public Health Web Traffic by Audience (Based on 2009 Traffic, Not Perfectly Accurate) Prospective Students Faculty/Staff/Students Alumni “Google Noise” 10% 5% 15% 70%
  33. 33. Prospective students are Job 1.
  34. 34. Web Traffic by Audience, in the mind of research professor (Based on what professor thinks, from data he gathered from his head) Prospective Students Faculty Alumni Prof’s Research Project 5% 10% 5% 80%
  35. 35. “So why isn’t my research project on the home page?”
  36. 36. http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanghaidaddy/4056336004/
  37. 37. Lesson: Find and befriend the people that can knock some freaking sense into out-of-control processes.
  38. 38. LESSON FOUR
  39. 39. YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND YOU WILL BACK IT UP WITH HARD DATA.
  40. 40. Lesson: Data can turn arguments, but use like a scalpel, not a hammer.
  41. 41. LESSON FIVE
  42. 42. FACULTY
  43. 43. FACULTY http://www.flickr.com/photos/peyri/2518883715/
  44. 44. If you’re faculty and you’re here today, YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.
  45. 45. http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/3312782596/
  46. 46. SKUNKWORKS
  47. 47. SKUNKWORKS
  48. 48. Having a skunkworks saved my sanity.
  49. 49. Dangerous? You bet.
  50. 50. So long as you’re getting everything else done, you can work on the secret stuff. Which is what Google does with the 80/20 plan.
  51. 51. Lesson: Always have secret projects, but the spice must flow.
  52. 52. LESSON SIX
  53. 53. MAKE TIME FOR THE NEW.
  54. 54. http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/2680241978/
  55. 55. http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/2680241970/
  56. 56. Experiment with new code, new patterns, new tools
  57. 57. Profile views: 91
  58. 58. Lesson: Try. Experiment. But learn to discern.
  59. 59. LESSON SEVEN
  60. 60. YOU CAN’T KNOW EVERYTHING.
  61. 61. “I’ve always thought of myself as an 80 percenter. I like to throw myself passionately into a sport or activity until I reach 80 percent proficiency level. To go beyond that requires an obsession and degree of specialization that doesn’t appeal to me.” -- Yvon Chouinard, Let My People Go Surfing
  62. 62. Confession time:
  63. 63. I suck at JavaScript.
  64. 64. Community lets me overcome it.
  65. 65. http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/4032460246/
  66. 66. Lesson: Have your Scoobies.
  67. 67. LESSON EIGHT
  68. 68. TWITTER
  69. 69. 95% of what we tweet are links.
  70. 70. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rakka/420157350/
  71. 71. Lesson: Sometimes, a little is as good as a lot, and it’s always better than nothing.
  72. 72. LESSON NINE
  73. 73. TEACHING
  74. 74. http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/4052882679/
  75. 75. Teaching meant asking why I coded things the way I did.
  76. 76. <br /> Why a space?
  77. 77. Lesson: Those who can should teach.
  78. 78. LESSON TEN
  79. 79. Tuition revenue has been increasing as state funding has been decreasing. State Appropriations I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Operating Fee Revenue University of Washington Office of Planning and Budgeting
  80. 80. Don’t let higher ed make you become bitter.
  81. 81. Love the web Love higher ed Love people
  82. 82. BUILD THE FUTURE Copyright 1962, The Craftsman Press, Inc. Fair use (non-profit education)
  83. 83. And let’s stop doing this. http://xkcd.com/773/
  84. 84. Thank you. Dylan Wilbanks Twitter: dylanw Email: wnalyd@gmail.com Web: dylanwilbanks.com LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.

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