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Are web managers still needed when everyone is a web 'expert'?

Slides for talk given by Susan Farrell at the IWMW 2010 event organised by UKOLN and held at the University of Sheffield on 12-14 July 2010.

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Are web managers still needed when everyone is a web 'expert'?

  1. 1. #P2 - Are web managers still needed when everyone is a web ‘expert’? Susan Farrell Susan Farrell Consulting Ltd
  2. 2. We’ll look at… <ul><li>Why web managers are not valued. </li></ul><ul><li>Who are these web experts? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we need recognised qualifications? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we show the value we add to the Institution? </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is the perception of ‘web people’? <ul><li>Techies in a cellar or higher profile? </li></ul><ul><li>Are staff and students aware of what will happen if you’re not there? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the VC understand your role? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Who are these web experts? <ul><li>Indispensable </li></ul><ul><li>Have the ear of the senior management </li></ul><ul><li>No respect for skills </li></ul><ul><li>Hunt in packs </li></ul>
  5. 5. Librarians v web professionals Updating users on new content Updating users on new resources Adding metadata to facilitate searching Cataloguing resources to facilitate searching Information architecture – provides structure to web resources Classification of resources to provide structure Organising information so that it can be found easily by users Organising information so that it can be found easily by users Web professionals Librarians
  6. 6. The complexity of the web is not visible <ul><li>Out of sight is out of mind! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Undermining of web professionals <ul><li>User research / usability testing </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for the web </li></ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>H1 headings </li></ul><ul><li>SEO </li></ul><ul><li>Metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Information architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Search </li></ul>From
  8. 8. The consultant knows best… <ul><li>If you pay a fee for an opinion it must be better than one you pay a salary for! </li></ul>
  9. 9. What is a web professional? <ul><li>Broad range of skills and experience </li></ul><ul><li>Softer skills less recognised </li></ul><ul><li>No set qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Skills being absorbed by other roles. </li></ul>?
  10. 10. There’s more to it than meets the eye Website CMS Static pages Applications Web 2.0 apps and services Multimedia streaming Prospectus Student applications Events booking Library catalogue Institutional Repository
  11. 11. There goes my reputation! <ul><li>Heinz 57 website </li></ul><ul><li>Missing, duplicated, inaccurate content </li></ul><ul><li>Site structure falls apart </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholders not involved </li></ul><ul><li>No standards </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of different technologies </li></ul>
  12. 12. Web at the heart of the business <ul><li>Streamlining processes </li></ul><ul><li>Making tasks quicker to perform </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting business applications </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling fast access to resources </li></ul><ul><li>Personalised access </li></ul>
  13. 13. Promote yourself <ul><li>Audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Messages </li></ul><ul><li>Methods </li></ul>
  14. 14. Audiences <ul><li>Senior management </li></ul><ul><li>Advisory Board / Working Group </li></ul><ul><li>Web strategy / business case </li></ul><ul><li>Others in the Institution </li></ul><ul><li>… .but management changes! </li></ul>
  15. 15. Messages <ul><li>Contributing to a successful Institution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhancing its reputation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding value </li></ul></ul>‘ We will attract the very best students in terms of ability and potential and provide those students with a world-class learning experience’
  16. 16. Helping the whole Institution <ul><li>Marketing - prospectuses </li></ul><ul><li>Public Relations – internal and external communications, online branding </li></ul><ul><li>Development - fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Alumni – social networking </li></ul><ul><li>Admin – online forms, online payments </li></ul><ul><li>Departments – elearning, current student communications </li></ul>From
  17. 17. Getting recognised <ul><li>Staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community of interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Briefing sessions / seminars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training the ‘experts’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Senior managers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Briefing notes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get involved in committees </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. A professional body? <ul><li>Represent the interests of the members of the professions </li></ul><ul><li>Set and maintain professional standards </li></ul><ul><li>Provide accredited qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Members have chartered status </li></ul><ul><li>Promote public understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate networking of professionals </li></ul><ul><li>… but what is a web professional? </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>So… </li></ul><ul><li>Are web managers still needed when everyone is a web ‘expert’? </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, but we need to promote ourselves and… </li></ul><ul><li>be part of the solution in our Institutions, not part of the overhead Susan Farrell </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>