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IWMW 2005: Publish And Be Damned Re-purposing In The Real World

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IWMW UK Web Focus

Slides for plenary talk on "Publish And Be Damned Re-purposing In The Real World" given at the IWMW 2005 event held at the University of Manchester on 6-8 July 2005. See http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/workshops/webmaster-2005/talks/speller/

IWMW 2005: Publish And Be Damned Re-purposing In The Real World

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IWMW 7 July 2005 1
Publish and be Damned:
Re-purposing in the real world
Jeremy Speller & Ian Bartlett
UCL
IWMW 7 July 2005 2
Introduction
• About UCL
– The original University of London (1826)
– 20,000 students
– 6,000 staff
– 72 Departments
• About us
– Web Services
– Educational Liaison
IWMW 7 July 2005 3
About this talk
• The Project
• Why…
• Who owns the processes?
• The problems
– Cultural / Technical
• The solutions
– Cultural / Technical
• Measuring success
• Where next?
• Interaction
IWMW 7 July 2005 4
The Project
• The Holy Grail - seamless re-purposing
– This means:
• Ability to share a data source in real time
• No cutting and pasting
• No “final solutions”
– Leading to:
• Consistency
• Accuracy
• Economy
• Pilot
– Start small (low budget, low-key methods)
but with generic approach
– Test-bed for blending technologies
• Study Abroad Guide
– Annual production cycle
– compact, relatively stand-alone project
– ideal for proving concept
IWMW 7 July 2005 5
Why…
• Educational Liaison (EL) responsible for student recruitment
process from initial contact through to arrival at UCL. Produces
all UCL’s main student recruitment publications. Content of
these is sourced from academic departments and audited by
EL staff. Re-purposing should:
– Aid consistency of information
• don’t want inconsistent information appearing in web and
print; students use both media
– Improve accuracy of information
• Printed text is fully audited; this allows re-use of fully audited
text
– Improve efficiency of process
• Avoid repetitive copying, pasting and
re-editing of text from print (Quark) files.
IWMW 7 July 2005 6
Who owns the processes?
– "UCL" itself (Educational Liaison - Student Recruitment
Publications & Web Office)
– Committee for the Recruitment of Students
– Departments (authoring their own entries)
– Development & Corporate Communications and Design
Agency (the look and “voice”)
– Web Services (the Web look and CMS)
– Information Systems (networks, MySQL)
– Management Systems (SITS, Oracle)
Ad

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IWMW 2005: Publish And Be Damned Re-purposing In The Real World

  • 1. IWMW 7 July 2005 1 Publish and be Damned: Re-purposing in the real world Jeremy Speller & Ian Bartlett UCL
  • 2. IWMW 7 July 2005 2 Introduction • About UCL – The original University of London (1826) – 20,000 students – 6,000 staff – 72 Departments • About us – Web Services – Educational Liaison
  • 3. IWMW 7 July 2005 3 About this talk • The Project • Why… • Who owns the processes? • The problems – Cultural / Technical • The solutions – Cultural / Technical • Measuring success • Where next? • Interaction
  • 4. IWMW 7 July 2005 4 The Project • The Holy Grail - seamless re-purposing – This means: • Ability to share a data source in real time • No cutting and pasting • No “final solutions” – Leading to: • Consistency • Accuracy • Economy • Pilot – Start small (low budget, low-key methods) but with generic approach – Test-bed for blending technologies • Study Abroad Guide – Annual production cycle – compact, relatively stand-alone project – ideal for proving concept
  • 5. IWMW 7 July 2005 5 Why… • Educational Liaison (EL) responsible for student recruitment process from initial contact through to arrival at UCL. Produces all UCL’s main student recruitment publications. Content of these is sourced from academic departments and audited by EL staff. Re-purposing should: – Aid consistency of information • don’t want inconsistent information appearing in web and print; students use both media – Improve accuracy of information • Printed text is fully audited; this allows re-use of fully audited text – Improve efficiency of process • Avoid repetitive copying, pasting and re-editing of text from print (Quark) files.
  • 6. IWMW 7 July 2005 6 Who owns the processes? – "UCL" itself (Educational Liaison - Student Recruitment Publications & Web Office) – Committee for the Recruitment of Students – Departments (authoring their own entries) – Development & Corporate Communications and Design Agency (the look and “voice”) – Web Services (the Web look and CMS) – Information Systems (networks, MySQL) – Management Systems (SITS, Oracle)
  • 7. IWMW 7 July 2005 7 The Problems: Cultural – Resistance to changing long-standing, proven processes – Lack of resource for training and implementation – Culture change needed to effect change from paper to electronic working, particularly in academic departments – Re-skilling
  • 8. IWMW 7 July 2005 8 The Problems: Technical – Multi-platform, multi-application process • Quark, Zope CMS, MySQL, Oracle • Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, Unix – Multi skill-base – Differing text needs for print and web • See page 10 / See <link> • Fixed spaces / Open spaces – Many attempts in the past to pass data through to Quark from databases/Word but these have the limitation of "final solutions" with no dynamism on the Quark side
  • 9. IWMW 7 July 2005 9 The Solutions: Cultural – Devise workflow that ensures essential processes are included – Use pilot project to prove concept and identify problems; training can be carried out after this ahead of next project – Initial data input to be carried out in-house by Educational Liaison staff – flow in from existing Quark document – Change to electronic working an ongoing issue for UCL, but currently undergoing a major change with switch to use of SITS for admissions and module maintenance. – Most staff happy to re-skill as long as time allowed
  • 10. IWMW 7 July 2005 10 The Solutions: Technical considerations – Open architecture / open source where possible – Straightforward and transparent for users – We understand CMS/Apache/MySQL/Oracle but have no experience of integrating Quark with backend data so it was important to establish feasibility first on the basis that the rest could be sorted out to fit.
  • 11. IWMW 7 July 2005 11 The Solutions: Technical approach – Finding Quark solution: • Programmer • Quark • Xcatalog Pro • LinkUP! Enterprise – Prototype data structure (MySQL) – Develop Quark ODBC experience – Production data structure (Oracle) • Rolling annual updates – Build public interface – Build browser-based author interface
  • 12. IWMW 7 July 2005 12 Measuring success • The Demo • Success criteria – Do we have a dynamically linked Study Abroad Guide? – Can we re-purpose data? – Is it really more efficient? – Can we update via one interface to appear elsewhere? – Can users tell the difference? – Does anyone complain?
  • 13. IWMW 7 July 2005 13 Where next? • Major publications – prospectuses – departmental booklets – scholarships information – accommodation information etc. • SITS – use module and programme records for publishing in print and web • Content Management System roll-out • Do you really need that office space; wireless PDA
  • 14. IWMW 7 July 2005 14 Interaction • Questions • Review Wiki comments