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Whose site is it anyway?

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Slides for a report on the "Whose Site Is It Anyway? The Web Editor’s Career" discussion groups session at IWMW 1999.

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Whose site is it anyway?

  1. 1. Whose Site Is It Anyway? The Web Editor’s Career  Getting A Job • Job titles and descriptions  Managing The Job • Institutional models  Being Supported • Advice, guidance and training  Being A Professional • Professional organisations
  2. 2. Getting A Job  Brief survey of job ads • Wide range of job titles • No real consensus of title • Wide pay scales  Do the employers know what they want? • ‘kitchen sink’ job descriptions  Do we have to define our own job descriptions for them?
  3. 3. Getting A Job  Titles ranged from • Website managers • Web officer  Could this be formalised, as a community, defining these roles? • By generating a list of skills for each member of the team • Or surveying current posts
  4. 4. Getting A Job  Roles to be found in • PR, Computing Services, Libraries  Suffer from a feeling of institutional isolation  Solution • We need to structure the teams so that they not affiliated to any existing structures
  5. 5. Getting A Job  Head of web team • Someone who can wave the ‘big stick’ at university management • Effective and powerful voice within the institution.  Putting learning on the agenda  Recommendations • Survey of current web teams posts/ salary/ contracts etc...
  6. 6. Managing The Job  Who to work for? – Should be independent • Not keen on placing them because of bias towards one section  Who holds the budget? – Should be a budget holder so they don’t have to go cap in hand
  7. 7. Managing The Job  Ideal team – Web editor (reporting to executive committee) heading up team • Designers • Support (check HTML write/read English) • Have a team of information providers in schools/depts (responsible for maintenance) but editor should be proactive in getting content.
  8. 8. Managing The Job  Who are the clients – Not just working to please one section/dept – Meeting the needs of the clients of the university – Importance of what the clients need
  9. 9. Managing The Job  Trying to serve all our masters with one site.  Recommendations • Cash incentives for surveys • Lay down the structure of teams  Observation • Talk to library people about how people use information services
  10. 10. Managing The Job  Get together with people in the university to decide what you need to do, break down into manageable chunks and get some quick wins.  Strategy • Be integral. You should have a voice in the main University business.
  11. 11. Being Supported  Problem • Structure of institution such that don’t fit in and often out on a limb without any support structures  Solution • The way you decide to develop the web and where it’s placed would help solve other problems (i.e. integrating into publicity) • Needs management who knows about the particular needs of the job • Setting up professional groups that deal with standards
  12. 12. Being Supported  Problem • A lack of specific training [different training for each role (designer, editor etc)]  Solution • National accreditation • Regional groups • Mailing lists • Newsgroups • Exchanging ideas with a receptive audience
  13. 13. Being Supported  Problem • Status position of senior staff to the web people is poor because of a lack of knowledge  Solutions • Management needs to know and understand and make sure the you’re aligned with the key business of the University • Senior managers need to approach HoDs to impress upon their staff
  14. 14. Being Supported  The Web is a part of all university strategies  Develop measures of success (if possible!) • Useful for information management to keep this data • How useful something is – like putting up basic contact details and see how that’s changed people a few months later  Treat people that you’re working with as your internal market • Need to sell yourself and your services
  15. 15. Being A Professional  What to professional bodies to • Sets standards and promotes them • Creating generic job specs and skills sets for membership • Define what the community does and raises the awareness of the post [raising awareness of members capabilities/skills and importance] • Disseminates special interest groups/information about events/ professional qualifications (CPD)
  16. 16. Being A Professional  What to professional bodies to • Provide a sense of a wider community • Personal development • New developments • Salaries survey/trends in the area/discounts for services. • Defining/Publicising the community/Current Awareness/Professional Development/Special Interest Groups.
  17. 17. Being A Professional  Who they are • USA based global organisations (very technical groups) – Useful for a UK body to affiliate to • UK bodies something like the Institute for Information Sciences talking to the libraries about a differently named organisations • Other bodies exist – Computing, Marketing/PR
  18. 18. Being A Professional  What do we want • Regional groups (sound people out) • Distance learning courses CPD/Accreditation • Current awareness of new services and peoples experiences of trying them • Outside expertise • Special interest groups • Letters after name (but they offer so much more)  Professional qualifications could cut across confusing job titles

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