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It Takes A Campus To Raise A (Web Professionals) Community

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Every year, you look forward to the big HighEdWeb conference. You count down the days until October and then, high on that wonderful feeling of community, networking, and professional development, you return to your campus, ready to kick-start all of your new ideas. But the fun doesn’t have to stop just because you left Milwaukee. Conferences are a wonderful outlet for igniting your creative and collaborative juices, but you don’t have to be limited by your budget, and one or two annual trips, to engage with -- and find inspiration from -- your peers. You can have your own mini-conference every month by starting your own web professionals community right on your own campus. In this presentation, Rachel Carden will share how she started a web professionals community at The University of Alabama that went from a ten-member group that met every couple months at the campus coffee shop to a seventy-plus member community that meets every month to hear from presenters and discuss topics ranging from social media to crisis communication. All with no budget. This year her community, WebTide, also hosted and organized the HighEdWeb Alabama regional conference. Rachel will share what she did right, what she did wrong, and what she learned along the way, as well as tips and resources to start your own community and to help it flourish.

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It Takes A Campus To Raise A (Web Professionals) Community

  1. 1. #MPD3 IT TAKES A CAMPUS To Raise A (Web Professionals) Community Rachel Carden, Web Developer/Designer, The University of Alabama @bamadesigner
  2. 2. - Established in 1831 - 13 Colleges and Schools - Over 37,000 students - Close to 5,000 faculty/staff - Almost 2,000 acres
  3. 3. Professional
 Development Sharing of Ideas / Innovation Communication and Networking Institutional Knowledge Collaboration
  4. 4. YOU HAVE THE POWER!
  5. 5. Bringing University of Alabama web professionals together to educate, inform, discuss, innovate, and share https://webtide.ua.edu - @bamawebtide #MPD3 @bamadesigner
  6. 6. • Formed January 2014 - almost 2 years! • Has 78 members from over 30 departments across campus • Meets the third Thursday of every month to discuss institutional knowledge, campus projects, and professional development topics ranging from social media to accessibility to crisis communication. #MPD3 @bamadesigner
  7. 7. • UA is large, web services are decentralized. • No main web shop, comprised of smaller and one-man teams. • Wanted the opportunity to share ideas and “talk shop” with other web professionals on campus. #MPD3 @bamadesigner WHY?
  8. 8. Saw a need and opportunity to crowdsource resources and professional development for all web professionals on campus. #MPD3 @bamadesigner WHY?
  9. 9. #humanatwork #MPD3 @bamadesigner
  10. 10. Helping your university by helping your people #MPD3 @bamadesigner
  11. 11. Community building allows you to empower others to
 improve through professional development and relationships. #MPD3 @bamadesigner
  12. 12. In its first iteration,
 WebTide was simply a blog. #MPD3 @bamadesigner
  13. 13. • Was called “College Web”, 10-15 person group that met every other month at campus Starbucks • Went overkill on unneeded/unused tools • Was too informal / no structure/topics/agenda #MPD3 @bamadesigner MY FIRST ATTEMPT
  14. 14. • Designed a more formal meeting process - had a plan! • Only implemented tools as needed - one page website • Implemented better communication tools • Pulled in more help - great planning committee #MPD3 @bamadesigner REBORN
  15. 15. GETTING STARTED
  16. 16. • Environments are different for each campus • There will be trial/error. Prepare to change. • Technology is not the answer to everything #MPD3 @bamadesigner THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
  17. 17. • Start small, scale as needed • Keep things simple • Be transparent #MPD3 @bamadesigner THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
  18. 18. • Don’t do it alone Can’t do it alone • Surround yourself with support • Embrace different ideas • Be available #MPD3 @bamadesigner THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
  19. 19. • Set realistic goals • It never hurts to ask #MPD3 @bamadesigner THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
  20. 20. #MPD3 @bamadesigner WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
  21. 21. YOU HAVE TO CULTIVATE
  22. 22. #MPD3 @bamadesigner RELATIONSHIPS RELATIONSHIPS RELATIONSHIPS
  23. 23. • Invite everyone to watch together • When conferences stream their presentations • Webinars #MPD3 @bamadesigner TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ONLINE RESOURCES/MATERIALS
  24. 24. • Share learning materials/online resources • Share your educational discoveries with your community #MPD3 @bamadesigner TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ONLINE RESOURCES/MATERIALS
  25. 25. • In person • Online • Webinars #MPD3 @bamadesigner DIFFERENT WAYS TO “MEET”
  26. 26. • Slack / IRC • Skype/Google Hangouts • Blackboard • Social media • Websites #MPD3 @bamadesigner RESOURCES/TOOLS TO USE • Subject matter experts • Live examples • Listserv • Vendor presentations • Goodies
  27. 27. #MPD3 @bamadesigner Take advantage of
 free or inexpensive academic licenses!
  28. 28. It never hurts to ask. #MPD3 @bamadesigner FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  29. 29. • “If you feed them, they will come.” • Ask departments or vendors to sponsor a meal. • Grants or sponsorships for training, resources, etc #MPD3 @bamadesigner FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  30. 30. • Accessibility • Social Media • Branding • Crisis Communication at UA #MPD3 @bamadesigner TOPICS
  31. 31. • Usability • Security Awareness • The Role of the Web in Higher Education • Alternatives to a Traditional CMS #MPD3 @bamadesigner TOPICS
  32. 32. • Effective Project Management • Tools and Resources For Your Job • A Different Perspective: I Am A Higher Education Professional Who Is Also A Web Professional #MPD3 @bamadesigner TOPICS
  33. 33. • Video for the Web • News and Events at UA • Legal Issues Relevant of Higher Ed Web • Various department projects/environments #MPD3 @bamadesigner TOPICS
  34. 34. • Front-End Frameworks • Student Workers • Dealing with faculty and the web • Writing Content for the Web #MPD3 @bamadesigner OTHER POSSIBLE TOPICS
  35. 35. • Utilizing Campus Resources • Marketing • Measuring Web Performance • Campus Politics #MPD3 @bamadesigner OTHER POSSIBLE TOPICS
  36. 36. • Community members • Other campus staff/faculty • Area professionals • Company reps #MPD3 @bamadesigner POSSIBLE SPEAKERS
  37. 37. Sharing your work means playing an active role in improving your community #MPD3 @bamadesigner
  38. 38. wow such benefits omg networking much development many shares
  39. 39. Professional
 Development Sharing of Ideas / Innovation Communication and Networking Institutional Knowledge Collaboration
  40. 40. WE ALL DO BETTER WHEN WE ALL DO BETTER. #MPD3 @bamadesigner
  41. 41. Tuscaloosa Web Professionals is a community and meetup group for anyone in the Tuscaloosa (and surrounding) area who makes a living building the world wide web. Whether you're a designer, coder, writer, sysadmin, or other web-related specialist, we invite you to join us to network, learn, and share your expertise.
  42. 42. http://wpcampus.org - @wpcampusorg - #WPCampus
  43. 43. A community (and proposed conference) focused on using WordPress to improve the world of higher education and higher ed web. #MPD3 @bamadesigner
  44. 44. • Launched 7 weeks ago today • 284 people have visited wpcampus.org and shown interest • Attending: 275 (97%) • Speaking: 157 (55%) • Planning: 98 (35%) • Sponsoring: 47 (17%) • Hosting at your university: 59 (21%) • 185 people in our Slack account.
  45. 45. Learn more about WPCampus http://wpcampus.org View WPCampus Planning Data http://wpcampus.org/planning/data/ #MPD3 @bamadesigner
  46. 46. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR #MPD3 @bamadesigner ?
  47. 47. Any questions? Rachel Carden @bamadesigner http://bamadesigner.com http://wpcampus.org http://tuscaloosawebpros.com/ https://webtide.ua.edu #MPD3 @bamadesigner

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