Connecting Bates people and their interests

  • Executive producer: Jay Collier, Web Communications
  • Producer/designer: Ethan Dahlin Magoon, Web Communications
  • Executive sponsor: Kelly Kerner, Vice President, College Advancement
  • Advisors: Aimee Arsenault, Jay Burns, Kristen Cloutier, Phyllis Graber Jensen, Doug Hubley, Bryan McNulty, Ellen Peters, Leigh Weisenburger


During open forums in 2007 and 2008, members of Bates’ student, faculty, staff, parent, and alumni communities confirmed their deep desire for syndicated updates of news, stories and topics of interest from the Bates College Web site. Unfortunately, the site’s current content management system, Ingeniux (ICMS), does not easily allow site visitors to receive syndicated updates for content categories.

The prototype Web site Bates Views — created in the summer of 2008 — is powered by a robust, yet easy-to-use content management system that allows any site visitor, with just a few clicks, to subscribe to, manage, and receive their desired syndicated updates. The first-generation prototype was intended to demonstrate this one powerful visitor engagement concept.

By raising the prototype to the next evolutionary level, however, we can add an additional set of sustainable features, visitor benefits, and measurable actions. Visitors to Bates Views phase 2 will experience a higher level of engagement, satisfaction and user-relevant content – of one’s own interest and choosing.

On March 20, 2009, Information and Library Services (ILS) reported that it is planning to start providing virtual hosting and domain management services (Apache/PHP/MySQL) in April. This announcement makes a second-generation Bates Views initiative a viable option.


  • Simplify exploration, discovery, and notification about stories of interest, via multiple devices, periodically or when posted
  • Simplify creation, classification, and publication of stories about Bates
  • Enable deeper engagement and interaction between Bates people based on their own interests
  • Learn and measure what constituents find relevant and engaging, in order to provide them with greater opportunities for connection with Bates through meaningful actions


  • Intuitive and visually engaging interface design for browsing, commenting on, and subscribing to content of interest
  • Simplified publishing processes for content developers: authors, editors, and designers
  • Standardized classification methods, through categories, tags, and time and location data
  • Process for defining calls to action for every piece of individual content

Project constraints

  • Preexisting content development processes for Bates Now, Bates Life, Online Community, Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook
  • New and untested on-campus virtual hosting services
  • Budget not yet confirmed for migration of preexisting content from ICMS into Views 2.


  • Domain architecture and namespace blueprint not yet approved
  • Lack of campus knowledge about online engagement techniques and unrealistic expectation of rapid delivery
  • Potential shift of priorities with arrival of new Vice President for Communications and Enrollment
  • Potential user confusion during period of content migration
  • High level of success, leading to a rapidly growing pipeline of requests for department, office, and organization sites, which are not in the scope of Views 2
  • Not enough support to refocus a portion of current staff time from publishing to engagement

Success Criteria

  • Increased use of content (time, breadth, depth)
  • Increased number of subscriptions (via e-mail, RSS, SMS)
  • Increased number of click-throughs to predetermined online actions
  • Increased submission of user-created content
  • Increased capture of anecdotal feedback