The official Web sites of Bates’ academic departments and administrative offices are important to both visitors and current members of the College community as they contain a range of targeted content — persuasive, informational, procedural — about Bates people, places, ideas, and events. Taken together, these official sites provide a prime opportunity to connect our constituents with each other and with their deeper interests.

To improve these sites, we will select, and lead deployment of, Bates’ next-generation content platform, train and coach users to migrate existing content into it, and then help continuously improve official sites over time, based on our established principles of effective Web experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Web Hub?

It will be a new way to publish department, program, and office content, and to connect with on- and off-campus people who are interested in Bates. The program covers the official sites of recognized College units. Individual and group sites will be supported in a later phase.

What will it do?

Each designated site editor — generally speaking, the person who is currently editing the site in Ingeniux or on Abacus — will be able to more easily add and update content, including text, images, and events. RSS feeds and e-mail newsletters will deliver updates to subscribers. All content will be more visible to search engines.

Content management evaluation

At the end of a formal evaluation of Drupal and WordPress, I recommended that be the content platform of choice for our official site renovation project, the Web Hub. Our IT colleagues agreed and so, over the next several weeks, they’ll be installing, configuring, and testing the software so we can move our formal development work into an on-campus hosting environment.

Again, for the Hub, we are simply focusing on this one slice of our whole-domain architecture — official sites — not group collaboration or transactional communications. We are most interested in helping faculty, staff, and students easily create and update online experiences that can be quickly discovered and used by our many constituents, on and off campus.

Program planning and management – Completed

  • ILS granted authority to Web Communications to recommend and implement new content platform (spring 2009)
  • Web communications completed initial development of Home and Views sites in WordPress (9/11/09)
  • Detailed program proposal submitted to VP of College Advancement for sponsorship (9/18/09)
  • Completed initial outreach with content partners and advisors (10/1/09)
  • Completed draft scope statement and proposed milestones, requesting authority to support Web communications for department and offices (10/14/09)
  • Recommended program team and advisors (10/14/09)
  • Program put on hold by OCMR (10/16/09)
  • Program approved by Advancement (11/14/09)
  • Technology requirements approved by ILS (12/10/09)
  • Advisors kick-off meeting (12/21/09)
  • Background content integrated into prototype site for Web communications (12/28/09)
  • Planning paused for BatesNews e-mail management (1/4-8/10)
  • Requested program staffing and budget (2/19/10)