Piet Niederhausen, University Webmaster, Office of Information Services, Georgetown University
Robert Michael Murray, Director of Technology Strategy and Development, Office of Public Affairs, Georgetown University
- Eight-and-a-half hours of media activity a day in only six hours.
Web 1 to Web 2.0
- From read-only to read/write.
- Ofoto to Flickr.
- Britannica Online to Wikipedia.
- Personal Web site to Blogger.
- Taxonomies top Tagging.
- Stickiness to Syndication.
Web 2.0 Attributes
- Platforms rather than applications.
- Harnessing collective intelligence.
- The value of data.
- Continuous software development cycle.
- Applications across devices.
- Rich user experience/interface.
What Do We Want?
- Our goal is to communicate and motivate, not to build a Web site.
- Each site is just part of each user’s larger experience with many Web sites.
- Users are increasingly taking control of their content experience; they can receive content when and how they want it.
Metaphor: iTunes Software
- Instead of entire albums, you can select and “program” tracks.
- Tag tracks with metadata.
- Arrange tracks in playlists.
- Tracks are portable and can be shared.
Traditional Web Development
- Content is created and handed to a developer who encodes it into a Web page.
- Content is locked into that page.
What Do We Learn From iTunes
- Make content granular; create content that can be used in multiple contexts.
- Tag content with metadata.
- Create flexible platforms for content.
- Filter and group content as needed.
- Make content portable across sites, devices, and media.
- Multiple browsers and operating systems.
- PDAs, phones, other devices.
Web Content Management Can Be iTunes for Your Communications
- Define structured content types such as faculty, courses, news, and events.
- Define metadata such as topics, audiences, and departments.
- Make content portable across university Web sites and to other media such as RSS.
Current Georgetown Environment
- History of decentralized Web communications (500+ separate subsites with 500,000+ URLs owned by 800+ individuals).
- Layered approach to content management
- Departmental CMS.
- Institutional CMS.
- Syndication layer: RSS, Podcasts, E-mail, SMS.
- Purpose-built tools with a continuous development cycle.
- Most of the work is carrots, with only a few sticks.
- Main business objects
- Documents: Announcements, blogs.
- Campus maps.
- Context surrounding a faculty member
- Media profile: In the news, Podcast.
- Research projects: Research resources.
- Departments: Discipline.
- Courses: Course sites, syllabi.
- University news: Storage of content in a centralized repository delivering information to multiple sites and to a syndication layer.
- Filtered news: School of Foreign Service reports news links to a central communication office to add the information into the syndication stream.
Re-imaging the University Web
- Access to more content improves university, department, and personal Web sites.
- Content is portable, re-usable, and archived.
- Content from across the university can be assembled to support university initiatives.
- Thematic gateways.
- Audience portals.
Audience and Thematic Gateways
- Assembling syndication layer into a new environment.
- Various topics: Science, math, technology.
- Katrina communications vehicle.
- Mortara Center for International Studies (university news and blessed blog content syndicated at right).
- Culture changes
- How we perceive the Web as a media — from pages to a platform.
- Change in how content is produced.
- Change in how Web sites are “owned” and how “sites” fit into the Web presence.
- Change in how Web hosting is conceptualized and resourced.
- Getting recognition for the professionalism of Internet communications.
- Pushing the limits of available tools and policies.
Questions and Answers
- Two-and-a-half to 3 person years of work for the institutional CMS.
- All purpose built, Apache, ColdFusion, SQLServer, Fusebox framework.
- CMS picked up data from campus-wide directories (LDAPs).
- Policies are needed to guide an editorial selection of content that should rise up to the University home page.