I will be giving the opening keynote in the higher education track at next week’s J. Boye Conference in Philadelphia. Here is the abstract:
Higher education web development presents many unique challenges that make it the toughest gig in all the web. Multiple missions, silos, consensus decision making, multiple audiences with disparate needs, corporate expectations on a not-for-profit budget, the growing expectations of the technology adept millennial students, campus politics, and an organizational structure resembling federalism all combine to create a very demanding environment. But when approached with the right mindset, higher education is also the most rewarding gig in all the web.
This presentation will explore the culture of higher education and how it impacts web development, provide a framework for building and sustaining an effective college web presence, and offer advice and guidance for the web professional looking to make the most of a career in higher education.
When I asked Why is Higher Ed the Toughest Gig in All the Web back in January, it started a lively conversation in the blogosphere and on Twitter. So I’d like to tap the wisdom of the crowds once again. What advice would you give someone just starting in higher education web development? I’ll be sharing my thoughts based on a combined 50 years experience of college administration in my household, along with sage advice from Dan Pink, Stephen Covey, Seth Godin, Tom Friedman, Tom Peters, not to mention Henry Kissinger, Clint Eastwood, Hunter S. Thompson, and Neil Young.
I look forward to your ideas, and I hope to see many of you in person and on the backchannel at #jboye10
1. Have a mission. This should be a personal, career-affirming goal. Think about why you got into the web. Your mission can keep you sane.
2. KIT with other institutions to see what they’re doing and share what you’re doing with other institutions. Higher ed, unlike corporate, is very open and sharing. We’re all in this together.
3. Similarly, be open and frequently communicate what you’re doing with your own institution. I’m talking about conversations, not merely reports.