I have been blogging for several years and the post that received the most attention by far was
Will Higher Ed Websites Become Irrelevant?. I’ve talked about this at recent conferences by sharing the following observation: In 2005, 100% of my time was spent working on sites within the buffalo.edu domain. Here in the summer of 2008, I spend about 70% of my time working on sites in the buffalo.edu domain. The remaining time is spent developing our presence on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Ning, etc., time that is well spent.
Jeremiah Owyang’s recent post The Future of the Corporate Website involves People continues to explore the future of corporate web sites. I particularly like the idea of “fluidity”:
“Corporate websites of the future will be less about canned content and more about fluidity. Meaning, the consumer will demand websites that are connected to the ‘users’ and ‘consumers’ personal networks which will promote and instill word of mouth as a best practice for business development and ultimately sales. The infrastructure will be designed in a way that company developed case studies, webinars and such will be replaced by real consumers leaving messages and user created video’s. …”
To stay relevant, higher ed websites will need to focus on authenticity, transparency, and a willingness to cede control to fully leverage the power of social media. And the time has come to think outside the proverbial box. It is no longer about your web site. Instead, it is about your web presence. Information and commentary on your school is no longer confined to your site, but instead lives in numerous places including Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube and countless individual blogs.