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Back from HighEdWeb

October 15th, 2012 by Erick Beck

The HighEdWeb conference last week was great.  As well as the coolness factor, such as getting to listen to a keynote by Myth Buster Adam Savage, there were a lot of really useful take aways.

One look at the schedule showed that the new hot topic is mobile, and especially responsive design.  Pretty much anyone and everyone either has such a site, has thought about creating a site, or at least knows that they need such a site.  The speed with which this topic came from nowhere to dominate the content theme is astonishing.  Three years ago mobile was hardly even thought about and only a few presentations (ours being one of them, yay!) covered it.  Even there, though, the emphasis was on mobile sites, not responsive.  Last year anyone mentioning mobile talked about hiding content from mobile rather than opening things up and making it responsive.

This year was also unique in the number of presentations that I went to from the vendor track.  HighEdWeb is somewhat different from other conferences in that it has one track where vendors, often in cooperation with one of their clients, present case studies of how their product has solved a particular solution.  This year there was an impressive number of these that focused on solving a problem rather than simply selling a product, and the solutions presented this year were particularly relevant to what we are currently working on.

There were several presentations on virtual tours and maps, but not as many as in past years.  Social media was still a big topic, but was now longer the showcase technology.  There were a few content management system talks as well, but again nowhere near what was there 3-4 years ago.

My major take away was that we are in remarkably good shape as a university.  We have experienced people across the departments and for the most part there is a high institutional knowledge of what should be done and what we are working on.  There are always new things to learn and new projects to consider.  I’m sure I have given myself more work than I want in the new projects that I want to implement.  It will be a good busy, though.  We are to the point that we are largely adding value rather than fixing things that are broken pr providing things that do not exist.

Monday, October 15th, 2012 Miscellaneous
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