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by Jeff Barr
In this plenary, Amazon's Jeff Barr will discuss Amazon's approach to Web-scale computing. Using this new approach, developers can use Amazon's broad line of Web services to rapidly and cost-effectively build scalable and flexible Web applications. Jeff will focus on Amazon's newest services, including the Simple Queue Service, the Simple Storage Service, and the Elastic Compute Cloud. The talk will include technical details and an overview of how the services are being used by customers all over the world.
Every time non-semantic markup is used, a piece of data dies. Data was born to be shared. Discover how the use of semantic markup and microformats can obsolete common read-heavy APIs and can be paired with identity protocols and OpenID to provide casual APIs for the loosely coupled generation.
by Keith Doyle
Delegates will discover how, by taking the information architecture approach as their next step, they can improve the user experience and business benefits. Information architecture gives delegates a framework and benchmarks for managing Web provision at an institutional level. This should be an engaging and entertaining talk which would help delegates decide whether a formal IA role is appropriate to their organisation. Helping delegates consider their institutional strategic approach: What is IA? How is the role covered at the moment? Should it be a specific post rather than something that's squeezed in with everything else we do?
by Arthur Clune
Attacks on Web servers, and internet connected devices in general have become both more common and more sophisticated in recent years. This talk will look at how people attack Web servers, and what they are hoping to gain from it, based on data from the Honeynet Project's deployment of Honeypot servers worldwide.
by Peter Reader
E-communications, e-marketing and social media are hot topics for university marketers and communicators, with old ideas of 'control' looking more and more unrealistic. Now the talk is of 'influence', viral marketing, students as customers, and of client management, with the web and web technologies seen increasingly as the u niversity's most important marketing tools. So what are the challenges and what are the issues with which marketers will face us? Expect more of "why" and "want" than of "how"!
by Paul Boag
Social participation is the cornerstone of the web 2.0 movement and has been spearheaded by sites such as digg.com. One of the underlying principles of these sites is that peer to peer recommendations carry more weight than those from either a search engine or from corporate advertising. The commercial sector has been quick to adopt this peer review mechanism with customer reviews and ratings.
This talk proposes to explore how social participation can be applied to the process of recruiting new students and what lessons can be learnt from the approach adopted by the commercial sector. We will also look at what institutional barriers exist that prevent this approach and how these can be overcome.
by Keith Doyle
This is a practical session following from the plenary on information architecture by Keith Doyle. The aim of information architecture is to improve the information ecology which is made up of the interaction between users, content and context. What is the process and methodology required to develop an information architecture? What are the key tools and enabling services which are required to implement information architecture? How is this process evolving at Salford? There will be a chance to look at the information architecture of institutional web sites, tips for improving the design of sub-sites, and we will look at and discuss real world examples. Keith Doyle is Web Content Architect at the University of Salford.
by Claire Gibbons and Russell Allen
The University of Bradford is currently embarking on a major series of projects under the banner of e-Strategy. The Content Management System (CMS) Programme of projects is e-Strategy project number 12. It began in October 2005 with the Business Analysis Phase (Project I). The analysis phase of the project was designed to find out how information is passed between members of staff and to our external audiences with an aim to recommend improved structures and processes in an effort to make communication simpler and more effective.
Throughout this project it became apparent that this was the first time that such a large number of staff had been consulted with and involved in a 'technical' project from the beginning, and one where the solution was not predetermined. The success of the Business Analysis phase and the staff involvement therein, has encouraged other Project Managers to consider the impact of technical projects from a 'people' point of view. Sounds obvious but how many projects do you know of where the solution has been purchased without even determining what the problem is first!
A recent (small-scale) culture survey of the University of Bradford highlighted the primary behaviours of the University of Bradford (as seen by a cross-section of University staff) to be ones that would result in the institution struggling to realign departments, staff and resources to new plans, mainly through procrastination, and infrequent interaction with staff leading to disengagement with colleagues. Surely the recipe for failed change-management projects!
Phase II of the CMS Programme is now underway with colleagues right across the institution still involved - from Professors to secretaries, managers to academics. This cultural shift towards staff engagement and affiliative behaviours has encouraged staff involvement and buy-in and such should result in a successful CMS implementation in the future.
There are several realistic alternatives to using a slide presentation tool such as Powerpoint or similar. I'll give an overview and demo of several Web-based alternatives with the pros and cons of using them, a profile of the constituencies who would benefit, and what skills and support they might need to succeed.
by david sloan and Simon Ball
Institutions are required, by the DDA 2005, to implement and publish a Disability Equality Scheme that documents a plan to maximise inclusivity for disabled staff, students and others who come into contact with the institution. The DES should include steps for optimising the accessibility of digital resources, and for monitoring progress towards meeting these objectives.
Conformance with technical accessibility guidelines might seem like the most appropriate way of mandating a minimum level of conformance, and monitoring adherence to that level. In practice, however this can lead to a number of different problems, including the validity and applicability of the guidelines, differences in interpretation, and also the potential rejection of valuable resources, particularly for teaching and learning due to their apparent failure to meet the mandated level. The obsolescence of much of W3C WCAG 1.0, and the controversy over its planned replacement WCAG 2.0, also provides a practical problem over how to define and refer to 'accessibility standards' in policy.
This has led to the promotion of the concept of contextual accessibility, which encourages a more holistic view of web accessibility in a wider context of delivery of information, services and experiences in an inclusive way (for more on this see http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus...). How, though, do we promote contextual accessibility as an institutional standard? How can we encourage web authors to use
by Stuart Church and Pete Walker
Your web site is now almost certainly the KEY communication channel for your institution. The majority of people are now aware that usability and accessibility are vital issues. However, many remain uncertain how to evaluate, test and improve Web interfaces. There is perhaps even more uncertainty in how to do this in way that can be shown to be objective and repeatable.
This workshop will provide an insight into common pitfalls of web sites and outline some easy methods to undercover how your site is being perceived and how it can be improved.
by Scott Wilson and Ben Ryan
Although standards are maturing for exchanging student data between institutional systems, specifications for course information have so far been neglected. XCRI is a JISC-funded, community-driven project to develop a UK standard for eXchanging Course-Related Information. The briefing will show how collaborative technologies and an agile development philosophy have enabled an RSS-like XML specification to emerge and be refined through trials in UK higher and further education institutions. Those attending will be introduced to the XCRI-CAP Prospectus XML and learn the outcomes of JISC-funded national trials with UCAS and Lifelong Learning Networks. An open source aggregator that uses mash-ups to add value to collated course information will be demonstrated. Attendees will be invited to critique the XCRI concept and comment in particular on the challenges and opportunities for implementing XCRI in their own organisations.
by Matt Thrower
UKOLN is currently going about the business of redesigning its Web site. Given our position in information management and digital curation research this has thrown up some interesting challenges and problems that don't normally come to light during a Web site redesign, but which have resonance for any Web site rebuild. How, for example, do you impose navigation suddenly onto 9GB of unstructured data without deleting any of it? How do you get a corporate stamp on your site without removing the ability of staff to design their own pages? Come along and discuss potential solutions to these and other problems and what lessons could be learned for your institution.
by Brian Kelly
Members of institutional Web management teams have helped to develop a sustainable community through use of mailing lists, such as the web-support and website-info-mgt JISCMail lists (which are very successful in sharing tips and receiving advice on problems) and participation at the IWMW series of workshops (which provide an opportunity for members of the community to meet, hear about new trends and best practices and to share concerns).
Web 2.0 technologies and approaches provides an opportunity to further develop and build the community, by providing a richer set of tools to support our work. Wikis, for example, could be used for writing collaborative documents; blogs could be used for documenting decisions, ideas, etc. taken by Web developers and inviting comments and responses from the wider community (an approach which has been taken in the ukwebfocus.wordpress.com Blog and other social networking services may have roles to play in supporting the community.
Such tools and services can provide opportunities for increasing visibility of members of the community, creating dialogues, giving a voice to many who might not always have the opportunity to 'speak', developing a shared purpose (almost a set of values) through sharing artifacts such as blogs, RSS feeds, documents, conference reports, etc. and finally providing a strong network through which members can help each other and become resources for each other. These would appear to be key areas where deploying Web 2.0 tools can really foster communities ... a facilitatory tool-set that provides a participatory environment where communities can really start to build themselves.
And, of course, the experiences gained by members of institutional Web teams in using such technologies will also inform their use elsewhere within our institutions.
But as we know, there will be many issues which need to be addressed in seeking to exploit Web 2.0. How should we address possible legal barriers? What about privacy issues? Will such services be sustainable? Which services should we be looking at and should we be prepared to take the risks associated with use of externally hosted Web 2.0 services?
by Dan Smith
The Web content management is seen almost universally as an essential part of the information infrastructure, but rolling out a Web Content Management System (Web CMS) is often a painful process. Why is this, and what can institutions do to avoid the pain? The facilitator will use his experience of rolling out a successful Web CMS to help attendees with potential problems.
16th–18th July 2007