Tuesday 17th July, 2007
3:30pm to 5:00pm
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?
Independent consultant at UK Web Focus Ltd. Recent content at http://www.rebelmouse.com/briankelly/
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