This month I attended the Institutional Web Management Workshop at Northumbria University. The conference, aimed mainly at university web managers, has been running for 18 years. The theme of this year was rebooting the web, after a participant at last year’s IWMW suggested the event needed rebooting.
But it feels like the entire institutional web management community as a whole is undergoing a reboot. This is not a bad thing. It is a reflection of the successes of the past, and a signal of the need for us to step up to the challenges of the present and future.
At the University of St Andrews we are currently undergoing a major rethink of the way we go about our work in digital. Although this work is very exciting, it is far from easy.
As usual, it was valuable to go to IWMW. Our colleagues in other institutions are facing the same issues. They are asking themselves the same questions. There is plenty of scope for us all to share information about how to tackle them.
A running theme of IWMW this year surrounded big ideas to do with digital transformation, institutional culture change and what our role within the institution should be. It all fits in well with the work we are doing at the moment.
Institutional web managers are a maligned bunch. Many are dealing with the same barriers, often imposed by an institution that is not yet equipped to properly deal with digital. But we can take heart from the example set by Gov.uk, which has recently transformed the way the government does digital, and even changed the way it goes about its business in a wider sense. We are beginning to see some universities step up to the plate as well.
I had planned on writing one blog post summarising my thoughts following the event. But I have come away with so much to say that I have to split them across a series of posts, which I will publish over the coming days.