Resources for Web Planning
Below are links to some articles intended to be helpful starting points for a campus-wide conversation about the possible scope and future of campus web technology, especially with respect to the development of the next iteration of the Fredonia Plan and a related Campus Web Plan that is proposed in the 2009 Web Research: http://bit.ly/2009webreport
These videos and articles offer provocative insights about:
- emerging web technologies, and
- the profound organizational shifts that those technologies are engendering.
The authors/creators of these items are widely considered to be leaders in their respective areas.
Please share this page with any colleagues who may share an interest in these web-related topics. Thank you for your time and interest! I look forward to continuing this campus conversation in 2010.
Jonathan Woolson, University Webmaster
November 28, 2009
Observations about free/open source (F/OSS) platforms:
Free/open source software (F/OSS) web tools are evolving rapidly and becoming very mature: more useful, easier to use, easier to manage, AND more secure than they were even one year ago.
Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, & campus business practices:
The web platform is maturing rapidly with standards for business that are essential for sharing information and providing services for daily campus operations. "Web 2.0" is a general term to describe a wide set of online tools that are used to connect people and information quickly.
Web technologies like Google Docs, WordPress blogs, and wikis are examples of inexpensive, powerful online collaboration tools. The combination of those tools and the business practices to support their use is termed "Enterprise 2.0".
Over the past several years, inexpensive, powerful online collaboration Enterprise 2.0 tools have been changing dramatically the business practices of large organizations -- to be easier and faster -- to effectively reduce the coordination effort of organization-wide projects.
Using F/OSS web tools, such as open source wiki and blog platforms, in combination with mainstream, proprietary platforms like Facebook and Twitter, web developers/programmers and web users/editors are accelerating the growth of the highly-interactive, social networking aspects of what technologists term "Web 2.0".
"Web 1.0" describes static web pages that function much like an online brochure -- this type of page requires that a site programmer/editor create the content for a site visitor.
"Web 2.0" describes dynamic web pages that engage an audience with "user-generated content", e.g., allowing user feedback as comments, user postings, etc. Examples include wikis, blogs, forums, and social networking tools.
Web 2.0-type sites empower visitors to "self-assemble" web content, often operating within a set of expectations or conventions (see Wikipedia's Editing Guidelines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Cheatsheet.
To meet the diverse needs of all university users and visitors, a campus-wide web strategy should address both Web 1.0 (marketing), and Web 2.0 (interactive) pages. When a Web 2.0 approach is used to support enterprise business and internal operations, it may be referred to as "Enterprise 2.0".
According to authors Chris Anderson and Dion Hinchcliffe, the maturity of free/open source software (F/OSS) web tools represents a tremendous opportunity for large organizations to improve their efforts at collaboration and overall efficiency. This opportunity is an organizational shift often referred to with the shorthand, “Enterprise 2.0” or “E2.0”.
“Enterprise 2.0 is the term for the technologies and business practices that liberate the workforce from the constraints of legacy communication and productivity tools like email. It provides business managers with access to the right information at the right time through a web of inter-connected applications, services and devices. Enterprise 2.0 makes accessible the collective intelligence of many, translating to a huge competitive advantage in the form of increased innovation, productivity and agility.”
(21 minutes) -- Clay Shirky, 2005
Clay Shirky cites specific examples to show how closed groups and companies will give way to looser networks where small contributors have big roles and fluid cooperation/collaboration replaces rigid planning.
Mr. Shirky offers a compelling case for how changes caused by the intrinsic properties of social web technology may lead to a transformation of human society in ways we haven't seen since Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type which in turn helped to accelerate the European Renaissance, followed by 200 years of social upheaval. Clay Shirky posits that we might reasonably expect about 50 years of socioeconomic upheaval and disruption related to emerging web technology. http://www.shirky.com/bio.html
(Historical accuracy disclaimer: Johannes Gutenberg and/or Laurens Koster are credited with inventing moveable type in the 1440s in Europe, however Bi Sheng is credited with first inventing movable type 400 years prior, in 1041 in China.)
By Dion Hinchcliffe (2009)
Although this article is written for a business audience, I feel that its thesis is applicable to higher education as well.
“These days in the halls of IT departments around the world there is a growing realization that the next wave of outsourcing, things like cloud computing and crowdsourcing [e.g., wikis], are going to require responses that will forever change the trajectory of their current relationship with the business, or finally cause them to be relegated as a primarily administrative, keep-the-lights-on function.
“Today’s highly evolved Web has grown far beyond its original roots in content distribution and communication. It has become a fully fledged platform for media (TV, movies, music, newspapers, gaming, etc. have been strongly disrupted by the Web and now largely reside there) as well as more strategic pursuits. Probably most significantly is computing in all its many forms. This ranges from low-level services such as raw compute power and storage to social computing, semantics, and collective intelligence.”
WOA = Web-Oriented Architecture - http://blogs.zdnet.com/Hinchcliffe/?p=168
CC/SRR = Creative Commons/Some Rights Reserved - http://creativecommons.org
AOP = Architectures of Participation - http://blogs.zdnet.com/Hinchcliffe/?p=771
“Waste Is Good: Technology is becoming too cheap to meter. So stop metering it. It’s time to harness the power of abundance.”
By Chris Anderson (Wired magazine, July 2009)
Campus observations related to this Wired article:
In 2009, I’ve observed that campus colleagues are adopting the “Abundance” model — professors are regularly using WordPress, Google Apps and other web technology in place of ANGEL to manage class content. The Student Association (SA) is using Google Apps to manage its communication and business needs. Other groups and departments are using the free www.doodle.com to coordinate team meetings in place of Exchange Calendar scheduling.
More individuals, groups, and departments on our campus are using off-campus, ad hoc, unapproved web tools to support academics and university business and are achieving measurable success and improvements in efficiency at very low risk for cost OR security.
“The state of Enterprise 2.0”
By Dion Hinchcliffe (2007)
The bullet points and graphs that follow are pulled from the article. For a comprehensive overview of Enterprise 2.0 it is important to peruse the article.
- Lesson #1: Enterprise 2.0 is going to happen in your organization with you or without you.
- Lesson #2: Effective Enterprise 2.0 seems to involve more than just blogs and wikis.
- Lesson #3: Enterprise 2.0 is more a state of mind than a product you can purchase.
- Lesson #4: Most businesses still need to educate their workers on the techniques and best practices of Enterprise 2.0 and social media.
- Lesson #5: The benefits of Enterprise 2.0 can be dramatic, but only builds steadily over time.
- Lesson #6: Enterprise 2.0 doesn’t seem to put older IT systems out of business.
- Lesson #7: Your organization will begin to change in new ways because of Enterprise 2.0. Be ready. Enterprise 2.0 platforms seem to foster a new type of collaboration that exhibits more innovation, creativity, and cross pollination.
“Enterprise 2.0: What do we know today about moving our organizations into the 21st century?”
By Dion Hinchcliffe (2009)
- Businesses are actively seeking information about how best to implement Enterprise 2.0.
- There is still lots of debate about how to calculate the ROI of social computing.
- Certain internal groups are driving Enterprise 2.0 within organizations more than others.
- The trough of disillusionment is the next stage for Enterprise 2.0 (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle).
- There is still a lot of Enterprise 2.0 discussion out of business context.
“Decentralized Information Technology Requires Central Coordination”
By Sarah C. Michalak, Julio C. Facelli, and Clifford J. Drew (1999)
“To provide effective IT services, the institution must fulfill the real and perceived needs of individual users to the greatest degree possible. Greater diversity in an institution increases the challenge of meeting individual user needs as the number, type, and customization of services increase.”
“Centralized vs. Decentralized” web management
A university web developers’ forum discussion
“I know the theory that you want to let the ‘content experts’ write their stuff, but even as we say it, it's often not the case. The office secretary is not the ‘content expert.’ And being a ‘content expert’ doesn't mean that you know how to either translate or format it for the web.”
-- post by Mike Fienen, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS
“With some sites, more DIY [Do-It-Yourself] is possible (decentralized), with others DFY [Done-For-You] is the model (centralized). Both coexist in our content ecosystems.”
-- response by Jay Collier, Bates College, Lewiston ME