#heweb2011 was an intense conference held in the midst of lots of live music and beer in Austin, TX. We had a fast-paced schedule sure to make even the most seasoned veteran’s head explode! Monday, 7 sessions and a keynote during lunch. Tuesday, 5 sessions and a keynote during lunch. Wednesday, you get the opportunity to view 2 of the “best of” tracks from all the sessions.
Below is a list of the sessions I attended with a link to the original description on the conference site. At the bottom, I’ve highlighted my favorite of all the sessions.
Monday, October 24th
- Using WordPress to Power Your Institution’s Entire News Presence
- Rethinking the Login
- Mobile on a Shoestring
- The Ultimate Open Source CMS – A Cage Match
- Engaging Your Campus Using a NextGEN Calendar of Events System
- Feeding the Beast: Fostering an API Culture
- Web 2.5: The Love Story and Marriage of Your Website and Social Media
Tuesday, October 25th
- Drupal Workflow: Set it and Forget it!
- Going Mobile! The How and Why of UVU’s Mobile Web Initiative
- Plug It In: Writing Better WordPress Plugins
- The *!#* Site is Down! Again!?
- Management and Technical Issue in Migrating a LAMP Hosting Environment an Its Sites
Wednesday, October 26th
My Favorite Session
What Colleges Can Learn From The Insane Clown Posse
This session was fantastic! I got lucky enough to catch it on Wednesday as a repeat session. It was said there were 4 lessons to take away:
- Know exactly who you are (as a university), and never change anything about it
- Create content/media for your niche
- Create an engaging experience for your audience
- Don’t be afraid to take risks
- People are going to be upset about bold changes…deal with it. This basically means that not everyone (faculty, staff, alumni) will agree with what we are doing, but it’s not for them! It’s for the students
- Ask “why not?”
- When people tell you no on something, ask why not. Find out what their reasoning is and try to figure a way around it. She even suggested going around that person if you can’t get anywhere with them and try someone else (if at all possible)
The speaker encouraged everyone to go back and not be a victim; find the time whether at home or during work to finish that one project that you personally want to see out there. You, as the web professional, have to stay engaged to make engaging material for the students. And keep learning…once you stop learning, you start to lose some of those creative juices.
I’m so glad that we are given this great opportunity to get off campus and network with other higher ed web professionals. It’s amazing how we all have the same problems, whether political or technological. We are not alone in this journey to make the web better. In conclusion, if you are a higher ed web professional and on the fence about whether to attend this conference, don’t think about it any longer; just do it already! You’ll thank me later.
See you all next year in Milwaukee!