University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I am in the early stages of adding another member to my staff that will compliment the skill sets of the existing staff. In all likelihood, this will mean adding someone who has a strong background in writing/marketing/public relations. Ideally, this person would also have strong web skills. I'm not looking for someone to do application development, but knows HTML, CSS, etc.

Two questions for the group:

1. Will I be able to find someone who has this combination of skills.

2. Is the appropriate title for this position a "Web Editor". (The job will involve much more than writing and editing)

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I am a web content editor, and while the position here is a new one (and therefore is being defined daily), I think your title covers it. I was a webmaster previously but had a background in mass communications.

I think that my role here at the college is to be the "people person" for the web. Our webmaster will/does handle the technical things (I used to do this in a previous job). Having skills in both the technical side as well as the writing/marketing side enables me to "translate that into English" for our faculty and staff.

It also allows me to not promise something that we can't deliver (i.e. so the webmaster doesn't kill me...LOL) :-)
In addition to the info provided in my previous reply, I am now in the process of writing a mini-course (really a training session) for our faculty and staff (who will be our content contributors). Once we have our new CMS in place, they will all have training on both that system as well as "Writing for the TCC Web".

We hope this bit of training will allow them to write more effectively for the web, although once they submit items, it will be up to me to assist them in editing the content for maximum usability.
I started with the title Web editor a few years ago--since then, my title changed to Web content strategist, to show that I'm also doing planning and developing processes for content. So one thing to consider is whether the position includes some more business/strategic elements. The other thing is that, speaking as someone coming from a general editing/publications background, you traditionally wouldn't expect an editor title to include marketing and media relations tasks. (Though I think that expectation's changing with Web content.) How's that for a complicated and muddled answer? Ultimately, the Web editor title is so new that we're all still trying to figure out what it means, and it sounds like the job varies from school to school.

In terms of the coding skills, it's not that hard to learn basic HTML and CSS skills by taking a class or two--it's what I did. It's much harder to develop good communication skills. So I would focus on hiring someone who's a good writer and editor and has good instincts and knowledge about marketing and PR. I wouldn't worry too much about their coding skills.
I would love to be able to create a title as simple and straightforward as web editor or even web content manager. Instead, we're hamstrung into classifying everyone into a "communications specialist" position. Hmmmm, maybe that's why I can't find anyone for our posted position. Mark, would you send me the resumes of your rejects, please? I'm begging here.

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