University Web Developers

University Web Developers

So most likely everyone is in the same boat I'm in. People think that because it's almost summer time that we chill out and take it easy... YEAH RIGHT! Summer is when we actually get to work on projects for the website because there aren't a million distractions with little updates and so in so has this super important thing that needs to go up.

So anyways what projects are people working on this summer? This is sort of an open thread, but I'm curious about new technologies people are introducing or site initiatives.

I'll even do the honor of going first:

1. Major project to pushing the Academics section of the site with a marketing push toward projective students.
2. Revamping video player to videos to have more control over channels and access. Possibly looking at other streaming options and player functionality.
3. Site Audit
4. Spring cleaning (or I guess it's more appropriate to call it summer cleaning). Updating photography, SEO tightening the whole site, perfecting CSS and increasing site usability.


That was actually helpful to get the planning of the summer under way. :)

So really nothing revolutionary, just making everything we have better and cleaner.

Tags: audit, projects, site, summer

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this summer i'll be working a site audit, revamping my editorial calendar/schedule, proposing new interactive features, and moving to phase 2 of our complete site redesign.
I'm going to be
*converting my websites to use PHP includes instead of Dreamweaver Templates
*adding Google Analytics to all the websites
Hey Kyle

I'll be migrating our blogs from Manila to WordPress MU. So far, it's a quagmire of conversion heck! Convert from Manila to WP, then shuttle to WPMU, then clean up all the stray gremlins ... Then start themeing away. ack! Also, begin planning a Community Site for Accepted Applicants (Admiss.) which I will probably build out in Drupal.

The summer was my only window.

Cass
This summer is going to be a busy one. We'll probably begin the first steps towards migrating to a CMS. Part of this means going through our web server and doing some major cleaning to see if we can reduce the overall file size to make it easier to move and also more portable for backup and off-site replication in case of emergencies.

On the fun side, we're hoping to develop a lot more media content (videos, podcasts, soundslides) to help promote the arts specifically, but also give prospective students a better look at what the campus environment is really like. That means more toys - new iMacs, cameras, audio gear.

I'm also looking at streaming options - now that Flash player 9 can play H.264 we can encode our video to a standard format and have both Quicktime or Flash as the front end for progressive download videos. For actual streaming, the Flash player will only connect to RTMP streams which means we would have to go with Flash Media Server, but they seemed to have dropped the price to about $1,000 now which is nice. The companion Flash Media Encoder 2.5 would work great for live webcasts. The other option would be Quicktime Broadcaster with QTSS on the back end.
Erik,

Have you looked at hosted streaming options like Nirvanix or Amazon S3? Sounds like your definitely looking to do everything on a local server.
I have been doing some research on CDNs and off-site storage - our network bandwidth capacity is somewhat limited. S3 seems to be just file storage, no streaming or delivery, and as far as I can tell data can only be accessed through SOAP and REST APIs. I'm not sure what that entails.

I've looked at Akamai, Limelight, Edgecast and Voxel, but they would likely be too expensive. I'll check out Nirvanix. We would probably be fine with just plain old storage without delivery services.
Our webmaster and I (I am the Web Content Editor) are in the midst of a major web overhaul:
-complete redesign
-implementation of a CMS
-all new content; legacy content outdated, etc.

I do wish that others would realize there are many departments that do not "chill" in the summer: Academic Affairs, Admissions, Financial Aid, IT, Marketing, Web development (the list goes on)...oh. Wait. I guess we all work hard in the summer. It is the best time to get large projects done.

Oh to be a student again and have those 8 weeks off!
For the first time ever, I will have summer help! So most of the focus will be on updating content, pruning dead links, and a site audit. Sounds like I may be able to get some usability testing done as well.

And there will be a lot of strategy work, I think. We really need a marketing plan, and we need to do it on our non-existent marketing budget.
We soft launch our new site/CMS next month, formal launch in August. For the most part that, and training people for it, will be my life for the next few months.

Also eduWeb in July, and I'd like to get a nice crisis page built in case of emergencies.
Hey Kyle,
I failed to find myself a good intern for the summer, so getting all of my projects done is going to be tough. I've got a lot to do:

Alumni redesign
Rebuild our news section using a blog
Build the mobile version of the site
Create a campus forum for our intranet
Rebuild the event calendar using Google Calendar
Update our faculty staff search from .Net 1.1 to 2.0

Everyone please cross their fingers for me!
1) CMS Training resource for our Sitecore end users. We've got a mass of documentation floating around in-house concerning CMS/user interaction, and official web policy. The goal is to condense this into a consistent Wiki-like format so power users can modify documentation and make improvements.

2) Weather site: Utilize NWS XML feeds to create an official site with 5-day forecast, current observations and any announcements (watches/warnings) sent out.

3) OIE Forms, forms and more forms. Our office of international education has students fill out a bevvy of forms prior to departure on study abroad -- the goal is to bring these online to make the whole process easier for students.

4) Reworking site CSS -- we lack a printer.css and small screen (mobile) CSS. These will be added..

5) Crisis web framework -- a stripped down version of our site to function in the event of an emergency. I envision static HTML and CSS only.
I love the wiki idea for official policy! Like you said it allows you to modify documents and make improvements easily! That's really interesting.

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