UKOLN "Institutional Web Management Workshop 2002: The Pervasive Web"

Discussion Group on "Support for Information Providers"

This page provides access to notes for the discussion group on "Support for Information Providers" which took place at the Institutional Web Management 2002 workshop held at the University of Strathclyde on 18-20 June 2002.

Support for Information Providers

What are the Main Types of Information Provider?

  1. Secretaries putting up departmental information.
    Probably low skill but could be high content
  2. Lecturers putting up course notes.
    Probably low skill and low content.
  3. Departmental "web coordinators".
    All levels of skill (but hopefully medium-high!) and quite a lot of content.
  4. Marketing-based providers (prospectuses etc)
    Lot of content, probably little skill (probably passing the job on to someone else)
  5. Others:- Technical providers, producing databases etc; Student providers (SU etc); Schools with own servers; External companies

What Are The Main Problems?

  1. Getting the actual content - Copywriting
  2. Training and support for those lacking in skills
  3. Resources

What Can We Do?

  1. Try to ensure better communication with management level, i.e. Heads of Schools, Marketing, the Training Unit (if it exists!). Make sure management appreciate the time and skills involved, and therefore will give their staff the time and training they need
  2. Appoint a copywriter for each school/group. Somone who isn't involved with technical issues, but can oversee all the School's content and (hopefully) ensure it gets written!
  3. Identify the different types of user and try to target training effectively (one size doesn't fit all)
  4. Write good standards, in plain English! E.g. accessibility, writing for the web, general good 'web' practice.
  5. Ensure good communication with content providers: regular meetings, newsgroups, mailing lists - encourage people to use and contribute to them
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