Monday, April 26, 2010

Are They Done Yet?

OK, I get a lot of crap from people about not being too bright, and someday I'll come up with a snappy comeback to that, but at least in real life I'm not dumb enough to bother our designer about the new templates, even though everybody is waiting for them.

Seriously, I field like four calls or emails a day about when they are going to be ready. I just assure people that we are working very hard on them and they'll be available just as soon as we can get them out there!

And yeah, we actually kinda knew this would happen, but we really didn't have a choice. With the pressure to get the home page out by D-Day, we had to start tossing parts of the redesign project overboard reassigning things to phase 2 of the redesign project. The departmental site templates was one of those things. Originally, we planned to have them ready to go with the home page, but there was no way to make that happen, and as a result we live with the consequences.  Hopefully, the wait will just make people more appreciative. Yeah, right.

Monday, April 19, 2010

How I Can I Provide You With Excellent Support?

When providing excellent support, you can't have too many screenshots.

OK, so here's the deal. When 'David' left, useless as he was, I was left as the only person in my unit (yes, WACM). A one person unit is a ripe target for being assimilated into another unit. I know that as well as anyone. My brilliant (if I do say so myself) strategy is to turn myself into a poison pill that no one wants to swallow into their organization.

But everyone pretty much agrees that I'll eventually end up in one of three places:
  • The 'basement' - I spent 8 windowless years of my life there. I'm not going back. Period. End of story. Seriously. I'd rather be homeless. Homeless people see lots of sunlight. You think I'm kidding. I'm not.
  • 'Enterprise Applications' - This is where Prophead ended up. His life is SharePoint. He's on 24 hour suicide watch. Nuff said.
  • 'Support Services' - They're going through a reorg. They don't need me to gum up their works. Besides, I hate providing support. And I hate my users. I want to do bad things to them. Make them take screenshots and figure out how to put them in an email. I'm evil. You don't want me in your support unit. Trust me. I'll just infect everyone with my bad attitude. Just leave me where I am. Please?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Allez Website!

I don't know if you thought this was funny, but for me it was hilarious. Iron Chef America is my favorite show of all time (you can thank my wife for getting me hooked on the Food Network). And I think an Iron Web Developer show would be great! But if you don't watch Iron Chef, it's probably not all that funny. Oh well. At least I'm trying.

Oh, and what do you think of the new HD format? Better? Worse? Please at least comment on that.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Only Do This For You

OK, I admit, there is probably a bit more truth in this than I'd want to admit, but I'm never above shameless self promotion.

After last year's Great Keynote Revolt, I've been dying to do the keynote at HighEdWeb 2010. The reasons are many and complex. I've never had tomatoes thrown at me literally or virtually. I'd have a blast pushing all the buttons of the attendees (@notjared was an expert at this). Reading the Twitter stream after the fact would provide hours of entertainment.

On the serious side, though, whether or not the HighEdWeb committee asks me or not (pretty sure that 'not' is where the smart money is going), what I took away from last year's keynote - as well as the feedback I've gotten regarding TFRL - is that HighEdWeb needs to not only be about and for higher education web people, it needs to be by higher education web people.

And for the most part - with the notable exception of the keynote - it was. We live and work in a very different world than other web developers and even a different world than other workers in higher education. The web is a rapidly evolving, rapid maturing environment, and that is no where more evident than in education (well, and porn, too, but that's a whole different topic).

Seriously though, the community of HighEdWeb is a intensely close knit one. And the reason for that is due to the unique combination of rapidly evolving technology and massively inert bureaucracy that is high ed web development. And I say that in all seriousness. The tiny bit of success that TFRL has enjoyed is owed entirely to the unique character of higher ed web development.

And that's why I feel that the keynote needs to be by one of us. Only we really understand our environment, and only we can really speak to it. Jared Spool was great, but the one criticism that I heard over and over about his keynote was that what he said didn't really apply to our environment.

So, whether or not the committee gives me a second thought as a speaker (did I mention that I'm not afraid of an audience of geeks, nerds, and misfits armed with smart phones and laptops?), I do hope that they select keynote speakers that truly represent us in the high ed web community.

P.S. Mark Greenfield, you're welcome. I expect a cut of your fee. Email me - we'll talk.