Friday, October 8, 2010

All You Need is Love

Fortunately, this hasn't happened. Yet. However, I do have a couple of clients that I worry about. For them, having access to their site isn't too far off from giving them a sharp knife and telling them to run around campus as fast as they can. I worry that they will accidentally do something horrible to their site. So far, it hasn't happened, but it's inevitable.

That's why, the sooner I can move to doing something else, something less dangerous, the better. On the Web, your mistakes (and the mistakes of people who then blame you) are very, very visible.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen

Yeah, this really happened. And I blame Prophead.

I was making a backup of the [REDACTED] department website before switching them to the WCMS, and I noticed a very large file go by with the name ''. I commented on it to Prophead and he asked what was in it. I hadn't bothered to look, but once he asked, I opened it up - only to be confronted with about 20 short mpeg files of - ahem - "lesbian porn".

Most of the videos were of pitifully low quality; I have much better stuff at home... I mean most of it was despicable and tasteless in the worst possible way. Not that I actually looked at any of it. Because I didn't. Not most of it anyway. Well, maybe a couple, but only to confirm that it was actually porn.

I don't know who uploaded this file (I honestly didn't want to know), and it got wiped when we switched them to the WCMS, but really? Porn? In an academic department's website? Not cool. Not in real life.

Seriously. I shouldn't have to deal with crap like that. Really.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Official TFRL HighEdWeb 2010 Session Endorsements

Several people have posted on the top ten sessions they want to attend at the HighEdWeb 2010 conference coming up next week in Cincinnati. I thought this was a great idea until I saw that my session wasn't listed in any of these posts. ~o_~o

But since it's also election season, I thought it only appropriate that the TFRL "editorial staff" should "endorse" the sessions it thinks are worth attending.

Before I start, I'd like to apologize to all the people who aren't going to get mentioned in this post. It sucks to get ignored, but I blame HighEdWeb for having six concurrent tracks and forcing us to choose. Seriously though, these represent only the sessions I'm personally interested in. You are probably interested in better things than I am.


APS1: Hanging 10 in Google Wave
Poor Robin Smail; Google nuked Wave after her presentation was accepted (sorry, but I did LOL). I have no real idea on what she will be presenting on instead, but I do know this: Whatever it is, it will be hilarious and will be full of Firefly/Serenity references. I'm going to this one strictly for the lulz!

SOC2: "Hella Drop Shadow": Presenting and Teaching in the Era of the Backchannel
If you aren't familiar with the keynote backchannel revolt from last year's HighEdWeb conference, then "hella drop shadow" probably doesn't mean anything to you, but for those of us who were there, it was something of a transformative event; demonstrating the power and immediacy of the backchannel. I'm pegging this session to be both extremely informative and very fun.

MMP3: Managing Projects in Web Development
OK, now we get down to serious business. Project management is probably where I'm headed, so this session is "relevant to my interests". I'm pretty sure that I know some of this already, but I'm also sure that I'll learn a lot as well.

MMP4: Navigating and Surviving a "Perfect Storm"
Holy crap! This presentation sounds almost exactly like the presentation that I will be doing the following day! I think I have to go to this just so I can either a) incorporate all of their points into my presentation, or b) rebut all their points in my presentation. Mostly, I'm just curious about their experience in doing THE EXACT SAME THING WE DID.

RED3: Maybe the Purpose of Our Redesign is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others
I initially wrote down that I was going to see Mark Greenfield's It's the End of the Web as We Know It Redux, but then I realized that this was the Red Stapler track, and that I was going to be presenting next door. It's a bummer that you have to go to your own session. I've already seen my presentation like 3 times. Boooooring.

I think I may sit this one out. No offense to anyone, but I tend to be pretty wiped after presenting, so I'll probably take a nap or go for a walk.

MMP6: Online Brand Development in a Decentralized World
OK, I'm not a marketing person (All these higher ed web conferences seem to be lousy with marketing people... what ever happened to academics? #justsayin), but I really like the description of this presentation. I like hearing anything that has to do with "limited resources in a decentralized environment". I think that the information in this session will help me help our clients realize "that content and site structure are the keys to success". Sounds like good stuff.


MMP7: 10 Years In The Hole: A Possibly Cautionary Tale About Being A Higher Ed Web Geek
OK, who can resist a session that has a title that pretty much sums up your entire higher education career? This is the session that I think may run away with the red stapler this year in the MMP track (I know for sure I'm not getting it), and I don't want to miss it!

SOC8: The Cluetrain Stops at Higher Ed, Will Anyone Take Delivery?
I pity da fool that misses any Mark Greenfield presentation! Anything that Mark does is absolutely worth listening to, and this presentation, based on the Cluetrain Manifesto, promises to be a high water mark. To tell you what I think of Mark, if I could only attend one session at the conference, this would be the one. I'm just glad that my presentation is not up against his.

MMP9: Confessions From a Wicked Vendor (or What I Learned in My First Year on the Other Side of Higher Ed)
OK, let me start off with a disclaimer: Karlyn Morisette, the presenter of this session, is getting a tattoo of TFRL characters at the conference. So it's clear that she's completely psychotic and unstable and probably on meth. Her presentation is a personal story of her experience as a vendor. Job-wise, it doesn't have a lot of relevance to me. But let me clue you in on something: personal stories are what people like to hear because we connect with them as people. I like sessions that are personal stories because I feel that I get to connect with the presenter. Aside from the tattoo and the fact that she's seriously smart, that's why I'm going to this session.

TNT10: Got Centerpiece? So Does Everyone Else or...
MMP10: Dirty Secrets of Web Directors
OK, this one is a tough call. On the one hand, I want to bring my vuvuzela to Michael Fienen's presentation on centerpieces (hey, we have a centerpiece too!!), and on the other hand I really want to hear what Nick, Chas and Matt have to say about issues facing web directors. I haven't yet decided, but I do know that I can be bribed.

MMP11: Behind the Green Door: Life on the Other Side of a Homepage Redesign
The only reason I'm attending this session is because I'm presenting it. While a part of my brain says "your presentation is fine" another part worries that it's total crap. However, my presentation will have cameo appearances by the Three Stooges, John Belushi, Peter Gibbons (think "Initech"), Approval Guy, The Incredible Hulk, a bunch of baboons, Billy Mays, Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Fonz, David Hasselhoff, Stephen Colbert, Sarah Palin, and the Kool-Aid guy. Oh, and Chuck Norris (but that goes without saying).

So that's our endorsements for this year. Remember to attend early and often. I'm looking forward to seeing EVERYONE next week in Cincinnati! I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wellcome to Are Sight; We Hope U Liek It!

I'm sure this has happened; probably a bunch of times. But I'm not a content guy. Other than porn (see Thursday's upcoming TFRL), I really don't care what people put on their sites. That isn't my particular problem, and I pay very little attention to what people send us for content. I have enough problems without worrying that faculty members with multiple graduate degrees can't spell or put together a complete sentence.

And we have a very decentralized approach to content on our site anyway. It's called "every man for himself".  In other words, departments are pretty much on their own when it comes to content, unless they want to pay money to get help - which is rare.

BTW, we have neither a "Physeology" nor a Physiology department on our campus, so I can't get in trouble for that. And depending on your stylistic rules, there might be 17 errors in that short paragraph.

Monday, October 4, 2010

There's No Place Like Home... There's No Place Like Home...

OK, now we're back to reality. This really happened. And I have to apologize to a co-worker and former minion for using it, but honestly it was just too funny to pass up.

Honestly, if I stop doing Web support, I'll miss things like this. I think.