We have received the Strategic Recommendations from White Whale, suggestions for large ideas that we should be paying attention to during the Web Makeover project. The document will also be available here (MIDD username and password required to download) Below, you will find the coordinating group’s initial thoughts, shared below.
Please feel free to address comments to White Whale and the makeover group, the web makeover group alone, individuals in the groups, or the blog as you deem appropriate. We will be gathering comments until Tuesday, May 26th, at noon.
What is Middlebury?
The response to this question from White Whale resonated with many of us, especially the statement: “the root of the Middlebury brand, its source and ongoing inspiration, is the community culture, lived daily experience, and personality of Middlebury’s undergraduate students.”
Middlebury’s components and the Middlebury homepage
“The homepages of the component institutions should be the primary channels of communication for those institutions.” – this makes sense, and may generate some good discussion. We agree that the homepage does not need to tell the whole story, and like the idea of engaging users by telling the story “over time.”
Technology independence and the importance of writing
Appreciated the focus of writing as the key component to a great site. Also agree that we should not rely on specific Web 2.0 technologies. Would like to see White Whale share their ideas on the editing interface for users.
Blogs dot Middlebury
Agreed with the concept, template designs that can be ported onto other platforms is within scope and part of this project. More discussion can happen on how this gets implemented.
We have started this. What is the goal of this exercise? How will this be sustained in the new site?
Appreciate that Search is being addressed early on. Concerns about the sustainability of custom search pages.
Athletics at Middlebury
Questioning the choice of Picasa. If we are not relying on specific Web 2.0 technologies, why choose one now?
Turning students into donors
How does this tie into the micro-philanthropy initiative? Can we add this to the project, or do we need to focus on other features of the site and have this be included in a “phase 2?”
Managing content in an unpredictable environment
Users should not need to know specialized CMS vocabulary. Also agree that accountability and ownership of the website are goals of this project.
Midd Lab and the language of rugby
This idea needs to be developed. Expect faculty pushback if this is expected to be a driver for interdisciplinary work. Can this be related to the Commons? Is this sustainable, do we have the staff?
Filed under: deliverables