Copy and Paste Is Easy, but Let’s Make Your Site Shine: Helping Non-experts Thrive as Web Managers

MPD5 Management and Professional Development

Location: Ballroom E

MONDAY, 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

I’d never trained a hunting dog before, so when an eight-week-old pup joined my family in the spring of 2013 I was as clumsy and confused as she was. We went to a trainer and the first thing he said to me was, “I’m not teaching your dog a damn thing. I’m going to train you to train her.” I can’t work with your content managers, but I’m going to train… I mean teach you to teach them how to thrive in their role, even if it’s an “other duty as assigned.” As a former English teacher I jumped wholeheartedly into the training aspect of my role as web communications manager in a decentralized system with more than 200 content managers. I will share tips and tactics for planning your training sessions; helping your content managers embrace their responsibility; demonstrating the function of a well-designed, well-written page and how to make each page useful to their audience; and share some of my favorite IA, UX and web writing resources that novices can use—and actually enjoy—to build their confidence and skill sets. My university’s site is far from perfect, but as you improve your content managers so shall you improve your school’s web presence.

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Joe Vickless
Web communications manager, Duquesne University

Joe Vickless has worked in higher ed communications for more than five years in both small private school and large university environments. His current role as web communications manager for Duquesne University has him laser focused on the web. Vickless graduated with a BA in English from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, and an MA in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. After numerous teaching and communications related jobs, quite a bit of bouncing around the U.S., and a brief stint teaching English is Greece, Vickless has settled with his wife in his beloved Pittsburgh.