Assignment 1: Community Engagement With UK University Web Managers

Assignment 1: Community Engagement

The first assignment of the Hyperlinked Library MOOC requires participants to “consider one of these two questions by adopting a role: either that of community guide or community creator“. The tasks are to identify a community, analyse the community and write an engagement plan. A blog post should be used for the assignment and the post should be written in the first-person.

There is no formal word count requirement, but the post should provide links to relevant resources where appropriate.

My post will describe my role as a community guide for Web managers in UK universities. This is an existing community which I have helped to developed in my previous role as UK Web Focus at UKOLN. The community was based around an annual event, the Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) which I established in 1997. Following the cessation of core funding for my host organisation in July 2013 the future of the event is now uncertain. However I do have continued interests in working with this community.

About the Community

This community consists of people with responsibilities for managing large-scale university Web services. The purpose of the community is to enable the community members to work more effectively as a group than would be possible by working in isolation.

Many members of the community do meet, at the annual IWMW event and at other events, including regional events or more specialist events such as events for developers, marketing people or those with particular interests in elearning, eresearch, etc.

The community tends to be proactive in sharing information related to significant national developments. Recently this has included the launch of the ‘cookie’ legislation and the requirement of all universities to provide standardised KIS (Key Information Sets) data elated to the student experiences at UK universities. In the past discussions did take place on email lists about specific technical issues, but the decrease in use of the main national mailing lists has seen a drop in such discussions on centralised mailing lists.

Analysis of the Community

Web managers have represented one of my key communities during my time at UKOLN. Now as an independent consultant I will be looking to build on my connections with this community. In addition to continued involvement on relevant mailing lists I intend to continue to publish surveys of institutional use of social media within the sector, which can help to stimulate discussion and debate and inform the development of best practices.

In addition to involvement online I also hope to attend a number of events which will provide opportunities for face-to-face meetings.

Engagement Plan

I will publish details of surveys on the main mailing lists for the community. I will also announce plans for the future of the IWMW 2014 event which will include details of further engagement with the community online. The benefits of the event will be described following an analysis of the survey carried out during the IWMW 2013 event. The sustainability of the event will be described in a business plan which will include details of the relationships with other organisations with whom I will be working.

  • Who would I contact in the community?
  • How would I contact her?
  • What would I say in regard to what the library/organization or I could offer to her community?
  • How would I explain the symbiotic relationship that could emerge between the community and my library/organization?

More detailed plans will be outlined in this blog shortly.




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