From the President: Get Involved with HighEdWeb

I hope everyone is surviving this busy fall academic session. As we move toward the end of the semester, I wanted to take this chance to share some news and updates from the Higher Education Web Professionals Association.

First, thanks to everyone for a very successful HighEdWeb 2010 – 500 or so higher ed Web pros came to Cincinnati and, together, created a conference of incredible professional and personal value! As we go through evaluations, we’re reading some great comments:

  • “Great presentations + speakers – all highly relevant to my job.”
  • “Very well organized. (HighEdWeb) has a lot of serious work happening in a fun atmosphere.”
  • “This is the best conference for my profession.”

And of course, we’ll be using *all* of your feedback to make next year’s conference another great experience for higher ed Web pros.

Speaking for next year: don’t forget to mark your calendars for HighEdWeb 2011 in Austin, TX October 23-26, 2011. Please consider participating as a presenter, and start talking with the Powers That Be now so you can take advantage of the early bird rate once it is announced. We will be doing a call for proposals in early spring, with registration opening in mid-2011.

I’m also pleased to share that HighEdWeb 2012 will be held in Milwaukee, WI. Details will be available about #heweb12 early in the new year, in line with our plan to announce conference location and other information two years in advance .

At the HighEdWeb 2010 conference, I was asked numerous times, “How can I get involved in HighEdWeb?” I’m pleased to report that there are a number of committees and opportunities – both established and new – in which you can get more involved. I gave a basic overview at the conference, but let me share again, in more detail.

Standing HighEdWeb Committees

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors governs the day-to-day efforts of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association. The Board focuses on the strategic direction of the Association, as well as fiscal responsibilities and operational duties. Information will soon be available on the process for applying to and being considered for Board membership

Conference Committee

The Conference Committee is responsible for the logistics, scheduling, and production of the annual HighEdWeb conference. A chairperson is chosen based on the conference’s location, then specific positions are appointed to bring together the many needed skill sets, including: marketing, vendor relations, photography, swag merchandise, entertainment planning, design, customer relations, etc. A breakdown of the position descriptions will be forthcoming. People interested in participating must be able to fulfill need of the committee position and be appointed by the Conference Committee chair.

Program Committee

The Program Committee helps select annual conference presentations, and members operate as Track Chairs in the conference session rooms. There are two track chairs per track (with five session tracks, a poster track, and a workshop track) plus an overall committee chair. The Program Committee also selects the best track and overall conference presentations. To be considered for membership on the Program Committee, one must have experience presenting at HighEdWeb and must be invited by the committee chair. The best way to get involved with this committee is to present and volunteer to assist the track chairs.

New HighEdWeb Committees

There are additional directives that the Board would like to initiate, providing both forward momentum for the Association, as well as offering new opportunities for involvement. Because of these needs, we are expanding the organization to include three new committees.

Registration System Support Committee

The charge of the Registration System Support Committee is to evolve and maintain the current HighEdWeb conference registration system. This custom-created system is already in place, but will need modifications to grow for future use, including helping to organize and manage HighEdWeb Regional Conferences. Members of this committee will be required to sign confidentiality agreements, as well as be well versed in and MicroSoft SQL Server.

Regional Support Committee

The Regional Support Committee helps manage official HighEdWeb Regional Conferences. The committee will be a reference and guide toauthorized region conference. The Regional Support Committee works closely with all of the approved Regional Conferences on logistics of scheduling, hosting, marketing, budgeting, identifying presenters, and planning.

HighEdWeb Online Magazine

The future HighEdWeb Online Magazine will be a central place where members will publish articles on topics of professional interest. HighEdWeb Online Magazine will need members in roles such as editor, designer, writer, organizer, etc. It is my personal hope to begin the magazine in 2011.

Next Steps

If you want to be more involved via one of the above opportunities, please e-mail me directly at frommelt{at}uwplatt{dot}edu. Please include the phrase HighEdWeb in the subject line to help gain my attention, and I will review and respond in the first week of November 2010.

Our goal is to allow multiple opportunities for people to participate in HighEdWeb: be a presenter, be a volunteer at a conference, be a writer for the magazine, host a regional conference, help maintain the registration system … help as you are able and be an even bigger part of HighEdWeb. The Board of Directors hopes these new opportunities continue to allow us all to focus together on the Higher Ed Web Professionals Association’s overarching mission:

“To advance Web professionals, technologies, and standards in higher education.”

I look forward to hearing from – and working with – you soon.


#highered Follow Friday: Meet Our Sponsors Edition

Every year our wonderful sponsors provide real value to our attendees through the services and content they provide during the conference, while defraying the costs of the conference and helping us keep our registration fees reasonable. And on top of all that, they’re pretty fun folks, too!

Get to know them before the conference. And remember to bring some raffle-friendly business cards along — these guys LOVE to give stuff away!

  • OmniUpdate (@omniupdate)
    A leading Web content management system provider for colleges and universities.
  • Terminal Four (@TERMINALFOUR)
    An enterprise content management system provider for education, public sector, and commercial institutions .
  • Active Data Exchange (@activedatax)
    Provides web-based calendaring solutions to the education, government, non profit, healthcare and corporate markets.
  • Dell (@edu4u)
    Dell’s Edu4u initiative seeks to harness the power of technology to enhance teaching and learning
  • Event Management Systems (@EMSxDEA)
    EMS offers a full suite of room scheduling, meeting and event management, and academic scheduling solutions
  • Hannon Hill (@hannon_hill)
    Hannon Hill’s Cascade Server CMS powers sites for eduction, healthcare, and government clients.
  • Innersync Studio (@innersyncstudio)
    Innersync’s Campusuite Web CMS is designed expressly for schools and higher education.
  • Jadu (@jaducms)
    Jadu specializes in the design and development of enterprise scale web and information architectures – websites, intranets and extranets.
  • Imodules (@iModules)
    Encompass from iModules helps higher ed clients integrate all their online engagement activities in one place.
  • Academic Oatmeal
    This community of academic marketing experts share their insights, experiences, and opinions.
  • SiteImprove
    SiteImprove’s wide portfolio of tools will help with everything from quality control to server monitoring


Meet the #heweb10 Track: Poster Session

Track Name: Poster Session

Track Chair:

  • Karen M. Hackett (@khackett), Communications Coordinator at Penn State University

Karen has been involved with HighEdWeb for five years, and is a major fan of her Blackberry – although she confesses that, if being left on a deserted island, she might just consider going without technology altogether.  Maybe.

Her advice to #heweb10 attendees is very wise: “Network, make friends, start new conversations! Some of the best attributes of the conference include the people who make it happen and the people who attend – great relationships to be made and kept!” And, as Karen notes, the conference’s poster session provides an excellent opportunity to connect with conference colleagues and strike up new conversations.

In Karen’s words, “Poster sessions are an excellent, interactive way to present a project or an idea, share best practices, or build new collaborations. Poster session presenters create a poster of the information to be shared and provide a short overview of the session, followed by a more in-depth discussion with interested colleagues. They provide an excellent forum for sharing information about projects, ideas/concepts, applications, and information.”

#heweb10 attendees can look forward to viewing more than 35 posters this year, arranged in an open set up to allow for plenty of movement and room to mingle.

Register today for #heweb10 – don’t miss out on checking out this great track!

Meet the #heweb10 Track: Workshops

Track Name: Pre-and Post-Conference Workshops

Track Chair:

  • Daniel M. Frommelt (@frommelt), University World Wide Web Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville
Photo of #heweb10 Pre- and Post-Conference Workshop chair Dan Frommelt
#heweb10 Workshop chair Dan Frommelt

Dan began presenting at WebDevShare in Indiana where his first presentation on Web Standards and How to Benefit from Them won the Best Track and Best Overall Conference awards. Over the next couple of years that topic grew to include details about basic CSS, became a CSS workshop, and then branched out into new technologies, from voice XML to meta data to microformats to Google Wave.

Dan says, “Each time I became involved with the HighEdWeb group, I was learning and wanting to learn more and more. This group is full of contagious high energy and is loads of fun to be around. Eventually I was asked to work on the program committee, conference committee, and eventually to serve on the board of directors. Currently, I am President of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association board and am very excited to have the conference in Cincinnati in 2010

Advice from Dan  as to how to make the most of #heweb10: “It will be an awesome time, but you have to fully participate in order to get the most out of the event. Do your best to minimize the checking of email back at work. It will be there at the end of the day, or at least wait to check it over lunch! If you focus your attentions and enjoy the company of the people during the sessions, you will have an incredible conference experience and just an awesome time.”

Dan’s word to the Workshop-wise: Sign up soon, as space is limited to attend the workshops. Each year we have many workshops that close due to space limitations.

Keep an eye out: As October approaches, attendees will get updates from their workshops instructors regarding any special requirements or information necessary to fully participate in the workshops.

Register today for #heweb10 – don’t miss out on checking out this great track!ager at Monroe Community College.


Meet the #heweb10 Track: Social Media

Track Name: Social Media

Track Chairs:

Photo of Social Media track chair Mark Greenfield
#heweb10 Social Media track chair Mark Greenfield

Mark is an accomplished speaker who frequently presents at a wide range of higher education conferences and meetings where his thought provoking commentary on the impact of emerging technology on college campuses challenges audiences to rethink their basic assumptions about web communications.

In addition, Mark is an avid golfer, tennis player and “#audiosnob” (he confessed, upon inquiry, that the one thing he would want to bring to a deserted island is his stereo).

Robin describes herself in her own words: “A background in design and marketing, a degree in Information Sciences & Technology, and a passion for social media and community engagement, I like to see how emerging technologies can be used in teaching and learning, both in the classroom and, perhaps more importantly, in the online learning environment. I believe in community, transparency, and authenticity. You should, too.”

Photo of Social Media track chair Robin Smail
#heweb10 Social Media track chair Robin Smail

When we asked what one thing Robin would take with her on a deserted island, she replied “It depends. Is there an antenna? Is there cell coverage? Because, if so, it’s my iPhone, hands down. Is there even a power outlet? Because, like, srsly, inquiring minds need to know. After all, I can see all sorts of fail with this question.  Technology needs a power source. And the internets. It’s not like I’m gonna sit there playing with my abacus.”

Advice from Mark & Robin as to how to make the most of #heweb10: Network, network, network.

Why should attendees attend Social Media sessions? Because social media is not a twitter  account. Social media is not traditional marketing. Social media is not a bullhorn. But what is it and how can it help your institution? This is where you learn those answers — and  THAT’S why you should attend.

We have a wide range of presentations focusing on social media at both the strategic and tactical levels. We will be approaching social media from many angles from admissions to alumni to the classroom. And as a special bonus, there will be a great session that explores the lessons learned from the infamous #heweb09 keynote.  (also, the rumor of a #cupcaketweetup may or may not be true. You’ll have to attend the track to find out 🙂

Two Months to #heweb10: An Update from our Chair

Well, HighEdWeb 2010, the international conference for higher education Web professionals, is now exactly two months away; I know you’re with us as we count down to 10-10-10. The conference committees and I are very excited too. And while our Early Bird registration discount is available until August 31 and our special #heweb10 hotel room rate is available until September 18, one thing is already clear: HighEdWeb 2010 is the place to be this fall.

To be completely transparent, we have nearly 100 more attendees already registered for this year compared to this date a year ago – an exciting occurrence! So, if you know that you’re coming to HighEdWeb this Fall, and we hope that you are, I would encourage you to consider making your conference registration and hotel reservation soon, like in the next few days (NOTE: Our block of hotel rooms for Saturday night, before the conference starts, is already currently sold out though we’re working with our hotel to add more. At only $119 a night, it’s a great deal at an outstanding hotel). And, if you’re waiting for the boss’ final approval, it’s time to make the push (or ask them to give me a call and I’ll be happy to share more details about the conference).

Packed with a line-up of great presentations, a host of social events and a top-notch facility, we think you will really professionally benefit from the connections you make and the lessons you will learn while having a good time in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 10-13 at HighEdWeb 2010.

The 2010 Keynotes: And now for something completely different

As I think we all can agree, 2009 was a … “challenging,” let’s say, year for HighEdWeb keynote/featured presentations. Though one of our 09 featured presentations was very well received (nice work, Jared Spool!), the other featured presentation ended up being a rather bad fit for the conference. Both during and after that second keynote, we received a lot of feedback regarding what our community is hoping to see in a featured presentation. All we can say is: we heard you. We heard you when you asked for noted experts in the latest Web-based issues. We heard you when you said you really wanted at least one of the keynotes to be very centered on specific higher education Web issues (versus more overall Web practices). And we heard you when you said, “Gee, wouldn’t it be great if the keynote was one of our own, a member of the #heweb community?!”

So, this year, as we prep for HighEdWeb 2010 in Cincinnati, we’re trying something new. We’re still having two post-lunch features but we think you’ll like the direction we’re taking things.

Tuesday Featured Presentation: Steve Krug

As we’ve already announced, on Tuesday, October 12 our featured post-lunch presenter will be Steve Krug, noted author of Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, now in its second edition with over 200,000 copies in print. His new book, Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems, explains how everyone can-and should-be doing their own usability testing. Steve’s books are based on 20 years of experience as a usability consultant for a wide variety of clients like Apple,,, NPR, the International Monetary Fund, and many others.

Steve is no stranger to HighEdWeb – he has attended and presented at the conference before, and we’re very pleased to welcome him back.

Monday Featured Presentation:  The Red Staplers

It’s the feature for Monday, October 11 that takes a little turn for the new and different. We’re pleased to announce that the featured post-lunch presenter isn’t really a single presenter but is, instead, what we’re calling the Red Stapler Mini-Track. Several past HighEdWeb “Best of Track” presenters will give special updated versions of their award-winning presentations, and attendees will be able to attend their session of choice! You won’t want to miss out on this great opportunity to hear some of the best speakers in HighEdWeb’s history.

Currently confirmed for the Red Stapler Track:

  • Mark Greenfield: “Higher Ed Web Development Gets Flattened, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New World Order” (Red Stapler winner, 2007)
  • Martha Carrer Cruz Gabriel: “SMO & SEO: Promoting your Website” (Red Stapler winner,2008)
  • Lori Packer: “Talking to Your Boss About Twitter…” (Red Stapler winner,2009)
  • Kyle James: “Hello, Is Anyone Out There? Using Web Analytics to Understand Your Audience” (Red Stapler winner, 2008)
  • Tony Dunn: “Maybe the Purpose of Our Redesign is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others” (Red Stapler winner, 2009)

More updates/additions on this special feature will be announced as details evolve, so please do stay tuned. Be sure to register for HighEdWeb 2010 soon to lock in early bird discount pricing, and to ensure that you won’t miss any of our great presentations for HighEdWeb pros.