#heweb12: Link Staffers’ Choice

Milwaukee 2012

We asked members of the Link staff to weigh on the #heweb12 sessions or workshops they’re excited to attend or read about during Link’s #heweb12 blog coverage.

Which sessions/workshops are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments.

Jeff Stevens, Co-Art Director

HighEdWeb is a unique beast. Yes, it’s full of thought leaders, but these are thought leaders who have been in the trenches and can provide a ground level view of the situation. This makes it hard to pick just one session that stands out – you want to attend ALL THE THINGS.

If I have to choose just one, then it would be the Inbound Marketing Workshop, presented by Caitlinn vonHedemann. It’s an area that I have a little experience in (former Army-of-One), but in working in an academic health center where connecting patients in need with available clinical services it takes on a whole new dimension from the purely academic side of a public institution. I’m looking forward to learning some agile marketing solutions that will work well with our team dynamic and rapid pace, and how to analyze and refine our strategies using goal measurement and analytics.

Lacy Tite, Co-Art Director

This will be my fourth year at HighEdWeb—and as usual, I find that the schedule is packed with amazing sessions and I want to go to all of them. Thankfully, one of the coolest parts of the HighEdWeb Conference is that the Red Stapler sessions (the highest rated sessions from each track) are repeated twice on Wednesday morning #FTW. So everyone has the opportunity to see an awesome session you may have missed earlier in the week. A few sessions I’m particularly looking forward to are:

I encourage everyone to attend a session OUTSIDE of your comfort zone at least once. If you’re a technical person like me, maybe go to a social media or content session on Monday afternoon. If you’re a writer, attend one of the Applications or TPR tracks. Broaden your horizons and see how the other half lives :)

Jenny Anspach, Publication Layout

For the first time in several years, I won’t be in attendance at HighEdWeb in October. I am, however, looking forward to Link’s coverage of the conference so I don’t feel quite as left out! While browsing through the schedule I didn’t have to look far for a session that really caught my eye. Mobile is so 2011. Make all your campus sites & apps look great on any device presented by Brett Pollak would be my first stop on Monday morning. Brett is planning to discuss responsive design and how websites display across a variety of devices. This has been a hot button topic for the web community for a while now, but it’s just starting to catch-on with the “right” people at my institution. As an Army-of-One with many other hats, it’s very difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest. Having a true mobile enabled site or a full blown application is where we are really far behind. I’m very interested in learning more about responsive design as we move forward in mobile discussions.

Dave Tyler, Chief Editor

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for anything that makes a Doctor Strangelove reference in the title. Somebody could title a presentation “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Watching Water Boil” and I’d at least listen in. So David DeMello’s presentation jumped right off the screen at me when I saw it on my screen. But since I work at a place where it sometimes can feel like the pitchfork happy mob looks to our ragtag not-really-an-official-web-team team to make magic happen, I’m thoroughly intrigued by what Dave will have to say. A chat whose “goal is to give insight and suggestions on how to preserve an active role for the web team in its own government, avoiding potentially damaging scenarios where that authority is undermined and the team’s knowledge devalued?” Yes, please.

Donna Talarico, Editor

I absolutely cannot wait to attend the post-conference workshop Creating an Effective Higher Ed Newsroom with Georgy Cohen. This will be the first time I am able to attend a pre- or post-conference workshop so I am looking forward to a few-hour block of hands-on learning from one of the leading content and news experts in higher ed. While my day-to-day job at Elizabethtown does not revolve around media relations, I know that with my web, writing, and social media role, I can help better position our news and create new ways of generating content for this section of our website. I can’t wait to come back and share what I learn with my entire department. I am especially excited to see the change in tracks this years, specifically the combining/reorganization of marketing, content and social strategy–but outside of this track where I’m sure I’ll be spending most of my time, I’m stoked about Campus Change Agent with Matt Herzberger; building community, getting buy-in, rallying troops and creating a culture of sharing are some of my department’s goals this academic year so this session is one I’ll be taking lots of notes in!

Laura Kenyon, Publisher

We’ve started to revisit our mobiIe strategy at SUNY Geneseo and, in our inital meeting, I declared my position early: we’ve got to implement a responsive web design. To make this happen, I know we’ll have to present a strong case to our campus VIPs, backed up by solid research. So I’m thrilled that #heweb12 has a number of sessions devoted to responsive design, and I’ll be paying special attention to Everything You Know is Not Quite Right Anymore: Rethinking Best Practices to Respond to the Future with Dave Olsen and Doug Gapinski.

As they rightly point out, because lots of different types of devices are connected to the Internet, we’ve got to revisit our communication strategies to ensure they remain effective. Dave and Doug promise to “share and examine examples that show how responsive design will help institutions rethink and adjust for the future-friendly web” – I’ll be there, eagerly learning how to do things better for the next wave of digital communications.

Photo by CJ Schmit, Flickr.