January Meeting

Agenda

  1. Welcome
  2. Recap of last meeting
  3. WordPress Presentation – Jake Kupiec
  4. Information Exchange – breakout groups
    *Web videos: Getting started on creating video for your site, how to produce it cheaply, and delivery platforms
    *Web site launch and beyond: Ideas about the process of launching new Web sites as well as how to keep content fresh
  5. Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

Actions

  1. Action: Please notify others who might want to attend the Basic Web training and email Beth to sign up for a session. The dates are Jan 13, Jan 25, Feb 10, and Feb 23 from 2:30-3:30.
  2. Action: Pat Burch would like the WLG members to point folks in their academic unit to the resources that are currently available on campus and generally free versus turning to her to buy expensive, unneccessary software.

Meeting Notes

Presentation

  • Jake Kupiec introduced the group to WordPress, which is an open source blog publishing tool used with any operating system. The UMKC WordPress site is http://info.umkc.edu. Several UMKC themes are available and more will be created.

Advantages to WordPress:

  1. Uses themes, which are similar to templates, but more advanced. The themes that are available for UMKC’s use have been pre-screened and you should have no problems implementing them.
  2. Once something is posted, the content is placed into a database and is instantly searchable.
  3. RSS is available and can supplement your UMKC Web site.
  4. Great mechanism for communication with students.
  5. Because it is open source, many users submit plug-ins, which you can use to enhance your blog.
  6. All UMKC, blogs will reside at one location which 1. Lends your blog more credibility, 2. Provides consistency for the campus and users, 3. There is no cost to your department (versus externally hosted sites).
  7. Can be tracked using Google Analytics.

News and Announcements

    1. Pat Burch mentioned that she has been receiving odd requests for software purchases. Thinks maybe people are feeling the pressure to improve their sites, but are not sure how to go about doing it and think that expensive software and applications will help.  Action: She would like the WLG members to point folks in their academic unit to the resources that are currently available and generally free.
    2. Bill Marse asked if PHP is still considered “evil”. Andy Goodenow mentioned that PHP could happen in 2010, but makes no promises, as there are factors that have to be resolved; one being the hire someone who is familiar with PHP servers to maintain it, and two being another server to host it on.
    3. Beth Mussmann mentioned four more Basic Web Editing Trainings: January 13, January 25, February 10, February 23 all from 2:30-3:30 in the Plaza Room. Action: Please notify others who might want to attend this training and email Beth if you would like to attend a session.
    4. Andy Goodenow announced that an upgrade to Blackboard 9 will occur in April or May and will have more Web 2.0 interaction (Facebook, MySpace, etc).

Breakout Sessions

Video on the Web discussion. Scott Mallen, James Gaar gave the following basic tips on video quality:

  1. Text needs to be readable, audio needs to be audible and images need to be visible.
  2. Get close-ups of subjects as videos on Web usually are in a small viewer.
  3. Ensure subjects are in close proximity to camera.
  4. Use a tripod.
  5. Use no movement=no panning, no tilting, and no zooming.
  6. Use stop and start on the video recorder, avoid transitions.
  7. Most Importantly: Plan, plan, plan. Before shooting any video, plan out what you will capture; scripting is at the heart of the process, use storyboards to layout video captures, know your equipment–is there a delay after you press record? Is there a delay after you press stop?
  8. Other tips during the discussion: Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas Video are two recommended video editing applications. Adobe After Effects is useful for compositions that include GRFX/animations and video. Recommended Tegrity and Wimba for capturing lectures and presentations and both are available to UMKC users via Blackboard.
  9. Recommended Reading: Top 5 Video Editing Software
  10. Video Distribution: Some video distribution sites to look at Blip.tv, YouTube.com, Vimeo.com
  11. Live Streaming: Information Access has facilitated live streaming of events in the past, but for a quick live streaming setup take a look at Ustream.com or Justin.tv
  12. Audio: Take a look at royaltyfreemusic.com, audiojungle.net, istockphoto.com and findsounds.com for free and inexpensive sound files for use in your video projects. Also be sure to search the web for music available with a Creative Commons attribute.

Launching a Web site and maintenance discussion.

  1. User testing before launch of a site helps to ensure a successful launch. We discussed several methods, including card sorting, one-on-one usability testing as well as general feedback. Overall, we had found that specific questions yield the most useful feedback.
  2. Doing a soft launch can make dealing with the inevitable changes that occur post-launch easier to handle. A soft launch is when you launch the new Web site before announcing or marketing it to your audience. This allows you a window of time to work out the kinks before it’s too public. Then, you can have your grand opening when things have been tweaked.
  3. Reviewing updates: Having a small group of people review Web requests and filter out those that do not align with your Web site goals can help you to keep your new Web site clean and focused. Writing a Web policy for your site will make decisions easier for this group as well.
  4. Maintaining the Web site post-launch: The best way to stay on top of updates is to develop a schedule for performing updates. This could be based on sections of the Web site or by determining which pages have the most time sensitive information. Assigning people to sections of the Web site can help as well, but it is still a good idea to have a single person responsible for the schedule who reminds these stewards to update their content periodically.

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