Last Orders at the IWMW2009 blog

12 08 2009

This year we decided that we’d like to have an exciting, interactive mechanism for sharing information about the Institutional Web Management Workshop. We also wanted this to be a way for delegates and interested parties to have a voice before, during and after the event.

And so the IWMW 2009 blog was born…

We hope the blog has been useful to you and you’ve found the posts both stimulating and informative.

From today we don’t intend to provide any more significant posts on the blog. The blog will remain here as a resource for you to use and comments will remain open (for the time being).  In the future we may consider archiving of the blog.

If you have any comments on the content or structure of the blog please do let us know/post them up.

We’ll hopefully see you all at next year’s event!

Blog posts on this year’s event #2

12 08 2009

A few more blog posts for you. If you have written a post we’ve missed add it as a comment.


Parallel Sessions

Remote Participants


Take Aways

7 08 2009

Thanks, lessons and warnings at the end of IWMW 2009…

Note that these three videos are hosted on Vimeo and can be accessed directly at:

Summary: How The BBC Makes Websites

7 08 2009

The final plenary session for this year was delivered by Michael Smethurst and Matthew Wood, web developers for BBC Audio and Music.  They took us through their development process for which is designed to provide a permanent home on the web for all BBC programmes.

Their aim was to make URIs human readable, hackable and, most importantly, persistent.  To this end, they begin their design process with the domain objects (programmes, songs, recordings etc) and build models based on how these domain objects relate to each other.  They do not use wireframes or mockups, but do take the domain model to users to check that they are speaking the same, ubiquitous language.  They then translate the domain model into a physical database schema that enables them to richly express the domain model in the language of the user.

Once the model is established as a database schema, it is a case of collecting together all the data needed to create the resource in all of its forms, before moving on to document design.  One of the most poignant points made for some of the delegates I spoke to afterwards was the assertion that document design should be independent of the page layout – as that’s the job of the CSS.  In fact, wireframing doesn’t happen until they add the layout CSS to the HTML pages and any Javascript or AJAX gets added last of all.  Michael and Matthew were very firm that they don’t test photoshop mock ups or wireframes, they test working applications, which enables them to focus more on creating rich content discovery journeys through the resources that are domain driven.

We were given a tour of to see all this in practice and the opportunity to ask Matthew and Michael about their processes in more detail.

I Wonder What They Thought About My Session?

6 08 2009

I mentioned previously how we assigned  a two character code for the plenary talks (P0-P8) and for the parallel sessions (A1-A9, B1-B4 and C1-C5). We suggested that Twitter users may wish to use these code when tweeting about a particular session.

As I described on the UK Web Focus blog these tags appeared to be well-used, with over 34% of the tweets containing the event tag (#iwmw2009) and an additional tag.

Twitter search engines, such as Tweetzi, Twazzup and Twitter Search, can now be used to find tweets related to a particular talk or parallel session.  As an example you can view the tweets for:

We have updated pages on the IWMW 2009 Web site so that the details of the plenary talks and workshop sessions contain links to these three Twitter search tools. We hope that this will help the speakers and facilitators to get an idea of what the audience was thinking.  We hope the findings aren’t too shocking 🙂

Summary: Lightweight Web Management

6 08 2009

Chris GutteridgeChristopher Gutteridges’ talk was full of practical tips to manage the workload of web services management, making you more like Batman with his Batcomputer than Superman rushing to the rescue when things suddenly go wrong.

Chris argued that it is a waste of time and resources to have humans doing jobs that computers can do really well.  To this end, his department has written lots of scripts to perform basic tasks – particularly monitoring tasks – to help make them more visibly more efficient.

Whilst monitoring their department’s systems in this way has made it easier to manage their workload – preventing them from dropping the ball on normal requests in favour of crashing in to the rescue when something unexpectedly breaks – Chris had also noted that this practice was going to be especially important in the current economic climate, when we are all facing uncertainty about our jobs.

Monitoring is enabling them to build a stock of statistics and graphs that show how much work they do for the department they support, and how efficiently they work.  He was concerned by the amount of data people in similar roles in other institutions could be throwing away and argued strongly that they should start preserving that data – even if they don’t do anything analytical with it initially.  He also recommended monitoring the things beyond your control that cause your systems to become unavailable.

Throughout, Chris kept returning to the point that we are here to facilitate research and teaching.  Building a Batcomputer can help you focus on this task and allow you to better enable your researchers and students, rather than rushing round trying to be Superman.

Blog posts on this year’s event #1

5 08 2009

Here’s a round up of the blog posts that have been written so far on this year’s Institutional Web Management Workshop. There’s probably a few more to come and we’ll put some more up next week. If you do write something please let us know.


Parallel Sessions