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University of Illinois Web Conference - April 16, 2013

Digital Archeology: Digging up past Websites to solve today's Web management challenges

For over 15 years, higher education websites have evolved from the back office tinkering of techno-geeks into the most important collegiate communications and marketing tool.

Yet through this transition, we still haven't figured out how to effectively manage the Web as a medium. We struggle to keep our websites relevant for key audiences. We beg for resources. We fight the squeaky wheels. We remain behind in adopting newer technology. And we've overhauled our websites again, and again, and again.

We all know the challenges-campus politics, limited resources, lack of leadership support-to name a few. At conferences every year, our talk plays like a record hitting the same annoying skip in a song that seems to echo forever. Solutions that can be universally applied at all schools still elude us, perhaps because we're not looking enough to the past.

Collegiate Web Solutions began an ambitious research project last year: To capture a 15-year history of website redesigns in higher education. With over 450 institutions tracked so far, statistical analysis is revealing trends, leading to deeper insights into the root causes of our challenges and new approaches to effective Web management.

Bring your Stetson hat, leather whip and get ready to dodge some booby traps. Your journey will be led by Doug Clark, Senior Principal at Collegiate Web Solutions. Hailing from Indy, Doug turned down an offer to succeed Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones to pursue a career in higher education Web management.