I’ve only just realized how important it is to do little things that make your colleagues happy, and how the unique talents you don’t even realize you have can pay off for something. Last week I went to a multi-hour seminar about using the content management system for my institution – this is an umbrella system for managing all the institutional web pages, making changes, setting up additional pages etc. Why did I bother with this… I hear you cry.
Well, I’m getting tired of waiting weeks to have my departmental web page updated and then not being able to manipulate it myself, and make changes like adding a lab web page, putting my wiki on there etc. I find that the web pages of other faculty are usually static and hopelessly out of date. As this is a kind of public face to the world- it might be nice to have stuff on it that is at least somewhat current. About 20 minutes into the 5 hour class (Ok, I admit it- I had my own meeting to run after about 2 hours- so I had to get everything in quickly), I realized that this system is… well, JUST LIKE BLOGGING. Class dismissed- I already know how to do that!!
So, I returned to my office and after badgering the IT people to give me a real-live password of my own- in about two hours I took care of a little thorn in the side of the department that we have been talking about and wringing our hands over for the last couple of months. We have a federally funded training program that I am involved in- and we now have a brand spanking new set of web pages describing the program in detail, the participating faculty, the different areas of emphasis. Problem solved. The new site was rolled out yesterday- and the faculty involved were very, very pleased with the results. I didn’t realize how uncomfortable people that I work with feel about changing content on the web- simply because they just don’t know how it works- and how much they see as possible to change now. I’m delighted that I could use a knowledge that I have developed mostly just for fun, to do something that my colleagues really appreciated and helps us all!
I’m going to get started on my own site now, and take on a couple of other quick issues on departmental pages!
Doubledoc runs the Internet! All with a sweet a href tag!
That’s very cool, way to figure it out and get around the bureaucracy….
They wouldn’t let me be the component ‘webmaster’ though, boo hoo.
That would be so awesome!
Are you fucking nuts!? Now that you are known as the “Web expert”, every dumbfuck asshole in your entire department is gonna be bugging the shit out of you for the entire rest of your fucking life!
The powers that be here won’t let us ignorant faculty maintain our own web pages. Instead they insist that their own IT people do it. Do the IT people maintain our pages? Nope. Your post reminded me to call our IT contact and beg/whine/scream at him to upload the updates I sent him a month ago…
PP- Yes, I’m aware of the danger- and so are the faculty. And no- departmental requests for help other than this one will be forwarded to the departmental administrative help that also took said seminar for this express purpose.
Odyssey- I can’t stand waiting for IT…. and then having to go back to them when I notice that things aren’t capitalized, italicized, or underlined correctly, … and to fix every one of their typos!
Here’s what irritates me about IT drones. They are completely incapable of listening to you and adjusting their approach to your level of sophistication. I call these idiots in when my expertise (limited as it is) is exhausted, sure. But I am not some klown who barely can manage to find the on switch of his Mac. So why can’t they listed and understand that we are a little bit beyond the basic problems of idiots when they come to my lab? arrg.
I feel your frustration. I’ve sent at least 1 email/week over the last couple of months to get websites updated. I am not allowed to do it myself which is probably why I host my work website on my own domain and just link to my faculty page.
Our institute has the worst CMS ever. So limiting, so frustrating…
BTW I have a friend who is head of IT at a large educational institution. He has some stories too!
Bikemonkey and KH- I’m not going to dump on IT (for a change)- I just think it is terribly inefficient to let someone else do this, then I have to check it, and tell someone to change it, check it again, tell someone to change it again… etc etc. Especially when the person doing the posting doesn’t really know what I want or doesn’t follow the logic of why things are the way they are.
Cath- I haven’t tested the limits of the CMS- so far its fine…. and I heard some stories from our IT guys too. Turns out scientists aren’t the most socially or professionally correct group… and some weird stuff ends up getting posted on institutional websites.
Our departmental website lets us change the content of some parts, but not the layout or graphics. It’s kinda homely, too. Brown…
But at least our IT people are pretty good to me. And they let us put links on our pages, so I can make my own page somewhere else.
They aren’t letting me do anything I want- but for now content and links are enough. I’m pleased that I have the power to change my own site and keep it updated, without relying on someone else to do everything!