Social media opportunities for Web Developers at Case

University Web Developers
University Web Developers
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Do you ever wish you could network more easily with your fellow Web developers at Case, and beyond?

If so, how would you would you want this to work? Would you want to communicate by listserv as the writers do with wordnerds@case.edu? Would you follow discussions on the Case Forums? Or would you want something more robust?

Gretchen Denaro—from the Annual Fund Office—and I have been discussing this lately and think it may be useful to create our own social media network where anyone interested in Web development or online communications at Case could go to share ideas and ask questions. Here on the Web Development Blog it's easy to get a good discussion going in the comments, but I'm still driving the topic. In the space we're envisioning, you could take the lead, starting topics on anything of interest, from writing and content development to search engine optimization and Web marketing strategies.

Example: University Web Developers Network

I've recently joined this relatively new network (which grew out of a popular listserv) where Web developers from a variety of colleges and universities come together to ask questions and discuss Web development issues. The site currently has 353 members who converse in a central forum, join topical discussion groups and post videos and photos. Each member gets his/her own page on which he/she can provide personal/business information, include an RSS feed or even start a blog. From what I've experienced so far it seems like a great way to share ideas and discover best practices with one's peers. Whether you're running a large school or department Web site or just dabbling in the Web part time, you may find this a very useful community to join.

University Web Developers was established using the popular Ning social network service developed in 2004 by Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Mosaic) and Gina Bianchini. Ning allows anyone to easily create a social network serving a specific area of interest. As such we could have one just for Web developers at Case Western Reserve University.

If I build it would you come? Creating such a place is fairly simple, but will you use it? If so should I make it invitation only—to restrict it to members of the campus community—or should we make it more open so that any friends of Case can join? Think about it and let me know.

In the meantime: Web Development at Case is now on Facebook

I've recently set up a Facebook page for Web development at Case. I've pulled in the feed from this blog and asked one discussion question, so there isn't much in the way of new content, but you are all encouraged to become a fan and help get things started. It's not as robust as a Ning network, but it's a place to begin. We may find that this page is sufficient to the task, we may find we want more. It's up to you, so try it out and give me your feedback. If you think a Facebook group would be more helpful, I could create that too.

Coming soon:

In upcoming posts I'll review my experiments in social media and continue our discussion regarding site navigation. In the meantime, you may be interested in Wayne Smallman's article, The Ideal Homepage design, his follow-up to my previous post on home page navigation.

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7 Comments »
  1. I suggest you open a facebook group, this will be more functional

    Comment by Jacques Snyman for SEO Results — February 3, 2008 @12:01 am

  2. Heidi, I am enjoying the Ning site and see its potential as a place for our own webdev social network. I think it offers a lot more flexibility and room for growth than a Facebook group would. While I am a fan of Facebook, the distraction factor is quite big over there.

    Comment by Gretchen Denaro — February 4, 2008 @12:08 pm

  3. Gretchen, I totally agree, I've really not been participating sufficiently on University Web Developers Network but I can already see that it has great potential. I met with some faculty this morning about a Web project and during the course of the discussion I ended up suggesting they make one for their project. It seems like a very useful collaborative environment. Far more so than Facebook for this type of communication. Also I spent some time tonight tweaking the Case version and invited a few more people to beta test with us. Go poke around when you get a chance.

    Comment by Heidi Cool — February 13, 2008 @11:45 pm

  4. Creating a community or network is a great way to expand your University, most new students for colleges in the UK are set up with a Facebook account, everyone uses it and its free.

    Comment by Web Design Lincolnshire — April 20, 2008 @2:11 pm

  5. working with facebook is a good idea - give lots of opportunities for implementing your ideas keep it up!

    Comment by seo consultant — April 28, 2008 @2:57 pm

  6. Agree with first reply. Facebook group is more functional

    Comment by Web Developer — June 16, 2008 @10:05 am

  7. Facebook always great way, facebook functionally very strong than other social media sites...

    Comment by Custom Web Development — January 13, 2009 @7:37 am

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