High Ed Web 2008

I’m currently at the High Ed Web 2008 conference in Springfield, MO. The conference is geared to web professionals in Higher Education, and is an interesting combination of marketers, technical folk, and the occasional vendor. There’s lots of good information to be had (as well as an immense amount of equally good food — who suspected that “travel is broadening” should be taken literally?), and all of us who are attending are getting a lot out of it.

Yesterday afternoon, James, Jeff and I did our planned presentation: University-Wide CMS Implementation: Failure, then Success. We had a lot of fun with it, taking a pretty irreverent approach to the history of our CMS project, and using some cool 3D timeline software to present our information in an interesting way.

Conference attendees have been using Twitter to communicate about the conference pretty extensively, so I told people at the start of our presentation that I wanted them to help me make all the people in other sessions feel as bad as possible for missing ours. Toward that end, I encouraged them to post the most outrageous lies about our presentation they could think of. Here’s the Twitter chatter that was posted during our presentation:

  • jesseclark: I have recieved more temp tattos in the past two days than the last 10 years!
  • tonydunn: live mexican wrestling in SAC4 session! AWESOME!!
  • stomer: Admiring the wrestling masks at SAC4
  • carlenek: SAC4, CMS Failure then success. They just gave each of us $5!!
  • stomer: In unison “politics”
  • stomer: “Uploading images has more steps than AA”
  • tonydunn: massive EPIC FAIL… what a story! if you ain’t in SAC4 ur missing it
  • tonydunn: @pberry blackops meetings… sounds like us 🙂
  • stomer: Another plug for adding content best practices along with CMS training
  • tonydunn: ‘brand the service, not the product’ – excellent advice!

I’m having a great time getting to enjoy some of my work friends in a more social setting than usual, as well as meeting people from other Universities and Colleges around the country, getting to see Springfield, and taking photos with team members in luchador masks in front of local landmarks. We have another day and a half of conference to go, after which I’m looking forward to the chance to meet up with my Uncle Rick and some old friends who also live in the area.

Sidenote: before leaving for the trip, I told the kids that I was going to Springfield for a conference. “Cool!” said Liam. “You’ll get to meet the Simpsons!” I launched into an explanation of the fact that one of the running gags on the show is that they don’t ever let on where Springfield actually is, and how in the movie Ned Flanders points to the four adjacent states, Ohio, Nevada, Maine and Kentucky, which are of couse widely spread. Thus I wouldn’t actually get to meet the Simpsons, because the Springfield they live in is a fictional construct, not the one in Missouri.

Ten minutes later it occurred to me that I would also not get to meet them because they’re cartoons.

Yep, I’m a dork.