Initiatives from Bates Web Communications

This is the work we’re doing to demonstrate principles of effective online engagement. Here’s more background. Here are our posts on trends in Web communications.

Web Hub initiative

Established September 2008

The official Web sites of Bates’ academic departments and administrative offices are important to both visitors and current members of the College community.


To improve these sites, we will select, and lead deployment of, Bates’ next-generation content platform, train and coach users to migrate existing content into it, and then help continuously improve official sites over time, based on our established principles of effective Web experiences. (Image: keepwaddling1 via Flickr)

Home 4 initiative

Established December 2008

The redeployment of Home 4 began in December 2008, when we were charged with improving the first impressions presented to visitors when they arrive at the top levels of www.bates.edu. Kicked-off in February, 2009, we defined Home 4 as the place to learn what Bates is all about and to explore common interests.

Home 4 launched in September 2009, and is undergoing continuous improvement by the staff in the Office of Communications and Media Relations.

Explore Bates initiative

Established October 2008

Explore Bates is a demo of how many views of Bates can be brought together into a personalized start page, like iGoogle or myYahoo. NetVibes is simply another dashboard, with the added benefit of a public view.

All of the content in Explore Bates — the news stories, the photos, the maps, and the events — is being pulled from other services: Flickr for photos, WordPress for news, GoogleMaps for places, and DabbleDB for events.

Our goal is to show the many ways people can use public content which is produced with sharing in mind from the start. Explore Bates is about gathering.

Views initiative

Established September 2008

Bates Views started out as a prototype at WordPress.com.  Views demonstrates how existing content — from official Bates sources, from the mainstream media, and from student Web sites — can be pulled together, vetted, categorized and tagged, and made available for subscription in many different ways.

All of the excerpts point to original content, helping to surface interesting stories, images, audio, and video which is buried. Bates Views is about findability.

We integrated the Views 2 project — content by and about Bates, created by faculty, staff, and students — into Home 4 in May, 2009, and they launched together in September.

Prototypes

Bates Connect prototype

Established September 2008

Bates Connect is a place for Bates people and friends — regardless of role: students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents — to have informal conversations about topics that matter, including professional mentoring, innovative ideas, current events.

Bates Connect is not officially managed by Bates College, even though some employees and students participate. Bates Connect is completely public, which means that no private information is, or will be, used. Bates Connect is about collaboration.

Explore Bates/Codex prototype

Established August 2008

Bates public data — departments, offices, organizations, faculty, research, publications, and more — is published in the DabbleDB system with multiple methods for viewing: Web pages, CSV downloads, and RSS and iCal subscriptions.

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