Daily Archives: June 22, 2010

is redeveloping oswego.edu a big project? yes. and no.

So this is my summer: I’m part of a great, dedicated team moving our massive website, oswego.edu, to a new content management system and giving the site a whole new look. Ideally, by the start of the fall semester. Is that all a big project? Yes. Absolutely. And, in a sense, no.

While it’s definitely a big project, I could describe it as accurately as a merging of many different projects and goals. Consider the activities of our small, merry band:

– We’re creating new schemas (templates), stylesheets and components (added features) in our new CMS, Ingeniux. (When I say “we” here, I mainly mean “Rick Buck.”)
– We’re migrating content for around 10,000 pages.
– We’re training a couple hundred users or so on the new CMS.
– We’re tracking and documenting all of the above.
– We’re creating around 30 new landing pages that raise the presentation of academic areas.
– We’re working with a freelance designer on four primary templates, including a new home page. (The CMS is skinnable, so the new look will be “turned on” all at once.)
– The powers that be have tasked me with making our new site more engaging and interactive.
– Under the umbrella of engagement, I carry six other emphases — more user-centered, greater portability (interactive with both mobile devices and social media), greater usability, more conducive to microtransactions (meaningful ways to interact), promoting storytelling and cultivating community-building. Yes, those are a lot of things, but they can help guide this and future projects.

We have a fabulous cross-campus CMS team working on the back end, and content migration is under way. The designer delivers first drafts of template suites (three options) this week. Support from the top has been marvelous.

We’ve come a long, long way. And there is so much to be done — in pieces large and small. It’s like assembling a giant puzzle, but we know all the pieces are around and we’ve started putting them together. Don’t be surprised to see more blog entries about this big project … or collection of projects.

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