Conference Highlights

Yesterday I participated in the annual conference of the University’s Communicators Forum. Some notes from the sessions I attended:

  • Web 2.0: Nora Paul, the director of our Institute for New Media Studies, gave a great keynote presentation about the “Four Cs” of our changing internet landscape; changes in Channels, Craft, Client expecations, and Customer base. She also showed one of my favorite videos on the topic, which also highlights the importance of adopting CSS and XML.
  • Web Demographics: Jen Alsted, president of the interactive agency bswing, discussed some of the findings of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Key question: how to package and deliver content to different demographic audiences when they appear to use the internet so differently?
  • Interviewing and Storytelling: Former Minnesota Public Radio host and Air America Radio co-host Katherine Lanpher gave an entertaining talk about tips for interviewing so that people’s stories are told well. Part way through, I realized that she was not just speaking to the writers and editors in the audience. Starting a design project for someone is very similar to doing an interview—their project has a story, or perhaps even is a story. I look forward to using her suggestions.
  • Podcasting & iTunes U: Bill Duff and Mike McGraw from Apple presented iTunes U, a web service that aggregates educational content from across a university into one central and branded location, using the same technology and format as the familiar iTunes Music Store.