Archive for October, 2009

Frustrating Conversations – We Don’t Need Web Analytics

Monday, October 19th, 2009

It seems that some (notice I said some, not all!) higher education web professionals still don’t think using web analytics on their site is useful.

Why do I think this? It became apparent after a couple conversations during the HighEdWeb conference I recently attended in Milwaukee. First, let me say that this has nothing to do with the conference. It was a fantastic conference and I learned a ton from the great presenters and attendees. I would go again in an instant.

More than once, however, I found myself in the midst of a conversation about how using web analytics is pretty much “useless.”

I doubt that the people in the conversation had any idea who I was (who would?) and that I was actually presenting at the conference about web analytics (both conversations took place before the presentation). So, I decided to keep my mouth shut and just listen. I wanted to see *why* they thought web analytics was useless on their sites before I jumped in to defend the practice.

Conversations like these happen all the time. They could have very easily happened at any of our campuses. In any of our offices. I’ve heard it all before and I’m sure I’ll hear it many times again. So, I’ll bring up some excuses I heard and offer some recommendations.

So … here goes …
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Looking Forward to HighEdWeb

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Tomorrow, bright and early, I’ll be on my way to the HighEdWeb Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I know I will be learning a ton. I’m also looking forward to meeting some great people I’ve been conversing with via blogs, Twitter, and the like for so long.

Joshua Ellis, a fellow Penn State Outreach-er, and I will be presenting “Actionable Web Analytics” on Tuesday morning. We have a terrific time slot.  This will be our 4th presentation in less than a year and I’m really looking forward to it.

I’ve been looking through the selection of sessions and I think I have mine almost picked out. So far, I’ve picked out:

  • Building a Strategic Plan with Douglas Tschopp – This is my first time to highedweb conference and Douglas is the program chair of the conference. I’m looking forward to his session on creating a communications plan.
  • Talking to your boss about Twitter with Lori Packer – This presentation seems really interesting and I’m curious to see how Lori will bring ROI into the conversation.
  • Goal-Driven Web Strategy: Implementing Technology with an Eye on ROI with Karlyn Morissette – Hey, it’s a session on web strategy and ROI. Is there any doubt in your mind that I would be there? Plus, I’ve been following Karlyn for a while via Twitter.eduGuru, and her own blog and am looking forward to meeting her.
  • The Kids Are Alright with Mark Greenfield – I met Mark a couple  years ago at the Penn State Web Conference and have been following him on Twitter,  delicious, and the University Web Developer’s ning site he started. It will be great to see him again.
  • This is Not a Brand with Doug Gapinski – When I read this session description I loved it and was instantly thinking of specific examples of this happening. You can’t go wrong with someone from mStoner, either.

I haven’t made my mind up about the other sessions yet, but must say that there are a lot of great sessions to choose from. I will definitely learn a lot.

I don’t plan on live-blogging, however, I will be tweeting throughout the conference.  There will be many others doing the same. Follow #heweb09 to catch updates.