[JISC] Weeknote 25/33

Been a pretty quiet week. After the last couple of event filled weeks August tends to signal a bit of a slow down at JISC mainly because so many people take massive chunks of it off as leave! That isn’t to say there isn’t plenty to do still but the buzz around the place certainly quiets down.

I’ve mainly been trying to get some stuff sorted around this Communications research project that I am supporting – I had a good meeting with Andy discussing some stuff around repositories where I basically played bad cop to all his ideas but I think there is a decent plan coming together there and I’ll get to do some copy-writing on that task rather than just being glorified admin like I am in the other areas (not that I mind – there wasn’t really any other way to approach the work).

I had some interesting conversations with Grace about doing something interesting with mobile sites for supporting events – I think the whole apps vs. mobile web stuff is interesting particularly for conferences and the like and I do heavily lean towards optimised web pages it has to be said. In fact events have been very much on my mind this week but more of that later.

The JISC website has had a rough ride this week with many hours of downtime and even when it is up it has been crawling. This is a nightmare for any web team especially when the management of the hosting and CMS is outsourced. I offered my self as a sympathetic ear to Ben and if asked will throw my support behind any decision he makes about contractual issues with our suppliers in this area. I think drastic action is required after such a major error but it is not my decision these days – I’ll be watching with interest to see how it shakes out though.

On the non-JISC front planning for Bettr is moving along nicely – hopefully next week I’ll be able to announce the venue is secured and the first 2 or 3 speakers plus soon after that we’ll be launching a new version of the Bettr website.

Stef and I have also decided to push ahead with an out-of-hours project to launch a web app aimed at conference and event organisers. This is based on some of the ideas I’ve been blogging and speaking about for a couple of years that have become a bit more focused based on some of the functionality Stef thought up for a couple of recent sites we have worked on together. I’ll blog about that specifically soon – I think it is pretty exciting stuff.

I also had an informal meeting that might well lead to some freelance work still very much within the JISC community doing some work around blogging, advocacy and event support. I do still have my fingers crossed that I will get a permanent job (or at least a one year contract) but am starting to think there might be some hope on the freelance side.