Communications Infrastructure for the UK HE Digital Community

The web-support Jiscmail list was established in the early 1990s to provide a forum for those with responsibilities for providing web services for seeking and sharing advice on best practices. Initially the list focussed on technical issues, but as the importance of institutional web services became apparent a second Jiscmail list – website-info-mgt – was set up to provide a forum for more strategic issues. However as described in a blog post entitled “The Decline in JISCMail Use Across the Web Management Community” published in 2010 use of these lists peaked in 2001-2002; in recent years use of the lists has dropped significantly, from a peak of 2,542 and 483 posts on the website-info-mgt and web-support lists in 2002 to 27 and 122 posts in 2016.

This significant decline in use of Jiscmail has not necessarily been echoed in other sectors, with use of the lis-link list by librarians having declined from 3,651 posts in 1998 to 1,682 in 2016. This suggested that there is still a willingness to ask for advice and share experiences across the sector. And perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised if the web community has been prepared to make use of a more diverse range of online communications tools, such as use of blogs, Twitter, Google Hangouts and Slack.

However in light of the diversity of tools available it can be difficult knowing which tools are appropriate for various purposes, and the tools and services themselves may not be as effective as they could be if they fail to achieve sufficient critical mass of users.

In this master class Brian Kelly will facilitate a session which will explore the various tools and services which are available, encourage discussion on their pros and cons, and seek to develop plans for a communications infrastructure for the UK HE’s web and digital community.


  • Title: Communications Infrastructure for the UK HE Digital Community
  • Type: Master class which lasts for about 2.5 hours
  • Hashtag: #B3
  • Facilitator: Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus
  • Date and time: 14.50-17.30 on Wednesday 12 July 2017

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