Sustaining The Community

This page has the following sections

The Importance of Sustaining the Community

The introduction to this handbook described the importance that was placed on the development and growth of the web community since the early days of the event. In light of the renewed interest in the event since it was relaunched in 2014 we wish to ensure that the event and the community are sustained so that the UK higher education’s web and digital community are well-positioned to respond to further challenges we may face, not least the uncertainties posed by Brexit.

Sustainability of IWMW Events

We value feedback provided by delegates so please ensure that you complete the event evaluation form. Feedback is provided to speakers and facilitators and the general feedback is analysed by the Advisory Group who will use the feedback when planning future events.

We will be looking to seek additional funding from sponsors to ensure that future events can be organised with a sound financial backing.

We will also be looking for volunteers who would be willing to join the event Advisory Group to ensure that fresh ideas are fed into future event planning.

The Online Community

In the early years of IWMW events the web-support and website-info-mgt Jiscmail lists were used to support the community with web-support providing a forum for technical queries and website-info-mgt being used more for policy and strategic issues.

In 2002 there were 3,025 messages posted on these two lists. However, this marked the peak of this lists and last year there were only 109 posts.

The community has not yet reached agreement on an alternative online forum for supporting the community – and in today’s more fragmented environment there may not be a single alternative. However, the following services are available which could be used:

  • Jiscmail: Although the web-support and website-info-mgt lists are now little-used there may be other lists which may be relevant in other areas.
  • Slack: The HE Digital Slack community has grown in popularity since it was launched in 2017.
  • LinkedIn groups: A number of LinkedIn groups are available such as UK HE Web Professionals. However apart from lists based in the US these lists do not seem to be widely used by the UK web professional in the higher education sector.
  • Blogs: A small number of web teams maintain blogs which can provide opportunities to see developments at other institutions. In addition, the IWMW blog has been used to publish guest posts, to-date prior to IWMW events. However, the blog could be used throughout the year if there was sufficient interest from potential contributors.

There may also be more specialist communication tools used by specific communities, such as developers.

A blog post on “Communication Tools For The HE-Digital Community” published in July 2017 reported on a workshop session held at IWMW 2017 which asked:

  • What do we need from communication tools (especially tools used for communications. beyond the institution)?
  • What alternatives to mailing lists are there?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of alternatives?
  • Do we need a communications framework?

However no concrete solutions have yet been proposed.

Regional Groups

There was significant interest in regional groups expressed by delegates registering for the IWMW 2018 event. The Scottish Web Folk group provides a useful example of a thriving regional group (see the post on the IWMW blog at

At the IWMW 2018 event we will explore interests in establishing further regional groups.

Gathering Sectoral Information

We intend to explore ways of gathering information relevant to the web management community at the IWMW 2018 event (and afterwards). As an example, last year we asked delegates to write down their job titles since we felt that this would provide a way of collecting potentially useful information. This year we have collected this information on the event registration form and summarised the findings in a word cloud in this document.

This year we intend asking “What else might we want to understand more of?” and “How people find out information these days?” An example of sectoral interest can be seen from a discussion on the HE-Digital Slack group in June 2018 on governance issues which led to the establishment of a #governance_and_mgt channel in which issues such as the names of web and digital teams and details of their host department are being discussed.

Staying in Touch after the Event

We hope you will have find the content at the IWMW 2018 event interesting and relevant and have identified areas of work which can be improved and suggestions you can make to colleagues. In addition, we hope you have established new contacts within the community with whom you may be able to share experiences and solutions – or even simply complain about shared problems!

Some suggestions on ways in which you could continue discussions after the event include:

  • Join the HE-Digital Slack community.
  • Make contacts on LinkedIn (note the speaker biographies on the IWMW 2018 web site may provide links to their LinkedIn profile).
  • Write blog posts – perhaps on the IWMW blog.
  • Consider joining the web-support or website-info-mgt Jiscmail lists.
  • Host a regional group meeting.
  • Arrange an open event for colleagues to get together to discuss a pertinent topic or challenge, which has been popular and useful in previous years, e.g. cookie law.

Being An Active Member of the Community!

You can join the online services and perhaps attend regional meetings. But what is needed for the community to be effective is active participation. Please contact an IWMW 2018 Advisory Group member if you’d like to become actively involved with the community!