Friday, July 30, 2010

"The Internet is full. Go away." ~Anon

Well, that quote (from the lovely Quote Garden) sums up quite nicely how I'm feeling lately. With the approaching disappearance of graduating students, my month of August is usually a time to catch up on the worthwhile projects on which I've fallen behind. One of these projects is the creation of our departmental website.

At the moment, we don't even have a web page for our department so it's important that we at least have contact information and a general description of what we do. You'd be surprised how many people think we don't exist. OK, maybe you wouldn't be. I've been brainstorming ideas for who our audience will be, what information we want to share, how important educating this audience will be, all following in-line with our institution's current layout and specifications (no easy task). I also wonder how much overhead will be included with the "updating" process and this could affect what type of information I include and how that content is conveyed. For example, I would consider a departmental blog but I have yet to find out how that would be carried out. (There is a great deal of detail I could add here but cannot share because of how it relates to my job. So, apologies if this seems general in nature)

My other frustration is that there are already many great preservation websites, in particular departmental ones. They have blogs and photos and project ideas; what can we contribute that someone else hasn't done? I ask this question, not because I'm feeling low on how special we are as a department, but because I wonder how to justify the time I will spend on the website to my institution. As of yet, I have no estimate for how much time per week I will update it. That depends entirely on the content. It could range from an hour or two per month to that same amount per week. But I have to justify what we will get out of it. I'm a big supporter of the outreach and education mandates so a website would personally satisfy those because I'm educating our institutional members and the public at large. But is that good enough? I don't know.

On thoughts of a possible blog, it would be interesting to see how my voice there would differ from here (we're a teeny department so it would be me posting). Here, I mix professional and personal but I hesitate to get too far into either. I like my personal privacy still and of course, my job. Similarly, when I browse my handwritten journal, it's a different voice. Even when I write about the same topics, there is a world of difference. It reminds of this article, shared on Twitter yesterday by @librarianbyday.

Those are my musings for the day. Any thoughts on the website woes, please share!

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