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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
So Department X wants a complete list of all the people who link to their site because, and I quote:
We are currently looking at updating the information on our website and we want to know who and where other departments link into our website to ensure the correct information is given.
I can't wait to find out who'd have to link to them in order for them to consider it worthwhile to provide correct information. I also wonder what they're going to do about it if the wrong people are linking to them... no, wait, I know the answer to that, and it involves the words "whinging" and "in my general direction".
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ewx From: ewx Date: June 29th, 2006 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
They can get this information themselves, via google. Egotistical example. I don't know of any way of causing them not to see things they don't like in the results, though...
aldabra From: aldabra Date: June 29th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
You do it for them, and only tell them about the bits that aren't going to upset them?
j4 From: j4 Date: June 29th, 2006 03:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've pointed them at google, and they sound a bit sceptical about this weird new technology 8-) but they say they'll give it a go.

In addition to this, though, they want a list of internal links (some of which presumably won't come up on google as they're access-restricted). Of course, ve have vays, but I still think they're asking the wrong question and either won't know what to do with the answer or will do the wrong thing with the answer.

We could always prevent them seeing things they don't like by POKING THEIR EYES OUT. In fact, they could then be extremely useful to us as visually-impaired web accessibility testers.
ewx From: ewx Date: June 29th, 2006 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
We just had a Google Mini arrive here, though it's not ready to go yet, talking of vays. Drew quite a little crowd l-)
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caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: June 29th, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
The weboffice answer: give the users all the tools they need;

Ah, but then you need to sort out the difference between the tools they need and the tools they say they want.
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j4 From: j4 Date: June 29th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
We do have some power to stop the divisions we work with just buying whatever tools they fancy (see e.g. Department Y [nameless to protect the guilty], who demanded some shiny new CMS on the grounds that it would solve all their problems, were audited, and as a result were told that they were absolutely not allowed to buy any more shiny software until they'd sorted out the damn workflow that it was supposed to be supporting. Ha!)

The problem is, there are whole swathes of the university that we simply have no control over, and no one person (except possibly the V-C, who doesn't really get involved at that kind of level) has the power to impose any kind of consistent rules/guidelines across the board. Which is what the currently-in-progress Web Review is supposed to be addressing, but, well, yeah.
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j4 From: j4 Date: June 29th, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw. Thought-of-a-hug appreciated nonetheless.

The way everybody in this area seems to encounter the same problems again and again is both comforting and depressing...
j4 From: j4 Date: June 29th, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hello, you. :-)

I'm all for giving people this information (it's the only way they'll find out how useless it really is) and building it into the CMS seems to be a good way of doing this, but we're using a fiendish home-rolled CMS system so it may not be practical at the moment. (What CMS etc are your web people using, OOI?)

The question of them doing something stupid doesn't really arise as we're still quality-controlling everything that gets published (for trusted content providers this is basically just a push-the-button formality; for others, it's a gate we can keep closed no matter how hard they headbutt it). It's all a tradeoff between getting your time wasted preventing teh stupid, and letting teh stupid happen (but saving time -- though I'd argue that then half my time would be spent retrospectively fixing stupidity).

On a bad day, though, I just think "Why don't we just turn the whole goddamned thing into a wiki, and then tell them 'when you shoot yourself in the foot, don't come running to us'."
truecatachresis From: truecatachresis Date: June 29th, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Why don't we just turn the whole goddamned thing into a wiki, and then tell them 'when you shoot yourself in the foot, don't come running to us'."

Because they will come running to you ANYWAY, and you won't be able to stop them. And then your bad day will be an even worse day, because they'll whine and whine until you've fixed their mess, or whine even more if you tell them you can't fix it.

j4 From: j4 Date: June 30th, 2006 11:15 am (UTC) (Link)
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