Sitting in my room trying to prepare for my presentation tomorrow morning, not getting very far. It’s surprisingly difficult to work with out the internet. But oddly enough blogging is no problem. Out my window the falcons are out, they are only visible monetarily while the the flood lights below light them up like fireflies.

Tomorrow after my table talk, I’m going to be learning about Branding in the Wild Wild West, or at least I intent to sit in on that session. Today I met Matt Ryan who will presenting on Reason an open source Content Management System they developed, have to say i’m looking forward to it. I am also going to attend a presentation entitled Blogs: many voices of a university, it should be interesting to learn how other people are using blogging, as we are really in an infant state of campus blogging. I would say all in all blogging at the University of Montana has been a success, we have several folks around campus who have really embraced the idea of university hosted and supported blogging.

My talk starts tomorrow at 7:30 and will be given at the breakfast table. There is room at the table for about 8 or 9 other folks so it should be a smallish audience, and I hope to have a discussion about all of the tools that are available, and are easy to use, easy to install and don’t come with a major hit to the web budget. I’m going to start talking a little bit about our shift at the University of Montana from web apps that were entirely proprietary to a better well rounded toolbox.

On of our greatest success stories, is that of our news and events system. Our proprietary system that managed and feed news and events directly onto the homepage crashed and we were unable to get the support that is assumed (more commonly by management). After attempting to salvage the product we (the developers) made the decision that we needed another option. So we have a gapping whole on our homepage, a new hired manager who is across the country monitoring our situation, and we are making our first impression. Good or bad, this is it.

Jamie came to me with Joomla and Jcal Pro and open source solution, with an extension that was able to meet, and even exceed our needs. The homepage feeds were down for 2 days and on the third day the new system was up functional. The only reason we were able to pull this off was because we didn’t have to fight the red tape and we picked the product, and were free of the committee.