A Long-Term Document

For the fourth time in my career, I worked on the launch of a new school website this week:

www.asl.org

I looked back at some of my similar sites, and I had a thought. It’s not uncommon for these sites to have 1500 visitors a day and 10,000 page views a day, day after day, for five to seven years before the next renewal.

It crossed my mind that we can put a lot of effort into a play or speakers series event, but it is over in a few nights. Same for a monthly newsletter– read for a few days and then tossed. Same for a graduation– big event, good memories, over in a day.

A web page is used and used and used. It’s also a living document– we have literally made tens of thousands of little changes in just three days after it’s launch, and we have tens of thousands to go before I can rest about it’s launch. There is no other school document that clearly compares to it– a view book may be done every five years, but it doesn’t change and it isn’t viewed every day by so many different people.

Anyway, this is all about the long haul. A friend once told me that all technology decisions should be based on what is in the long-term interests of the school. That is what a web page is about. It’s not about a big one night event, that’s over the next day. It’s a long-range investment, needing lots of care and feeding, but it serves the school 24×7, day in and day out.

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