Looking Forward to HighEdWeb 2011

Let’s review for a minute. From my HighEdWeb 2010 Wrap Up:

High Ed Web 2011 will be in Austin, Texas. Our department might send two people next year. I’ll go out on a limb and predict the hot topics next year. Semantic content (Web 3.0) for mobile, desktop, vehicles, televisions, toasters, etc. (We can make content inter-operable; maybe using a CMS.) Location-based (geo-loco) applications with a side of augmented reality or geo-fencing. (Facebook Places exploded this year. Foursquare has the most users, for now. Gowalla is based in Austin.) HTML5 and CSS3 are growing, even if at a slow pace. (The W3C made an announcement about holding off deploying HTML5.)

Semantic content is a generic way of saying well-formed, valid, well-structured coded-content. HTML5 is another attempt at semantic markup language with some juicy improvements thrown in. In 2011 more work was done on HTML5 and CSS3 so that we can start to see the benefits of using them on sites. This blog’s theme is written in HTML5, and I’ve used CSS3 – sparingly – on a few sites.

In early 2011 Chevy came out with the Cruze, a car that can read your Facebook wall – the Chevy Cruze commercial debuted at the Super Bowl in February. The Cruze also has an app: you can remote start your car from your smartphone. Of course all of the game consoles and “smart” TV’s can connect to Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, etc.

The geo-loco thing is like Twitter – it’s there but not everyone is using it. The big thing for Twitter this year (and years past) was real-time news updates and celebrity tweets. Some of the top trends were #winning, #tsunami, #Libya, and of course #MBteamS.

Mobile devices and the content we serve them is another hot topic. Tablets like the Apple iPad or Android Tab or Blackberry Playbook are all the rage and they present yet another challenge when it comes to serving content to a small-er screen. A few years ago, smartphones were the big kid on the block and we rushed to make code semantic and adjust to their small size. Now tablets introduce another size and the ability to behave like a desktop or a mobile phone; coders bang your heads here.

Along with mobile devices of various sizes running apps and visiting websites came along the idea of progressive enhancement. PE has probably been around a long time – lurking in a dark corner next to “best-practices” – but it’s new to me. I’d like to see a presentation or workshop on PE and how it relates to semantic HTML5 and CSS3.

As it turns out two of us are going to High Ed Web 2011 this year. In a strange twist of events we hired a new programmer, and he’ll be tagging along with me. We also implemented a CMS in 2011 – Hannon Hill Cascade – so we’d like to meet other Cascade users. We will be going to Atlanta for the Cascade User Conference, but that’s another post.