Friday, August 29, 2008

I am struggling to deal with what I am claiming to be a generational and personality difference. I created a new format for the InfoTech Tuesday newsletter website utilizing my knowledge of best practices and principles in order to drastically reduce the amount of work it takes to publish it weekly, to enhance the interface giving users multiple options for how they want to view the news, and to include many feedback loops so that readers could be more than just passive receivers of the newsletter. I put a lot into the project, as I do with anything I commit myself to. After a very successful launch and good level of reader participation I thought everything had gone perfectly. A day later I started to hear rumblings that someone somewhere was not happy about what was going on on the website.

I still don't know who instigated this or exactly what their motivation was, but today I had to remove commenting, remove all of my own comments, and remove all profile information. I thought that I was getting a chance to be a part of a very progressive move on behalf of the university. Come to find out, they probably didn't know what I was creating and don't seem to think it is a good idea. After talking with several people, all of them trying to calm me down mind you, I am starting to see that the features I built in may be threatening to the highest levels of the university, namely the people concerned with the image of K-State. I can see that this type of transition is a big step in a radically new direction. But my way of dealing with this is to stand behind you while you're contemplating taking that step, and push! I am this way by my nature, but I also know that this is what is needed because for us humans, change is scary. It's a scary step to have to make, but the other side is so amazingly better that you wonder why you hesitated.

In addition, I have expectations for organizations in terms of websites and web presences. As a user I have always been disappointed in K-States services. I really thought I was going to be able to be a part of changing it for the better so that others wouldn't have the same disappointment I had.

I guess this is a way of calming myself down, because as you can tell, I'm not too happy. I'm sure I'll feel differently tomorrow, and certainly won't remember this 5 years from now. Nonetheless, I think there is something really concrete going on, and I think it's happening everywhere. I think we're reaching a generational nexus point and my angst is a manifestation of it. I think our institutions currently have no way of dealing with the clash between the elders in charge and the young people doing the work and wanting to go about it differently. I've been running into this too often to think there isn't a pattern here.

I was so upset I vlogged for the first time. What do you know!

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