In the early 1990’s, University College Cork created Ireland’s first website (and 9th website in the world). My former manager, Peter Flynn, was the university’s first webmaster. I had the pleasure and honour of working with Peter for the best part of 10 years, as part of the web team in UCC. During this time we saw a lot of change and I learned a hell of a lot at the proverbial feet of a true webmaster. We moved from hand coded pages to full enterprise content management for the website. I was personally involved with the move towards a more service and project oriented approach to the management of the web and the university’s digital estate. Even though I only officially took on the role of Webmaster in early 2014, I was performing many of the jobs of webmaster for many years (due to internal restructuring and resource restrictions), hence my leadership on several key strategic web projects.
Being webmaster in a large organisation is a complex job. Making sure the site stays up and running, making sure the site does what it’s supposed to do, and talks to the people it’s supposed to talk to, are all fundamental to the job and something I’m happy to say I achieved. One of the things of which I am proudest during my tenure as webmaster was the introduction of a governance model that went beyond the website and took the expanded digital estate into consideration. Working with colleagues in Audio Visual Media Services and Marketing and Communications, I established a cross functional working group to manage the day-to-day operations of the website and other digital platforms. This approach lead us again to the finals of the Irish Web Awards, this time in the category of best practice.
I’m proud of the work I did as webmaster in UCC and proud of my place in history as only the 2nd ever webmaster at a distinguished institution.