in Digital Web

Explaining what you do…when you’re a web person in higher ed

Ok, so maybe you’re one of those lucky ducks who never has to explain to anyone what you do, because even your parents are higher ed web savvy folks.

But some of us aren’t so fortunate.

How do you explain your job to the super inquisitive. I usually opt for shorthand. That doesn’t really satisfy most folks, but saying you work at a college or university and that you don’t teach, usually has them confused before you even complete the sentence. Still, explaining working at a university and then saying “I work on the web…” makes you sound like a web designer.

Which is fine if that’s what you do.

I imagine it must be akin to working in a government position in the executive branch. Your mom just tells everyone you work for the President. But he might recognize you in a party, were you to have your nametag on.

Not really that big a deal, but…I do wonder what creative ways to use this as an entrypoint to build connections with folks who don’t use the web in the ways we do.

  1. I explain that I write for the Web. If their eyes don’t glaze over immediately, I delve into content development, making things easy and interesting for the visitor, utilizing some marketing but not overdoing it, and how academics hate the word “customer” despite the fact that many of their students are paying well into the six figures over their four years for their education.

    By then, their eyes have definitely glazed over.

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