Let’s do the time warp again.

In just a few short weeks, I’ve been a part of several conversations that had a time warp quality. I thought perhaps I was time traveling to the late 90s. Here are some of the gems I heard:

  • “Weren’t you surprised that someone was actually going to our website to monitor what we’re doing?”
  • “Oh, yeah, I’ve been experimenting with items on my department’s home page and I guess I broke something. I’ll try to get it fixed later today.”
  • “This is a confidential project.”
    (Fast forward a couple of days and I find a link to a PDF summary of this confidential project through an unintentional Google search.)

Yes, it’s true. The internet works. When you publish to the world wide web, you are instantly communicating with all who come to your web pages. And people visit; they go to web pages and read the information there. If the text is out-of-date, they notice. If a public web page exists, anyone with an internet connection can see it.

Not sure it ever existed but Google, and other search engines, have eliminated security by obscurity. (Remember the “no one will see this because no one knows the URL” routine?)

Despite my surprise during these recent conversations, none of the above top my all-time favorite heard during a meeting with someone who manages a website: “Our website is meant to be more static. We don’t want people to expect it to have the most up-to-date information about us.”

Lesson learned? Paradigms shift slowly.


Author: susantevans

Susan T. Evans is director of corporate and foundations relations at the College of William & Mary. She is a proven strategic leader with deep expertise in advancement, communications, brand management, marketing, digital strategy, technology, administration and organizational development. She is known for creative and strategic approaches to challenges within higher education, nonprofits and business.

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