HighEdWeb New England Keynote - Sarah Horton, Harvard University

On March 18, 2013, Harvard University's Sarah Horton delivered the keynote at the inaugural HighEdWeb New England conference. Horton is the Web Strategy Project Lead on the Harvard Web Publishing Initiative.


  1. More about Sarah and the Harvard Web Publishing Initiative:
  2. Sites built with "permacode" at Dartmouth. Seeing the power of a simple include file, when used for crisis communications, helped Horton understand the power of content and content-first systems.
  3. At Dartmouth, Horton focused on projects that helped tell a campus-wide story, such as...
  4. Horton saw a need for groups to tell their own stories on their own sites in a structured way that could then be stitched together into a cohesive narrative.

    With the Harvard Web Publishing Initiative (HWPI), Horton saw an opportunity to move toward this ideal.
  5. The project has funding for three years to create this new platform and service model and governance structure.

    HWPI is built on the Open Scholar platform:
  6. Horton had a "lightbulb moment" in learning about this platform, about the ability to move toward powerful, consolidated experiences, such as:
  7. Here are a couple of the early HWPI projects:
  8. Horton and her team are taking a "guided by strategy" approach. People need to think differently about their websites. Creating a "project charter" helps guide this: What is your purpose? What are your goals? Who is your target audience?

    Giving each project its own charter helps avoid creating the same website over and over again.

  9. Horton helps ensure each site reflects consistent user experience and a common information architecture.