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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Portal Q&A: Names, RSS Feeds, and Content

We sat down with Portal Project Team to discuss some recent decisions about the new portal.

ESUP: Let’s start with the name for the new portal! What’s it going to be called?

Portal Team (PT): We asked for name suggestions for the new portal through the feedback survey in the Portal Rough Draft. We found a lot of people really liked “myU.” We convened a small group, including people from our team and from University Relations, to talk about the options. We decided to keep the continuity of myU. The new myU will be a different experience, but the name will stay the same. It will be a front door for the great work the work streams are doing, and with compelling content for staff, students and faculty.

ESUP: What’s the most important thing for people to understand about the new myU vs. the current one?

PT: People think myU is just for students, that it doesn’t offer a lot for staff and faculty. That will change with the new myU. Through an improved user interface, the information you need to access as an employee, like your pay statement and benefits, and what you need as faculty, like grading and class rosters, will be in the new myU, along with things you’ll just plain need to know. It’s for everybody at the U.

ESUP: You’ve had a staffing leadership change, correct?

PT: Yes, Portal Project Director Susan Geller is leaving for an opportunity to join Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners (iocp.org) in the role of associate director. Susan has made great progress on the project and we are grateful for her leadership. We would like to welcome William Dana as Portal project director. This will be a dual role for William, who will retain his current role as Student Project director. We are glad to have his leadership skills (as exhibited in the Student Project), his strong relationships with the Finance and HRMS projects, and his extensive experience with myU. Plans are underway to ensure a smooth transition for both the Student and the Portal teams.

ESUP: There was also a recent security decision about RSS feeds. Why is this important?

PT: Some people at the U use RSS feeds to feed content into the current myU. There are two types of URLs involved here: HTTP and HTTPS. The “S” stands for secure. The new myU will only support secure feeds, so feeding via HTTP will not be allowed. HTTPS content will be allowed. This goes for sites too, if you’re feeding content via an HTTP website, you’ll have to beef up your security to HTTPS to feed it into the new myU. So in summary, as long as your RSS feed has an HTTPS address, you’re fine.

ESUP: Anything else you’d like to mention? What about content in the new myU?

PT: We have business owners and a content strategy for the new portal now. There are content owners for students, staff and faculty, a content governance group and coordinators for each system campus. Also, during the next few months we’ll review content currently in myU and make determinations about what content we’ll be able to include at the launch in the fall of 2014. Our goal is to do our best to get useful content, from multiple sources, to members of the U of M community.

ESUP: Great, thanks, portallers!

If you have questions about anything related to ESUP, or ideas for a future Q&A, please let us know. Send us an email at esup@umn.edu.

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