• Issue #9

We're all excited for HighEdWeb in Little Rock!

Fireworks of purple, pink, and orange, explode in the sky.

Hi there.

This week, we’re all together in Little Rock for HighEdWeb!

Here’s what we’re looking forward to, and thanks for being here.


Did you know that HighEdWeb is a part of my Bravery origin story? And I almost missed it. You see, waaaaay back in 2019, I applied to speak at the HighEdWeb conference in Milwaukee, and my talk was accepted. In previous years, the general rule for my office was if you were accepted to speak, they’d pay for you to go.

So, I went to my boss at the time, who went to his boss. And my grand-boss surprised us both with a sudden change to the rules: Starting with my request, all talks had to be about the work an employee is doing in their current role to justify paying for the professional development. They decided that speaking on content strategy and community building wasn’t a strong enough link to my professional work as a usability analyst to send me to the conference.

Alas, I couldn’t shake this call to adventure. I paid my own way and saved where I could. I stayed in a hotel that was cheaper but about a mile away from the action, figuring I could walk back and forth. And I took a Greyhound bus rather than pay for the flight.

My instincts were right on target. I met some great people that year, including the person that introduced me to Joel Goodman… One thing led to another, and now I can do all my favorite work with Bravery Media.

Regarding what I am most excited about this year: sessions on Web Governance! Our websites are the stage where our institutional norms, structures, and politics perform their hearts out. That puts many of us in the role of the director and our governance in the part of the stage manager. This year, the policy nerd in me hopes to glean all your creative insights on building great governance models.

Oh, and I am also pretty thrilled about gettin’ some pizza.

Sessions you can find me at:

Kristin Van Dorn


I’m super excited to be back in person at HighEdWeb this year. This conference is one of my favorites, and that’s due almost entirely to its incredible community.

Carl told me to write about a session I’m excited to attend. While there are a bunch that look awesome, I mostly want to encourage you to go to something that you think looks interesting, whether it’s in your current wheelhouse or not. In my experience attending HighEdWeb (my first was in 2008), the sessions that stretched my knowledge were the ones I got the most out of.

So, here are a few I’m thinking about attending this week. If you see me, come say hi!

I’m also excited to see Ashley Budd, Paul Gilzow, Josh Charles, Alaina Wiens, Josie Alquist, and many other intelligent folks.

- Joel Goodman


I’ve celebrated several significant milestones over the last few days. My first time visiting a Buc-ees (what an experience), successfully pronouncing Wagyu twice in a row, and most importantly, being at my first HighEdWeb. And what a wonderful setting for all of the Bravery folks to finally meet in real life.

I noticed how I seem to be one of the few with a pink “first-time attendee” sash on my conference badge. It’s a good reminder that this event has a rich history and is sacred to many. I feel thankful to be here.

I appreciate how there are so many varied tracks to follow as a conference attendee. I’m naturally drawn toward Strategy, Content, and Social Media, but I may meander around a bit to topics I’m more unfamiliar with. I’m most looking forward to Dr. Liz Gross’s session, “To Differentiate your Brand, Act Differently,” because that’s a lesson many a campus MarComm team would do well to learn. Plus, I know Liz has got the data to back up everything she’ll be talking about.

You’ll also find me at the live edition of Thought Feeder, which will take place on Tuesday at 3:30. The challenges of shifting from recording virtually to capturing everything in-real-life, is one that I’m excited to tackle. Recording live will also allow us to incorporate more questions than we would in a typical mailbag episode. Ask Joel and J.S questions via the #HEWeb22 thread on Twitter!

Lastly, what kind of a jerk would I be if I didn’t say I was excited to see Joel and Jason present on Hospitable Design and Web Platform Basics respectively? I’ve seen and heard only the rudimentary bits of their presentations, and I can’t wait to see how they’ve buttoned them up.

I’m ending my time at HighEdWeb with two planes. The first is Karaoke Plane, which I’ve heard much about. I hope my falsetto cooperates. The second involves a layover in Atlanta, where I’ll contemplate the week’s wonders and count myself lucky to be a HighEdWeb alum.

- Carl Gratiot


This year will be my 18th HighEdWeb Annual Conference and my 14th in a role on the conference organizing committee. For years, as I’ve worked for an institution in Higher Education, HighEdWeb has been an inspiring event and a focal point of the year for re-energizing.

This year hits differently as I transition into my new role at Bravery. While still important, I’m no longer primarily focused on “How do I improve myself” or “What can I learn to improve my role at my institution.” Instead, I’m looking to discover the most difficult challenges facing institutions and how they tackle and solve them.

I could spend this space highlighting the presentations by folks Bravery works with, like Donna Talarico (Getting Your Point Across), Rachel Cherry (Semantic HTML for Accessibility, Svelte), and Jon-Stephen Stansel (Lessons from the Entertainment Industry). Their work certainly fits that bill.

Instead, I’d like to highlight someone else’s work I’m excited to hear. Shruthi Jagannath’s presentation on leveraging 1st party data for conversion rate optimization is fascinating because it covers one of the most demanding technical challenges facing Higher Ed marketers: producing the “golden profile” of someone from data across many systems.

Cross-system integration, especially in today’s environment of “privacy first” changes to traditional data collection tools, is a specialized skill and one that’s not common in in-house teams in Higher Ed. It’s something we at Bravery can help you tackle. I’m eager to learn what techniques ASU used to tackle this problem.

- Jason Woodward