My ITIL Journey is designed to involve readers in a real-life journey of adopting and adapting ITIL. This is extremely important to me because ITIL appears quite unapproachable and far too complex to many of those just starting out. With this web presence, my intention is to fill the gap between the plethora of ITIL websites that do not go beyond the outline of the ITIL framework and those that delve into the minutiae of process definitions and the like. I have been motivated to create the kind of resource I would like, a resource that will concentrate on the practical application of the ITIL framework in a real-word setting. In this exegesis, I will explain, contextualise and justify the choices I have made in developing the My ITIL Journey web presence.
In creating the My ITIL Journey web presence, I have selected a blog for the central node. A blog allows me to easily create two types of content – pages and posts. I will be using pages to share content resources such as the ‘Service Design Package Template’ and posts for providing regular updates on my experiences. The posts will be personal stories and more conversational in tone in contrast to the content provided on pages that is more professional in tone and likely to be repurposed by my audience. I chose WordPress as I am familiar with the software and knew it would provide the tools required, including the capability of reader comments and integration with the contributing nodes. WordPress is also easily customisable and allowed me to have a clean, uncluttered look and feel that allows the reader to focus on the content. For readers that prefer access to the content only, an RSS feed is also provided.
The contributing nodes I have selected are Delicious, Twitter, a Facebook page and Tumblr. Each contributing node has a specific purpose and, together with the blog, form a complete web presence for My ITIL Journey. Conspicuous in its absence is LinkedIn. I believe the majority of my chosen audience would in fact be on this primarily professional network. However, due to conflicting assignment restrictions and LinkedIn terms and conditions, this node has been omitted from the web presence.
An important part of My ITIL Journey is the role of filtering the myriad ITIL information available to give meaning to and share only those that are relevant to my audience (Weick, 1995). Delicious is an effective and exciting way to achieve this. I can easily tag and save resources to specific Delicious stacks together with a personal comment. This makes it incredibly easy for people to find recommended resources on a particular sub-topic of ITIL. Having the saved resources automatically published on the blog also opens up the collection to readers not familiar with the social bookmarking site, Delicious.
In a similar vein, Twitter was selected as it provides access to many and varied conversations about ITIL. I can tap into a network of ITIL experts (people I follow) as well as also share information and resources (to my followers) that I feel are relevant to my audience. Twitter also gives me the ability to share, through a List, with my audience the people I believe are influential in the area of ITIL. It is anticipated that this will become a valuable resource over time. The Twitter node will also be used to personally connect with readers to discuss my journey or answer questions or converse in general about ITIL.
With Facebook coming in as the second most visited site on the web (Alexa Internet, 2012) it is almost an expectation that Facebook is included in a web presence. My ITIL Journey will use the Facebook page contributing node for syndicating content and audience interaction. The Facebook page allows readers to fully engage with My ITIL Journey content through their platform of choice.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform that can be described as a cross between a WordPress blog and Twitter. I have selected Tumblr as the fourth contributing node for content that I refer to as asides. ITIL-related content such as funny cartoons or jokes, interesting snippets of information and quotes from experts will be posted to this node. It is not information seen as critical to the main purpose of My ITIL Journey and is generally of a more light hearted nature. For this reason, the Tumblr node is not given the same prominence on the central node as the Delicious, Twitter and Facebook nodes.
Throughout the web presence, I have made a conscious decision to use my real name and photograph. I want people to identify with the person behind the words – me (Derlega, 1993). The About page on the central node builds on this by providing some background on my level of expertise together with the reasons behind creating My ITIL Journey. However, as the prime purpose is not about my personal brand, I have selected the My ITIL Journey logo to be more prominent throughout the web presence. Visitors can still find out who I am (if it is important to them) and at the same time the use of the logo across all nodes helps to better convey a congruent web presence.
In addition to including common elements such as the logo, I have also ensured, where possible, that the design is also common across nodes. The design includes aspects such as layout, font and colour selection. Achieving a consistent ‘theme’ for each node helps visitors to feel more comfortable, more quickly, when traversing the different nodes that make up the web presence. It also helps to breed a sense of familiarity with readers that enables me to more quickly build a connection with readers. On considering the relationship between my content and the purpose of the web presence, I have purposely selected to use a conversational tone. In my writing I want to invite the audience to join along side me in the journey. A more professional tone may look as if I am trying to pose as an expert in the field.
I have been inspired by looking at what other websites are not. In developing this web presence I have strived to create a unique and helpful resource for those looking to start their journey with ITIL. Including a number of contributing nodes and a consistent style across the totality of my digital presence enables readers to easily access and engage with my content and all said and done that is its prime purpose.
ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark and a Registered Community Trade Mark of the UK Cabinet Office in the United Kingdom and other countries.
Alexa Internet.(2012). Alexa Top 500 Global Sites. Retrieved from http://www.alexa.com/topsites
Derlega, V. J. (1993). Self-disclosure: Sage.
Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in organizations: Sage Publications.