Effective Website Management Syllabus

Note: This is a sample syllabus. The real, updated syllabus is located at wu.granneman.com, which is password-protected and is available for students and guests only.

U48 342—Web Site Management
Washington University University College

Spring 2005
Mondays 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Eads 14

Instructor: Scott Granneman
Senior Consultant in Internet Services, Bryan Consulting
Author for SecurityFocus, Linux Magazine, 0'Reilly Media (Don't Click on the Blue E!), & Wiley & Sons (Hacking Knoppix)
Instructor, Washington University in St. Louis and St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley
The Open Source Weblog

Course Description

This course examines the three dimensions that drive a successful Web site: content, technology, and business process. Through lectures, readings, and criticism of existing Web sites, the class addresses the ways these three dimensions interact, and often compete, as well as the financial, aesthetic, and ethical issues that arise from those interactions. Students learn strategies for creating and managing effective, well-balanced Web sites by creating a Web site for a hypothetical company. Discussions include the cultural and political repercussions of new media, the disappearing role of traditional media as information gatekeeper, and the changing job market. Recommended for the Liberal Arts and Business (LAB) and the Business Communication Certificates. Prerequisite: familiarity with the Internet, building a Web site, and HTML.

Required Texts

Readings will consist of articles, analyses, & ephemera from the Internet. If you ever want to pursue a topic further, you can look up further readings using Search (located at the bottom of every page) or the Site Map.

In addition, students will need to sign up with the following listserv:


Your grade will be based on the following factors:

Grades will be based on an average of the above as follows:

100 A+
94-99 A
89-93 A-
86-88 B+
83-85 B
79-82 B-
76-78 C+
73-75 C
69-72 C-
66-68 D+
63-65 D
59-62 D-
0-58 F

Policy regarding academic dishonesty: This course will follow Washington University's policies concerning academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will result in failure for the assignment in question and/or referral to the college's Academic Integrity Office, which has discretion to impose a stricter penalty. While academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and quizzes, it also includes plagiarism in written assignments. Plagiarism is not only passing off someone else's work as your own, but also giving your work to someone else to pass off as their own. It also includes submitting work from another course. While I strongly encourage you to discuss your work with each other in and out of class, and while you may research issues together, your writing should be your own. The papers you submit must be your work alone, and must include citations to all references in your work. Please include the URL, or Web address, for articles and resources found on the Internet.

Accommodation of disabilities: If you have a disability that might affect your ability to complete the required assignments, please contact me during the first week of class to discuss an accommodation.


It is paramount that we respect each other online, in both email and the discussion group. Follow this simple rule: disagree with the idea, but not the person. In other words, it's OK to say "That's a bad idea, because …", and it's not OK to say "You're a bad/stupid/inconsiderate person, because …". If you have an issue with a classmate's behavior online, please bring it to me privately by emailing me at scott@granneman.com. If you'd like to find out more, please feel free to read The Core Rules of Netiquette, by Virginia Shea.

Tentative Schedule

Mon. Jan. 24 ~ Introductions. Build theory.

Mon. Jan. 31 ~ What is the web good for?
Guests: Jerry Bryan, Bryan Consulting
Assignments for 31 January 2005

Mon. Feb. 7 ~ Roles theory
Guests: Jerry Bryan, Bryan Consulting & Natalie Davenport, Saint Louis Zoo
Assignments for 7 February 2005

Mon. Feb. 14 ~ Design theory: Delight
Assignments for 14 February 2005
Spring 2005 Good and Bad Web Sites

Mon. Feb. 21 ~ Design theory: Commodity
Assignments for 21 February 2005

Mon. Feb. 28 ~ Design theory: Firmness
Assignments for 28 February 2005

Mon. Mar. 7 ~ No class: spring break!

Mon. Mar. 14 ~ Development theory: Step 1: Concept
Assignments for 14 March 2005

Mon. Mar. 21 ~ Development theory: Step 2: Design
Assignments for 21 March 2005

Mon. Mar. 28 ~ Development theory: Step 3: Construction
Assignments for 28 March 2005

Mon. Apr. 4 ~ Development theory: Step 4: Launch
Assignments for 4 April 2005

Mon. Apr. 11 ~ Metrics theory
Assignments for 11 April 2005

Mon. Apr. 18 ~ TBD
Assignments for 18 April 2005

Mon. Apr. 25 ~ TBD
Assignments for 25 April 2005

Mon. May 2 ~ TBD
Assignments for 2 May 2005

Mon. May 9 ~ Final thoughts & goodbyes, wrap ups & evaluations.

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