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The Daily Bulletin Editor that changed the University of Waterloo web

On Tuesday November 8th, 2011, Chris Redmond let everyone know (at the bottom) he is no longer the editor of the University of Waterloo’s daily news publication — the Daily Bulletin. He covers some the history of the Bulletin:

I have been editing the Daily Bulletin through more than 4,500 issues now since it was created in the spring of 1993. Originally the Daily Bulletin was distributed by “gopher”. In the spring of 1995 the first Web versions of the Daily Bulletin were tried out. In 1998, the “Link of the Day” was introduced; in 1999, the use of photos became a regular occurrence. The “When and Where” events listings began in 2003, and the present graphic design dates mostly from 2006.

What he leaves out is the role that he, along with Roger Watt and Carol Vogt, played with getting “UWinfo” online and to the staff, students, and faculty at the University of Waterloo.

When I started at the University of Waterloo in 2001, hired as the campus’ first Web Developer, I was interviewed in Chris’s office atop Needles Hall. That was the first time I actually met him. I heard about this UWinfo group that was two techies and a writer that learned HTML. That writer provided the content that grew into a very rich University of Waterloo web space.

Every business day Chris published an editorial on what is happening on campus. It was easily one of the first blogs in the world, never mind campus. The difference was that before there were commenting systems the uw.general newsgroup is where the ‘discussions’ happened about stories in the Bulletin. This engaged people in the publication at an early time. This is long before they were called blogs and sure comments never found their way into the Bulletin but I don’t think that is a negative thing.

Chris’s work on the Bulletin and what became the University of Waterloo ‘home page’ (something he “edited” daily until sometime after 2007) gave the University of Waterloo a template of content rich web pages. I believe everyone emulated his content focus in the early days and still influences how the web presence will evolve in the future. He saw the value of the web early and worked to use it for good to the best of his ability.

With Carol Vogt retiring a few years back (and sadly passed away shortly thereafter), Roger Watt retiring, the last of Waterloo’s web content pioneers has left his publication that defines the university web space for so many. It’s a big deal in my mind. Yes there are a few other folks that shaped those early days still around but to me the “UWinfo” group was the web… and if I missed anyone that deserves credit for that, sorry. I can update the post.

Good luck in retirement Chris (which isn’t for a few months at least), I look forward to all the content you have yet to create!

Edit: Hat tip to @garywill — almost forgot about Simon the troll

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  1. Yes, it is a big deal. Anyone who has had any connection with uWaterloo knows about the Daily Bulletin that Chris Redmond was behind it. Thanks for bringing attention to his role in what evolved into the current university website. Today, when we’re obsessed with what technology comes next and dissatisfied if it only does what last year’s version does, it’s easy to forget what a big deal it was to establish a website established or to use online tools to share information to people across a large campus. Redman is a online communications pioneer and should be celebrated as such.
    Whoever takes his place will have a big keyboard to use. Even so, I’d personally love the challenge.