As April comes to a close, UNM Web Administrator Matt Carter was returning and recovering from his annual trip to Indio, Calif., where he spent three days watching back-toback concerts at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
A quick perusal of Carter on Facebook during the Coachella festival shows hundreds of pictures of well-known artists on stage, next to pictures of the next generation of bands, still up-and-coming, as well as those looking for an opportunity to shine. The festival is chaotic and energetic, and during this intense musical extravaganza there is nowhere else he would rather be.
"Unfortunately, I don't think Albuquerque pulls in a lot of acts, they tend to skip over us. They go from Arizona to Texas or Colorado to Arizona, but they tend not to stop in New Mexico," he said. "That means that a lot of the bands that I really want to see I have to travel to see."
One way around too much travel is to wait until many of these bands get together to perform at a festival, which is how Carter started his yearly trips to California.
"If I'm seeing 30 bands at Coachella that's like 30 nights out to see bands," he said. "If I'm seeing a show every couple of weeks it takes me almost a year to do that. I can't travel to see that many shows it's going to be cost prohibitive. I tend to be in the higher age range of an event like (Coachella), but I still have a good time."
But every show must have an end, and at the end of Coachella, Carter is back to his duties with University Communication and Marketing. As UCAM's web administrator, Carter is also in charge of the university's online presence. From the main university web page to the president's and regents' websites, Carter and his team are responsible for maintaining and updating these sites, and monitoring the university's overall online reputation.
Prior to his time with UCAM, Carter worked with UNM's IT department, providing website support to departments, creating websites and applications, and before that, he worked on their help desk. He also had many ideas for where the university needed to go in the future, and social media was a big component of that.
Before joining UCAM, Carter worked with UCAM designer and photographer John Sumrow to create a site showcasing UNM's Flickr Photo Gallery.
"It got a lot of attention from other schools and people speaking at conferences as a good example of how to use Flickr in a university environment," Carter said.
After moving to UCAM, Carter was determined to improve the university's social media presence. He developed a plan to get UNM more involved on Facebook, Twitter and even (at the time still an important social network) MySpace. He taught representatives of the university to respond to people online in a more strategic fashion, even bringing in students to work on the department's social media accounts to provide an important and often overlooked voice to many social media endeavors.
But working on social media is only part of what Carter does for the university. He created a web services team for UNM, where departments can go if they don't have the staff to develop or maintain their own sites. He's also pushed for UNM's new content management system, designed to make it easier for departments to update and create their own websites, and teaches a monthly class on how to use the system.
Speaking of teaching, Carter is also an adjunct faculty member in Communication and Journalism, teaching web design and web standards. Carter was asked to teach the class at the last minute when another instructor left the C&J; department.
"It's been a good experience, and I've been asked to teach the class again this fall," he said.
Story by Benson Hendrix