As a web specialist II for UCSF's University Relations, Tony Taliaferro is responsible for providing technical and creative services to the team as well as uploading UCSF.edu with stories, photos and videos that tell the UCSF story.
He also serves as the first point person for the entire web team in University Relations via the web feedback button and supervises production of the online campus calendar. Taliaferro was instrumental in the launch of the new UCSF website in February 2011.
An avid artist and native of San Francisco, Taliaferro designed this year's AIDS Walk T-shirt for team UCSF for the AIDS Walk San Francisco on July 17.
How long have you been working at UCSF?
I came here in November 1999 when the web team was very small, but gearing up for tons of new projects and changes. Since then, we've done a few main site redesigns, produced new websites like Diversity at UCSF, Budget, Chancellor's website, UCSF Community and Government Relations and a lot of other interesting projects that have come and gone.
What specifically do you do at UCSF, and how is it connected to UCSF’s overall mission?
I work in [Content Management Systems (CMS)] Drupal, Expression Engine & straight code to preside over our web content, imagery and video. I also do cartooning and have drawn a few main images for UCSF, and just finished designing this year’s UCSF AIDS Walk T-shirt. UCSF.edu is the main web portal for the University. All over the world people are learning about UCSF by first coming online here.
What’s something that members of the UCSF community would be surprised to know about you?
At noon, I may slip down California Street to Mountain Lake park, where I have lunch with all the turtles, mallards, coots, herons, seagulls and my favorite, the little red-shouldered blackbirds.
What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job?
The constant forward motion of the department keeps me studying software to be able to handle each project. We just did another main site redesign and now are using Drupal, whereas some older sites still use another CMS, and still others demand straight coding, so it’s a varied and colorful experience. Just how I like it, no chance of getting bored!
If you weren’t working on the web team, what do you think you’d be doing?
Running a small graphic story publishing company – or just sitting on a lovely San Francisco sidewalk with guitar in hand, harmonica fastened at the neck, keyboard on lap, cymbals tied to knees and kick drum at my feet, busking.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
Volunteering with Mt. Sutro Stewards. The group meets every month on the 61-acre UCSF Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. Rain or shine, we’re out there working on trails and habitat programs, using hoes, pick-axes and laupers. It’s almost like being a kid again. The people are great to work with, and afterward there’s a hot lunch waiting.
Photo by Susan Merrell