For students to engage maybe its just got to be like the other things they use on the web? So i'd guess social is the norm now?
Experience suggest that is true for younger (<36ish) staff too.
The social vs publishing thing is an interesting one though!
In publishing us authors don't expect to have to do our own formatting for print publication or research publications - can you imagine the outrage ;)
As an author i am more than happy to have an expert do all that gubbins for me, its their job to make my content look beautiful with well chosen paper, colour, fonts, line-heights, kerning, layouts etc. I'm fine to consult on the cover, give images etc but there is no way i'm learning all that other stuff!
That thing we used to do called desktop publishing still has a bit of a hangover though.
That default use of ms word (other products are available) - which before recent versions - spits out pretty ugly homogenous 12pt times new roman (calibri if i'm lucky) documents, helped created an unfortunate prerequisite that for most of us users & organisations we had to spend time styling our content for it not to look so homogenous, and that created our need for an overwhelming array of formatting options we could try and use to achieve this.
Having watched A LOT of people using desktop publishing tools, i understand that almost no one really knows what they are doing, but we work around and click stuff until we get pissed off, or in some cases it actually works! For most of us its rather experimental, and we do like to express ourselves, which leads to some rather interesting formatting choices - like some of the 'outsider art' formatting i've witnessed
I recon this all leads to one reason often quoted for having a wysiwyg editor on the web - its on my computer screen- its like word/desktop publishing or something, and i'll need lots of options because i'll have to do all the format myself.
The default format/stylesheet provided by websites in the past didn't really help with this either - arial,lucida,verdana,tahoma, ugly, yawn and we all ended up with feature rich word style wysiwyg editors.
So yeh, is that where we are at now?
Taking a look at the web today though - you have webfonts, grids, css3, html5 semantic markup etc etc - so i can publish pretty hip looking content without me having to try pressing all those buttons up there - http://www.tumblr.com/themes/tagged/minimalistic
So i guess the question is - is it really still like word doc/desktop publishing where i have to mess around with all those all options to make my stuff try and look nice?
or is it more like print where you stylesheet/designer folks can take all that pain away and just make it look nice for me?
all manage it, so as theme designers i recon you should all be able to do all that for me without me having to think about it to much.
now fly monkeys, while i get on with my real job of writing up an article on user experience yeh?