UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Archive for July, 2012

Using RebelMouse to Summarise How You Use Twitter

Posted by Brian Kelly on 31 July 2012

Back in February 2011 I asked Who Needs Murdoch – I’ve Got Smartr, My Own Personalised Daily Newspaper! I was a fan of the Smartr app which provided a personalised newspaper based on the content of links tweeted by people I followed on Twitter or on Twitter lists I had created. Despite the fact that Smartr no longer exists, a wide range of similar personalised news services are now available which appear to be particularly useful on table devices and mobile phones.

Yesterday I came across RebelMouse which initially appeared to provide a similar service. However after having had my application for an account approved I realised that RebelMouse was providing something slightly different – it was providing others with a display of the content of links which I tweet. As described in a post entitled Why This Month-Old Startup Is The Most Promising To Launch In A While “RebelMouse is a snapshot of your social media activity“. The article went on to explain how:

RebelMouse is like a Facebook profile page; it’s meant to help other people learn your interests.

When you scan other people’s Rebel Mouse pages, you learn a lot about them, even if you already follow them on Twitter. It resurfaces things you may have missed in social media streams in a visually compelling way.

In March 2010 in a post entitled It Started With A Tweet I described the importance of one’s Twitter bio and the link to further information which can help potential followers to decide whether to follow an unknown Twitter user, especially in cases in which Twitter is used to support professional activities. Two years later I realise that such decision-making processes can be helped by providing an easy-to-digest summary of a Twitter user use of Twitter.

I’ve therefore created my RebelMouse page and have also embedded it within the UKOLN Web site. In addition I have  updated my Twitter biographical details to include a link to the RebelMouse account, as illustrated.

To summarise in an application-independent way:

As part of my open practices which support my professional activities I will make it easy for others to see how I use Twitter so that potential followers can decide whether to follow my Twitter account.

I’m currently using RebelMouse to achieve this goal but will be willing to use an alternative should I come across a service which I feel supports this goal more effectively.

Posted in Web2.0 | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Pure and Impure Thoughts

Posted by Brian Kelly on 25 July 2012

Thoughts on the Pure CRIS

The University of Bath recently announced that “the University’s new Current Research Information System, Pure is now available to all academic and research staff“.  The announcement went on to describe how:

Pure provides a single location for staff to store information about their research, such as publications, collaborations, research projects and grants etc and the associations between them. Having been entered into Pure once, data can be used for a variety of purposes, including creating CVs and bibliographies and later this year automatic population of personal web pages. Pure is designed to make it as easy as possible to keep information about research up-to-date, providing ongoing visibility of research activities at the University.

As soon as I saw this announcement I logged on to the service and viewed my papers, which had been deposited using the University of Bath’s ePrint’s service, Opus.

I have to admit that I was impressed with the interface, which provides a much cleaner interface that the Opus interface I have had to use previously.  In addition to the listing of my papers, illustrated, the editing interface was also much easier to use and, as illustrated, I am able to update the metadata from a single page – a simple task which was  cumbersome when I had to use the ePrints service.

In addition to the simple list display of my papers as illustrated there is also an option to view a graph of connections with co-authors.

From my initial use of Pure I felt that the service provided a valuable development to the University’s ePrints service, with improved editing and display features.

I was very pleased with the service and was glad that I had chosen to use it as soon as I saw the announcement that the service had been launched.

Impure Thoughts

Quality Validated Metadata or Instantly Updated Access to Content?

Further use of Pure, however, revealed a number of limitations. The reverse date order display of items within years is a minor glitch (as shown in the initial image, my first paper published in 2012 is displayed after two other papers published this year. However  I have to admit that I was annoyed when I found that  items I had edited were deleted from Opus, with a 404 Item not found error message being displayed. It seems that items are deleted if they are edited and are not available until edits have been validated. In my case, there was a delay or several days before the items were retrieved due to a combination of annual leave and sickness.  However this seems t0 me to be an inappropriate policy decision especially, as in my case, the items were new and, during this period, are more likely to be read.  I’m pleased that my concerns have been acknowledged by Bath repository staff who have agreed to revisit this policy. I am highlighting this issue here as it appears likely that others may well encounter the tension between the repository managers’ desire to ensure that they possess high quality validated metadata (especially in the run-up to the REF) and the desire for researchers to be able to maximise access to their research. Such concerns were highlighted in a recent post on the JISC-Repositories JISCMail list when Stephan Harnard argued that:

What OA IRs need today, urgently, is not cataloguers to monitor quality, nor IP specialists to monitor rights, etc. etc. No intermediary is needed between the author and the IR “monitor”, retard, block or otherwise impede deposits (though help is always welcome to encourage depositors and facilitate and speed their deposits!).

What OA IRs need urgently today instead of needless, costly and counterproductive monitoring and mediation is e*ffective Green OA **mandates (ID/OA)*. That is what will generate deposits (and further minimize the negligible cost per paper deposited).

The problem of IRs today is not fraudulent researchers depositing bogus content, it is legitimate researchers failing to deposit OA’s target content (refereed research publications).

Private or Public Content?

The issue of rapidly updated versus validated content is one topic for discussion with colleagues at Bath. However the feature which surprised me most was that the information about my papers is only available to me.  In retrospect I should have realised that the prime function of a CRIS) (Current Research Information System) is for internal management and reporting purposes. As the Pure web site describes:

[Pure] covers Grant applications, Research Income, Projects, Research Outputs, Research staff, Organisational units, External collaborations, and more. It is achieved by integrating Pure with local systems while also capturing data by work processes that ensure quality and completeness.

This makes Pure a single authoritative source of quality-assured information about an institution’s research affairs. Information is available at the desired level of granularity in real-time.

This is the main role which is envisaged locally:

Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, and Project Sponsor, said that the implementation of Pure was a major step forward in how we handle information about our research here at the University: “In an increasingly competitive environment it is essential that we have up to date and accurate information about the excellent research undertaken here at the University. Pure will provide this data and help us to comply with external reporting requirements such as REF2014“.

However the Pure web site goes on to add that “Pure is also a tool for researchersPIs, and departmental managers - clear and recognised value is provided for these users, which furthers user-acceptance and -uptake; mission-critical factors in any CRIS project“.

This is, however, were I have my reservation. Although the ability to publish a CV of one’s research publications is provided by Pure and, as illustrated, I can currently create a CV in PDF or MS Word formats,  this functionality does not appear to provide the social function in establishing connections with one’s peers that is provided in services such as LinkedIn or Academia. edu. In addition, it seems unlikely that a researcher profiling service which is co-located on the same institutional domain as the institutional repository will provide the ‘Google juice’ to one’s research papers which LinkedIn and Academia.edu appear to pr0vide. It should also be noted that, as described in posts on What I Like and Don’t Like About IamResearcher.comThoughts on Google Scholar Citations and Will the Real Scott Wilson Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up services such as LinkedIn, Academia,edu and IamResearcher appear to provide richer interfaces and visualisations than Pure provides.

Conclusions

It would, however, be inappropriate to criticize Pure for not providing the same quality of visualisation of one’s co-author network as, Microsoft Academic Search, for example, does.

Microsoft Academic Search’s visualisation of my co-authors is illustrated. However Microsoft Academic Search also thinks I am an expert in Psychiatry and Psychology! The service has confused me with B D Kelly who is an expert in these areas and, despite updating my profile, I have been unable to decouple my research publications from B D Kelly’s.

Pure aims to provide  an authoritative list of research publications by researchers within the institution which will be needed to support institutional reporting requirements.

However an individual researcher may have different requirements –  and if a key aim is to enhance access to one’s research papers I am still convinced that use of social media services such as LinkedIn and Academia.edu will provide benefits which aren’t provided by a Current Research Information System.

Posted in Repositories | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

IWMW 2012 and the Cookie Monster – 28 Days Later

Posted by Brian Kelly on 17 July 2012

The IWMW 2012 event took place on 18-20 June.  One of the most popular of the parallel sessions sought to explore ways in which institutions should be Responding to the Cookie Monster. As described in the abstract:

Are our desires to develop user-focussed and personalised Web services in tatters in light of UK legislations which requires providers of Web services to ensure that users have opted in to use of cookies? After all the evidence from the experiences of the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) web site seems to suggest that users won’t opt-in and without web analytics and storing user preferences in would appear impossible to develop such services?

This interactive workshop session will explore the background to the legislation and the guidance issued in December 2011 by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The session will address some of the key points from the guidance document, including the need for auditing cookie usage and ensuring users are informed in a clear and understandable fashion of why cookies are being used.

This session will provide an opportunity for participants to describe approaches being taken locally and explore best practices which may be used within the sector.

This was popular not only in terms of the large numbers of people who booked for the session but also going the evaluation received for the session, with the session receiving an average score of 4.09 on a scale of  1 = poor to 5 =excellent.  The comments made on the session included:

  • Being relatively new to the sector, this is the point at which it dawned on me that there’s a huge support network for HEIs. I’d heard of JISC and UKOLN before but didn’t appreciate that when it comes to sector-wide issues – cookie law being a case in point – there’s a heap of work being done by some very knowledgable people which negates the need for us to reinvent the wheel in isolation.”
  • Made me all warm and tingly…
  • Claire is an inspiration for women working within a male dominated industry and I will certainly be watching that space to keep up with the Cookie Monster developments.
  • Very interesting hearing from JISC Legal and from other institutions about their approach.

The session was facilitated by Claire Gibbons, Senior Web and Marketing Manager at the University of Bradford and John Kelly, Principal Legal Information Specialist with JISC Legal. Prior to the IWMW 2012 event I had worked with Claire and John in order to help develop and share best practices for responding to the ‘cookie’ legislation.  This work included writing posts on this blog on:

together with an article published in JISC Inform in Spring 2012 which asked The new cookie laws: how aware are you?
The work included analysis of the emerging cookie policies and approaches which were being taken initially across the 20 Russell Group universities, which was subsequently extended to other institutions who were willing to update a Google Spreadsheet with links to their cookie policies.
The blog posts which were published between December 2011 and May 2012 sought to make others aware of the advice and guidelines being developed by the ICO and suggest how the guidelines could be interpretted by those working in the higher education sector.  It was suggested that providing a clear policy on how cookies are being used could be an appropriate response to the legislation, and that institutions may not be required to deploy an opt-in widget across pages on institutional web sites.  A few days before the legislation was implemented the government confirmed that such implied consent would be acceptable.

Looking at the cookie policies for the institutions for which links to their policy pages had been provided it seems that all 29 institutions appeared to have taken this implied consent approach. If you view the following pages you should not be presented with a ‘cookie alert’ widget which, it seems, causes annoyance to users who encounter them:

AberdeenAbertayAberystwythBathBirminghamBirkbeckBradfordBristolCambridgeCardiffCranfieldEdge HillEdinburghGlasgowKing’s College LondonLeedsLiverpoolLSEManchesterNottinghamOxfordSheffield - Sheffield HallamStaffordshoreUCLAN  - UCLUWEWarwickYork

What, then, have we learnt 28 days after the session on Responding to the Cookie Monster took place? I would suggest the following points should be considered, even if they may appear to be counter-intuitive:

  • It can be risky to implement policies based on a worst case interpretation of legislation.
  • Implementing expensive technical widgets which turn out to be inappropriate may lead to risks that the tabloid press issue FOI requests for the costs of implementing such solutions.
  • It can be advisable to follow approaches taken by one’s peers, rather than developing an implementation plan in isolation.

Might, then, the cookie monster have turned out to be benign, but, just as with the Y2K bug, the costs in developing a solution turning out to be the true monster! Wikipedia suggests that the ” total cost of the work done in preparation for Y2K is estimated at over US$300 billion” – although there is a dissenting view. In comparison a Wired article published in April 2012 suggested that Compliance with EU cookie law could cost the UK £10 billion.

I’ll conclude by making a point I’ve made previously: there are legitimate needs to address online privacy concerns. However the cookie legislation was a fundamentally flawed approach at addressing such concerns: in many respects cookies provide benefits to end users and the cases which users object to (searches for content being reused in adverts hosted on other web sites which share advertising services)  tend, in any case, not to be used across institutional web sites.

It would appear that the Do Not Track standard will provide an appropriate technology for legislations to adopt. Institutions should ensure that they gain an understanding of the standard and how it can be used, in particular, develop a browser upgrade plan to ensure that browsers managed within the institution support this standard. The comment described above is worth repeating: “there’s a heap of work being done by some very knowledgable people which negates the need for us to reinvent the wheel in isolation” - so let’s ensure that even more institutions follow the approaches taken by those listed above and have a common approach to addressing legal drivers for the provision of online technologies.

I’ll conclude by providing a link to a YouTube video entitled “The Cookie Law – 28 Days Later” which  gives a similar view of the flaws of the cookie legislation:

Posted in Legal | Leave a Comment »

Making An Impression; Making Connections

Posted by Brian Kelly on 12 July 2012

Social Media: For Ourselves and For Our Customers

A recent post entitled IWMW 2012: The Feedback summarised the feedback we had received for the recent IWMW 2012 event. In addition to this summary more detailed information was sent to the individual speakers and workshop facilitators on their talks and workshop sessions. Such feedback can be valuable in either showing the value of the contribution made at the event or providing suggestions on how the talk could be improved in repeated in future.

We published the feedback two weeks after the event as it is important that such information is available while the event is fresh in people’s memories. But, of course, there can be other ways of getting feedback. At the UCISA User Support Services Conference which took place a few day’s ago at the impressive Crewe Hall Hotel I was pleased to receive feedback on Twitter on the talk I gave on “Social Media: For Ourselves and For Our Customers” which have been summarised on Storify. The feedback included:

  • Excellent presentation, you gave me a lot of new ideas for how I can communicate with my staff and customers. Thanks!
  • Brilliant presentation from @briankelly – good to have a push to tweet a bit more!
  • Brilliant talk from @briankelly – typically informative, insightful, and full of #lolz…
  • Also really enjoyed @briankelly talk about social media. Engaging. Had a chuckle. And I think he likes a real ale so is in my good books

together with an example of an action taken as a result of the talk:

  • Inspired to send my first tweet

Beyond the tweets, a post entitled What a difference a day makes published on the Musings from the frontline blog described how

Today we sat and listened to people who had not only aspired to do things differently and better but, most importantly, had achieved it.

and went on to conclude:

So, thank you @heloukee@maffrigby@briankelly and #ussc12 for the inspiration. You have provided the relationship counselling that I needed and me and conferences are now blissfully happy together again (for now anyway…

It’s About Links; It’s About Connectedness!

The topic of my talk was the importance of social networks to facilitate more effective collaborative working by making use of the existing social networking infrastructure. Although this is a subject I have spoken about previously, as described recently in a post on It’s About Links; It’s About Connectedness! I was fortunate to see Cameron Neylon’s opening plenary talk at the Open Repositories 2012 conference. As described in the live blog of the closing session for the conference given by Peter Burnhill:

we need to think about connectivity, as flagged by Cameron. And these places ie Twitter and Facebook… We don’t own them but we need to be I them, to make sure that citations come back to us from here.

The importance of use of such social media services to provide links to papers hosted in open repositories was also highlighted by Peter Burnhill in his observation that:

And there was talk of citation… LinkedIn, Academia.edu etc. is all about linking back to research to data

It was pleasing to see that the ideas described in a paper by myself and Jenny Delasalle which asked “Can LinkedIn and Academic.edu Enhance Access to Open Repositories?” had been highlighted in the conference conclusions. But these particular ideas were just a simple example of the bigger picture provide by Cameron Neylon on the importance of networks which, on a global scale, can enable researchers to address difficult research topics which cannot be achieved by the single researcher or research group.

The Video For Connecting, For Sharing

Cameron’s talk, which is available on YouTube and embedded below, makes the point about the importance of connectivity (the social web) and ease-of-use (the lack of ‘friction’ needed to embed social web tools in workflow practices) very eloquently and is well worth viewing (and I’d like to give my thanks to the OR 12 organisers for publishing this video recording so quickly – and also for making it available on YouTube so it can be embedded in this blog).

It would, however, be a mistake to regard social networks as being purely a tool for scientific researchers – just as some people mistakenly feel that social networks are just for young people or for purely ‘social’ purposes a confusion caused by the different meanings of the term ‘social’. As I described in my talk, for which a video recording is also available, social networks can also be valuable for those working in support services – and institutions should gain benefits in use of social networking services across teaching and learning, research, marketing and support areas if they are regarded as valuable tools rather than treated with suspicion as is current the case in some areas.

Another important point made by Cameron is the importance of openness for both facilitating connections and minimising the friction caused by licensing barriers. The videos of Cameron’s talk and my talk provide another example of the ways in which connections can be made and knowledge and ideas shared by facilitating access to videos of talks at conferences. As I have described in previous talks on amplified events, such approaches can help the ideas shared at conferences escape the constraints of space and time. Many thanks to the OR 2012 and UCISA conference organisers for providing the live videos streams (escaping the constraints of space) and providing rapid access with little access barriers to the recordings of the talks (escaping the constraints of time).  Long may this continue – and if you are considering organising an amplified event the recent “Event Amplification Report” may be of interest.


Twitter conversation via Topsy: [View]

Posted in Repositories, Web2.0 | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

It’s About Links; It’s About Connectedness!

Posted by Brian Kelly on 11 July 2012

It’s about links; it’s about connectedness” explained Cameron Neylon in the opening keynote plenary talk at the Open Repositories 2012 conference which officially opened yesterday.  As described in the live blog of the talk:

Most of you can remember a time without mobile phones. 20 years ago if I’d shown up and wanted to meet for a drink it would have been difficult or impossible. Email wasn’t useful back then either as so few people had it. When you start with nodes and start joining up the network… for a long time little changes. You just let people communicate in the same way you did before… right up until everyone has access to a mobile phone. or everyone has email. You move from a network that is better connected network to a network that can be traversed in new ways. for chemists THIS IS A Cooperative phase transition. Where the network crystalises out from a solution.

But how can the benefits of such connected approaches to work activities be applied more widely?  Cameron argued that we need:

  1. Connectivity
  2. Low friction
  3. Demand on side filters

The connectivity is now widely available: we have a wide spectrum of social media services which can be used to connect with one’s peers and one’s user communities in additional to one’s friends and families.  The global social media service also need to be easy to use in order to survive and so provide ‘low friction’ for their use.  The challenge is the filtering by the user in order to enable the user to identify the content, the discussions, the communities of relevance to them at the time of engagement with the tools.

It’s about links; it’s about connectedness” was the point I made when in the one-minute summaries of the posters in the session which followed Cameron’s opening plenary. I highlighted the relevance of Cameron’s point when I described my paper which asked “Can LinkedIn and Academia.edu Enhance Access to Open Repositories?. These widely used services provide low friction, as can be seen from the survey of their usage across the Russell Group universities. But repository managers do not appear to encouraging their use in a systematic way. Ironically although  repository managers many not be explaining the benefits which can be gained, both to the individual researcher and the institutional repository itself, by links to papers hosted on the repository, as we described in the paper, commercial publishers are promoting use of services such as LinkedIn to  link from to papers hosted behind the publishers’ paywalls!

Learning is a collaborative process: social media can enrich the opportunities for learning

It’s about links; it’s about connectedness” is the point I’ll be making in two hours’ time in my talk on “Social Media: For Ourselves and For Our Customers” at the UCISA Support Services Conference 2012.  The importance of social media for engaging with students is widely appreciated although, as Helen Keegan will explain later today in a talk on “Into the wild:  embracing the anarchy“, while web enabled mobile devices can allow our learners to connect any place, at any time, this shift towards personalisation, ownership and autonomy poses significant challenges for IT services and information systems.

However the main point of my talk will be the importance of social media for engaging with one’s peers:  IT services staff working at other institutions. We need to remember that senior managers in our institutions are capable of using Google to search for “outsource IT in universities”  and might find the article published on The Guardian in December 2010 which suggested that “Universities could save £3bn by outsourcing, says thinktank“. But the IT Services community represented by UCISA do have an ace up their sleeve: the strength of the community.  The question is whether IT Services staff are aware of the value of such collaborative and connected approaches.

In my talk I’ll recommend that the delegates at the UCISA User Support Service Conference watch the video recording of Cameron’s talk on “Network Enabled Research: The possibilities, the path and the role of repositories”  when it becomes available.  I’ll also suggest that UCISA consider making use of social services to support their conferences – in particular I’ll highlight the Lanyrd entry for the USSC12 conference  and suggest that tools such as this can be used to help build one’s professional network.

The slides I’ll be using are available on Slideshare and embedded below.

Posted in Social Networking | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Open Metrics for Open Repositories

Posted by Brian Kelly on 10 July 2012

Later today Nick Sheppard will present a paper entitled “Open Metrics for Open Repositories” at the Open Repositories 2012 conference.

This paper, which was written my myself, Nick, Jenny Delasalle, Mark Dewey, Owen Stephens, Gareth Johnson and Stephanie Taylor, describes the importance of metrics for institutional repositories for a number of stakeholders, including funders at a national level, developers of services which may aggregate repository content, librarians and research support unit within institutions as well as the individual researchers and their departmental colleagues.

In light of the diverse requirements for metrics across these stakeholder communities, in the paper we argue that such metrics should be provided as open data. This would appear to be particularly relevant in the context of open repositories – we are aware of the tensions regarding open access to research publications due to the complexities of quality assurance processes and business models for funding peer-reviewing, but such considerations should not act as a barrier for providing access to the variety of usage statistics and related data associated with repositories.

Our paper is available from the University of Bath institutional repository. In addition, as Nick has described in a post on the Repository News blog at Leeds Metropolitan University, Nick will be presenting the paper later today. The presentation will be given in the RF1: Pecha Kucha – Repository Tools and Approaches which starts at 15.30 today Tuesday 10 July. Note that the Twitter hashtag for the conference is #or2012 – so follow this tag in your Twitter client at around this time to follow the discussion about the paper.  The slides Nick will use in the presentation are available on the Slideshare repository and embedded below.


Twitter conversation from Topsy: [View]

Posted in Repositories | 3 Comments »

Is Data Driving Your IT Planning?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 9 July 2012

Data was highlighted as an area of growing importance at UKOLN’s recent IWMW 2012 event, featuring in the opening plenary talks on Data and the Web ManagerOpen Data Development in the City of Edinburgh CouncilData Visualisation: A Taster and Key Information Sets Data.  The content of these talks will be of interest to others working in the higher education sector beyond those with responsibilities for managing institutional Web service. Our awareness of the broad interest in the content of the plenary talks was one of the reasons we provided live streaming of the talks and subsequently provided access to recordings of the talks. If you have an interest in data we hope the following recordings of the talks and accompanying slides, will be of interest.

I should also add that if you have a responsibility for the planning, implementation or management of a data-driven infrastructure within your institution you may also be interested in the JISC Observatory’s TechWatch report entitled “Preparing for Data-driven Infrastructure“. As described in a post on the JISC Observatory blog this is a preview version of the report for which we invite feedback and comments. The preview version is also available on the JISCPress service which allows you to provide section-by-section comments.

We hope that the “Preparing for Data-driven Infrastructure” report and the recordings of the plenary talks from the IWMW 2012 event will be of interest for several audiences ranging from those who may have responsibilities for managing data through to those with a  general interesting in understanding what the fuss about data is about!

P1: Data and the Web Manager

Abstract
In the opening talk at the IWMW 2012 event Kevin Ashley, the Director of the DCC (Digital Curation Centre) described the role data has in supporting innovation and provide examples of how institutions are using data to support a variety of institutional activities.
Speaker
Kevin Ashley
Further Information
See IWMW 2012 abstract and Lanyrd entry (which contains links to additional related resources).
Slides Video

Data and the webmanager

View more slides from Kevin Ashley

IWMW 2012: Kevin Ashley from UKOLN on Vimeo.

P2: Open Data Development in the City of Edinburgh Council

Abstract
With the launch of the Scottish Digital Participation Group open data development has fresh motivation in Scotland. A number of Scottish Councils are working with open data already, and the current NESTA Make It Local Scotland project initiative is a lead innovator in supporting growth. The City of Edinburgh Council is working closely with a number of partners to develop its approach, with a key aim to deliver real value.
Speaker
Sally Kerr
Further Information
See IWMW 2012 abstract and Lanyrd entry.
Slides Video
 
IWMW 2012: Sally Kerr & Suraj Kika from UKOLN on Vimeo.

P3: Data Visualisation: A Taster

Abstract
In 2011 it was estimated that 1.8 zettabytes of data was created, enough to fill 57 billion 32Gig iPads, and estimates that data production would double every two years (see the Digital Universe study). The availability of data opens new opportunities to provide information, intelligence and insight into every aspect of institutional life. In this talk Tony Hirst and Martin Hawksey will a taster of some of the tools and techniques used to explore and communicate some of this data. The talk will also touch upon the ethics and benefits when using these techniques.
Speakers
Tony Hirst and Martin Hawksey
Further Information
See IWMW 2012 abstract and Lanyrd entry.
Slides Video

IWMW 2012: Tony Hirst & Martin Hawksey from UKOLN on Vimeo.

P4: Key Information Sets Data

Abstract
The Key Information Set (KIS) is a mandatory UK-wide collection of data that will assist potential students in their decision-making when applying for an undergraduate course. In this talk, Andrew will outline what information is covered, where it comes from, how it gets updated, how it will be integrated into institutions’ websites, how potential students will access the information and how the complete set of data will be available to the general public under an open licence.
Speaker
Andrew Oakley
Further Information
See IWMW 2012 abstract and Lanyrd entry.
Slides Video

Key Information Sets Data


View more slides from IWMW

IWMW 2012: Andrew Oakley from UKOLN on Vimeo.

Posted in Data | Leave a Comment »

Does Eduroam Work?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 6 July 2012

Importance of WiFi at Events

Use of mobile devices (and note pads!) at IWMW 2012 (photo taken by Sharon Steeples)

A few months ago I came across a Twitter discussion about Eduroam – “It doesn’t work” complained one of my followers who was unable to access WiFi while away from his office at a conference. As at the time we were in the process of organising the IWMW 2012 event, I was concerned that participants would not be able to engage in discussions at the event using the #IWMW12 Twitter hashtag if they were unable to access WiFi. I therefore ensured that we provided advice on how to connect to Eduroam:

As described on the edroam Web site “eduroam (education roaming) is the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community.

Use of eduroam for visitors to the University of Edinburgh is described in the advice for visitors provided by the Information Services department at the University of Edinburgh.

You should note the following:

    • Your home institution must be a member of the JANET Roaming service, or one of the other global eduroam federations.
    • You must be registered to use the eduroam service at your home institution.

You should note the following advice:

Before you visit the University of Edinburgh, make sure you configure your device to work with the eduroam wireless network at your home institution.

since:

If your device can successfully connect to eduroam at your home institution you should not need to make any changes to use your device at the University of Edinburgh, or any other institution which supports eduroam.

But wince we were suspected people would be bringing along a diverse range of mobile devices and may have a variety of different eduroam configurations at their own institution we realised that the UIWMW 2012 event, which attracted 172 participants from across the UK, would provide a valuable opportunity to see how reliable access to eduroam was and, if difficulties were experienced, see if we could identify the problem areas.

A Surveymonkey form was set up and, in the IWMW 2012 conclusions, we encouraged participants to complete the survey form if they have tried to connect to the WiFi network using Eduroam. A summary of the responses is given below.

Survey of Use of Eduroam at IWMW 2012

A total of 33 responses were received, with 27 providing their names, 24 providing an email address and all 33 giving details of their host institution.

As can be seen from the diagram 25 (75.8%) of the respondents had used Eduroam successfully away from their host institution before attending the IWMW 2012 event and a further 2 people (6.1%) had tested Eduroam at their host institution with only 3 people (9.1%) having never used Eduroam prior to attending the event.

But how successful were they in using Eduroam at the event? From the second diagram we can see that 21 users (63.6%) successfully connected to Eduroam, but 7 people (21.2%) had some initial difficulties, before connecting to the service.

It seems that 3 people (9.1%) were unsuccessful in their attempts in connecting to Eduroam and 4 (12.1%) used a guest username and password to connect to the WiFi (we had reserved a small number of guest accounts in case people did not have Eduroam access or encountered difficulties in connecting to the service).

In response to the question which asked for a summary of “Experiences of using Eduroam at IWMW 2012″ we received 10 additional comments:

Generally Eduroam coverage was good, but disappointingly almost non-existent in the accommodation block. However inter-access point handover did not seem effective, meaning that it was often necessary to reconnect after any change of room in the Appleton Tower.

I couldn’t get Eduroam to work at all on the Monday, so resorted to getting a temporary login to the University of Edinburgh network on Tuesday, which I used successfully from then on. I used 3G from my smartphone on the Monday, but sparingly.

On most occasions it took two attempts to get a working connection. The worst was on the last morning when I probably tried about 10 times before finally getting a connection. It kept prompting me for my login details, and despite providing them (correctly) it wouldn’t connect. I was on the verge of giving up completely before it finally connected. A very frustrating experience!

Connection problematic with Android 2.3 – had to forget and then reconfigure the connection each time I reconnected, but find the same at my home institution, No problems with Android 4

Seemed to consistently take two attempts to connect with iPad. Works fine at Cardiff, so may just have been a network thing at Edinburgh

Using my HTC Evo 3D I managed to connect successfully every time I went online at IWMW 2012. However using a Dell Inspiron Mini 1018 (Windows 7 Starter) the ease of connecting to Eduroam was inconsistent. Generally once the connection was established it held for the period I was using the netbook for, but resuming from standby/hibernate the connection has to re-establish which caused issues.

my iPhone would connect about 50% of the time, my iPad kept prompting me for my Eduroam password and when I entered it it rejected it. I checked my password was correct when I returned to Oxford, it was and it _still_ won’t connect to Eduroam.

I used the Central wifi at Edinburgh (details provided by Natasha and her team).

I used 3G connection on my Windows Mobile 6.5 phone and Eduroam on my laptop.

Connected fine from my laptop but had problems connecting from my HTC android device (although this sometimes happens with other wifi connections) it would work after several attempts.

Lost the connection very occasionally (2 in 2 days of use), but a minor inconvenience

I used the University of Edinburgh WiFi, using the username and passwd provided by the organisers of the conference on a notebook.

My user login needed changing from [username] to [username@sheffield.ac.uk] to get it working in Edinburgh

My devices both had been set up with just my username as the ‘identifier’ – which works in Sheffield. Here, I had to change this to [username]@shef.ac.uk.

There was very patchy access to Eduroam Wifi in the accommodation halls.

I also used Edinburgh WiFi successfully, although not in my room at the halls which was a pain.

However, I was not able to connect via Eduroam in Pollock halls of residence, and had to pay £10 for access. I was a bit disappointed with that.

Mostly the connections to my iPad & iPhone were OK.But the signal strength wasn’t often that high. There were also a couple of occasions where I lost connectivity all together.

iPhone worked great from home institution and connected straight away when away. Windows 7 laptop could never connect at home and still failed here.

used laptop and phone

The most popular device used at IWMW 2012, as reported in the survey, was an Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch (used by 75.8% of respondents),; a laptop running MS Windows (used by 30.3%), an Android phone or tablet (24.2%), an Apple Macintosh laptop (18.2%), another type of phone or tablet (6.1%) or another type of laptop (3%). The additional devices including laptops running Linux and Windows 7 and Blackberry smartphones.

The majority of respondents (60%) were familiar with Eduroam and felt no need to read the advice provided on the IWMW 2012 or University of Edinburgh Web sites. 21.7% read the advice provided by their local institution; 9.1% provided on the IWMW 2012 web site and 3% provided by the University of Edinburgh. Three additional comments were made on the provision of online help accessed in advance of the event:

I needed to reinstall the Eduroam client from St Andrews on my newly installed Windows 8 laptop. It worked successfully in the office so I was confident of it working in Edinburgh.

I followed the advice on the IWMW2012 site and also checked the advice of my own institution. Eduroam was working fine on my laptop at my home institution before I left for Edinburgh.

Tried to use eduroam info from Janet. Entirely useless.

The following responses were given to the question “Please give a description of any problems in accessing or using Eduroam which you encountered during the event”:

No problems at all. Very disappointing that Eduroam was not available in the accommodation, however.

I basically couldn’t connect to Eduroam, even though I can when I’ve used the laptop at work in London.

Didn’t have any problems.

On my smartphone, Eduroam was being picked up but the network disconnected all the time after initially connecting and I couldn’t get it to connect again. Same problem on my laptop, despite the fact it was working at my home institution and I checked I had done all I should to get it to work away from home. Just kept getting a ‘eduroam is disconnected’ message on both devices.

no problem on using eduroam, the connection was flaky for a very short period at the start of the second day

None. Worked fine. Only issue was not having Eduroam access in the halls of residence (Pollock).

Sometimes it didn’t work and required me to forget the network and reconnect – but it did this with no trouble.

See my answer to question 6. Once connected, I had no problems at all.

same as question 6: my iPhone would connect about 50% of the time, my iPad kept prompting me for my Eduroam password and when I entered it it rejected it. I checked my password was correct when I returned to Oxford, it was and it _still_ won’t connect to Eduroam.

Using my HTC Evo 3D I managed to connect successfully every time I went online at IWMW 2012. However using a Dell Inspiron Mini 1018 (Windows 7 Starter) the ease of connecting to Eduroam was inconsistent. Generally once the connection was established it held for the period I was using the netbook for, but resuming from standy/hibernate the connection has to re-establish which caused issues.

Crappy Windown error.

The final question asked “Please give any suggestions on how you feel online access at events can be improved”. The following responses were given:

Web access in the accommodation — I had planned on blogging about the event and uploading photos to Flickr from the accommodation but wasn’t able to get online.

Would of liked WiFi in my room in halls but I just ventured down to the main entrance instead so not really that bad.

Maybe access to more specific help, although I was able to connect successfully to the Uni of Edinburgh network – I didn’t discover we could do this until Tuesday morning, though, so it would have helped to have this on the general advice available.

edinburgh and sheffield have the correct implementation of eduroam, if other institutions all went by the book the world would be a better place :)

Make the connectivity for Eduroam more reliable! And/or always provide an alternative using the local wifi network(s).

How can you improve on magic? It just connected, that’s all I needed.

WiFi in the accommodation rooms would have made things perfect.

Fellow attendees mentioned that wireless coverage in Pollock Halls was patchy. Fortunately I had a room with a good wireless reception for working before and after the conference.

Slightly surprised not to have eduroam access at the Halls, but I suppose this is where they make their money! Would be good though…

Conclusions

This post was introduced by reporting on concerns on arriving at a conference and finding that Eduroam doesn’t work. It was therefore pleasing to receive the comment:

 How can you improve on magic? It just connected, that’s all I needed.

Some of the teething problems which had been experienced seemed to be due to the need to provide a username and domain name (e.g. foo@bath.ac.uk) rather than just a username (e.g. foo) which may work locally but not when one travels to another institution. However other problems do seem more difficult to solve, such as:

However using a Dell Inspiron Mini 1018 (Windows 7 Starter) the ease of connecting to Eduroam was inconsistent. Generally once the connection was established it held for the period I was using the netbook for, but resuming from standy/hibernate the connection has to re-establish which caused issues.

In light of the feedback we received I would make the following recommendations:

Event organisers should:

  • Ensure that they advise participants on how to configure their mobile devices prior to leaving for the event.
  • Provide links to local advice on use of Eduroam at the host institution.
  • Have a number of guest usernames available for people who may not be authorised to access Eduroam or whose devices fail to connect to the Eduroam service.

In addition since in some quarters there is a perception that Eduroam is unreliable it would also be useful to attempt to identify problems across a number of events, especially IT-related events in which people experiencing problems would be able to provide relevant detailed information about the device, OS environment, error messages, etc. Perhaps a forthcoming JANET event might provide an ideal opportunity? If anyone would like to build on this initial survey, I would be happy to share information on the questions I asked and suggestions for improving the design – in particular a number of responses were related to the unavailability of Eduroam in the halls of residence. It was useful to see this confirmation of the popularity of WiFi access in halls, but this was strictly outside the scope of the survey, which aimed to understand problems in connected to Eduroam when it was visible.

Posted in Events | 3 Comments »

“Our students love Google!”: Thoughts on the Strategic Web Team

Posted by Brian Kelly on 5 July 2012

Last month I attended the second Google Apps for EDU European User Group (GEUG12) meeting which was held at the University of Portsmouth. The meeting was aimed at members of educational institutions which have signed up to Google Apps in Education, but I was invited to chair one of the sessions. I found a great deal of enthusiasm of the value which Google Apps can play not only in the panel discussion which I chaired on Embedding Google Apps in the Institution but also across the range of presentations which were given during the day.

[Note After publishing this post I came across Sarah Horrigan's Event Report: Google European User Group 2012 post in which she described how "One of the things that was most interesting from this session [of student portals] was the student response to it – they LOVED it” and pointed out that “Universities feel comfortable moving to Google when others have already moved. For example, 25% institutions in Spain now on Google Apps“].

I was particularly interested in the talk given by Sarah Horrigan, Learning Technologies Manager at the University of Sheffield on Opening up our Practices – Going Google. The event organisers streamed several of the sessions and have provided access to recordings of the talks so I was able to replay Sarah’s presentation.

Four minutes 20 seconds into the talk Sarah told us that:

Our students love Google. They don’t just like it, they love it. The Students Union did a survey on technology in learning and teaching. One of the questions they were asked was “What web sites or online services could you not live without?” Do you know what came number 1? It wasn’t our VLE! It was Google Apps. They love it: everything from Docs to Mail to Scholar – the whole shabang! They love Google Apps.

The popularity of the IT applications provided at the University of Sheffield didn’t come about by chance. Back in March 2011 Chris Sexton, head of CICS, the IT Services department at the University left a comment on this blog:

We made the decision to move to Google for students nearly two years ago, and are just in the process of moving all of our staff over. That will be for mail, calendar, docs, chat, etc. we see it as much more than just mail. The data side isn’t an issue. Google store all of their data under the safe harbor agreement which is perfectly sufficient for UK data protection/privacy law – I have personally confirmed this with the ICO. And anyway, even if it was all held in Europe, it is still covered by the Patriot Act if it is a US company.

I can see no reason for any HE IT department to run their own email service. 

Further back, 0n 27 May 2009 Chris reported on the move to GMail for students:

Formally announced the Google mail for students option last night by sending an email to all staff and students. Replies are split almost 50/50. From students saying this is great news, and from staff saying why can’t we have it!

I picked up on the importance of being aligned with one’s user communities a few days after I attended the GEUG12 event. In the session on New to the Sector? New to Web Management? New to IWMW? I suggested that the perform storm which has hit the sector, in general, and IT and the Web in particular means that there is a need to revisit assumptions about the role of the institutional Web team and the approaches taken to delivering this role – and, perhaps, to unlearn established beliefs and conventions.

I illustrated this point by giving a specific example: the role of events such as the IWMW series. UKOLN does not exist to provide a successful IWMW event; rather our aim is to ensure that the event delivers a specified objective for its community: “To keep web managers up-to-date with developments and best practices in order that institutions can exploit the web to its full potential“. In the talk I explained how technological developments were changing the nature of events and external factors, such as reduced levels of funding and environmental concerns, meant that we needed to not only acknowledge that the nature of our events might change, but that we should also be prepared to be instrumental in leading such changes – something we have been doing in our role in delivering amplified events and, in particular with our Greening Events II: Event Amplification Report” sharing best practices with others.

I went on to argue that institutional Web teams need to ensure that they are aligned with institutional aims and with the needs of their user communities. Easy words to say – but what if they are in conflict with well-established cultural norms in Web and IT teams? We have seen an example in students are happy with the services provided by Google, suggestions that staff did not want to be left behind and the IT Service departments is aligned to support these preferences. But is this the norm in the sector? Are we more likely to see users, IT staff and perhaps Web teams arguing for their preferred technological environment? And perhaps the argument “we use open sources solutions” in preference to licences solutions is becoming increasingly redundant when there are Cloud service providers?

Note that a video recording of Sarah’s talk on Opening up our Practices – Going Google is available on YouTube and embedded below.

In addition Sara’s slides are hosted on Sliideshare and also embedded below:


Twitter conversation from Topsy: [View]

Posted in Web2.0 | 4 Comments »

Paper Accepted for OR12: Can LinkedIn and Academia.edu Enhance Access to Open Repositories?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 3 July 2012

I’m pleased to say that a paper by myself and Jenny Delasalle, Academic Services Manager (Research) at the University of Warwick, which asked “Can LinkedIn and Academia.edu Enhance Access to Open Repositories?” has been accepted for the Open Repositories conference, OR 2012.

This paper, which is available from the University of Bath institutional repository, is based on work initially published on this blog.

A blog post entitled “How Researchers Can Use Inbound Linking Strategies to Enhance Access to Their Papers” published on 2 March 2012 described an Inbound linking strategy to get to the top listing on google fast. It occurred to me that my willingness to make use of researcher profiling services such as Academia.edu, ResearcherID, Scopus, Researchergate, Mendeley, Microsoft Academic Search and Google Scholar Citations may have helped to enhance the visibility of my research papers which are hosted in the University of Bath repository. The blog post went on to describe how I found that I was author of 15 of the most downloaded papers in the repository from my department.

More recent investigations reveal that, as illustrated, I have the largest number of downloads of any author at the University of Bath! This was recently brought to the attention of the PVC for Research who, in a departmental meeting, informed me that a University of Bath Research Group had discussed these figures and asked me to share the approaches with other researchers at Bath. In response I mentioned that the approaches I’d taken, the evidence I’d gathered, the hypothesis I had proposed for explaining the evidence, possible alternative hypotheses, the limitations of the approaches, the implications of the findings and areas for further work had been submitted to the Open Repositories 2012 conference – and if the paper was accepted the findings would be available to all, and not just researchers at my host institution.

The paper explores other possible reasons for the high visibility of these papers – and one possibility worthy of further investigation is the provision of many papers in HTML formats and not just PDF and MS Word. However the use of popular researcher profiling services such as LinkedIn and Academia.edu are felt to be worth recommending to researchers in order (a) to ensure that their research papers can be more easily found by their peers on these services and (b) so that links to the paper on their institutional repository can enhance the visibility to Google of the papers as well as enhancing the Google ranking of the repository itself.

Of course it probably needs to be said that that the number of downloads is not necessarily an indicator of quality. However the converse is also true: just because a paper in a repository is seldom viewed does not indicate that it must be a great paper! I am quite happy to promote the use of such approaches since increased numbers of views, especially for the target communities, can help to both embed the ideas given in the papers by practitioners and increase the likelihood that the papers will be cited by other researchers. In my case I’m pleased that, according to Google Scholar Citations, my most cited papers have been cited 87, 67, 54 and 40 times.

My co-author Jenny Delasalle has been investigating use of researcher profiling service at the University of Warwick, her host institution. It was interesting that in Jenny’s research she found that a number of commercial publishers encourage their authors to use services such as LinkedIn and Academia.edu to link to their papers hosted behind the publishers paywalls – and yet we are not seeing institutional views of the benefits of coordinated use of such services by their researchers. Institutional repository managers, research support staff and librarians could be prompting their institutions to make the most of these externally provided services, to enhance the visibility of their researchers’ work in institutional repositories.

Surely it is time for the research community to develop inbound linking strategies to their research work, especially as this can be done so simply. Indeed the OR12 conference organisers have invited us to summarise the ideas described in a poster and a one-minute presentation. The ideas have been summarised using the Pixton cartoon generation tool in four strips.

[link to source]
[link to source]
[link to source]
[link to source]

I’m not sure if it will be possible to use PowerPoint during the one-minute madness but I have prepared some slides which are available on Slideshare and embedded below.

NOTE: A one minute summary of this paper was given on the opening day of the OR 12 conference. A video recording of the summary is available on Vimeo and embedded below.

Also note that a slightly modified version of this post was published on the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog on Thursday 23 August 2012. You can also view the bit.ly statistics for access to the post via the bit.ly URL.


Twitter conversation from Topsy: [View]

Posted in Evidence, Repositories, Web2.0 | 7 Comments »

IWMW 2012: The Feedback

Posted by Brian Kelly on 2 July 2012

“Thank you to all the organisers – another great IWMW!”

Over the 16 years of UKOLN’s annual IWMW event we have always valued the importance of user feedback for the event and this year is no exception.  When the rain stopped on the opening morning of the IWMW 2012 event I had the feeling that this year’s event would be special – and the analysis of the evaluation forms confirms my suspicion.

There were a total of 172 participants at this year’s event and we received 64 completed evaluation forms. As can be seen from the accompanying histograms, no fewer than 73% rated the organisation of the event as Excellent, with 41% regarding the content as excellent and 50% regarding the content as Very Good.

The highest ranked plenary speaker was Rob Borley.  His talk which asked “Do I Need an App for That?” scored 4.42 (on a scale of 1=Poor to 5=Excellent).

The other highly ranked plenary speakers were Keith Doyle and Paddy Callaghan, whose talk on “Serve Two Masters: Creating Large-Scale Responsive Websites” received a score of 4.32; Stephen Emmott whose talk on “Measuring Impact”  received a score of 4.32 and Dawn Ellis whose talk on “What Do You Really Want?” received a score of 4.24.  It was also pleasing that all of the plenary speakers received scores of Very Good or Excellent.

The general comments received on the content included:

  • Very good range of speakers in plenaries and interesting parallel sessions.
  • First time at IWMW – excellent conference, great speakers.
  • Was a bit scared that, as a learning technologist, the content would go completely over my head. Was pleasantly surprised that I understood much of the content so kudos to the presenters for putting their ideas over in a simple way.
  • Great topics, well presented.
  • Generally the content was well considered for the audience type and there were some interesting topics of discussion

The comments on the event organisation included:

  • Very well organised event, working like clockwork!
  • Well organised. Kudos.
  • Really well organised and a big shout out to the catering staff who rustled up some lovely gluten and dairy-free lunch for me!
  • Very efficient.
  • very smooth, under 1 roof, the technology worked well.

Comments made about the plenary talks included:

  • really good overview, hopefully his talk will be online and i can get colleagues to watch it“; “i fully intend to implement some ideas at my own institution” and “Some humour helped the drier “medicine” about data, go down very well. And I will definitely be trying out that Tag Galaxy which was demoed” – talk on “Data and the Web Manager” by Kevin Ashley
  • This talk in particular has driven me to open up our data where safe“; “Good to see Edinburgh Council embracing open data and the possibilities it gives for developers” and “Excellent presentation by a very dynamic expert who is always willing to share her knowledge, experiences and to learn.  Sally is a great ambassador for Edin City council. Suraj and Sally are a well rehearsed act. ” – talk on “Open Data Development in the City of Edinburgh Council” by Sally Kerr and Suraj Kika
  • Really thought provoking. Visualisation is cool!“; “Interesting to see the different ways to visualise data” and “Great innovative ways to present data and information” – talk on “Data Visualisation: A Taster” by Tony Hirst and Martin Hawksey
  • I already know A LOT about KIS as I am on the University’s KIS Project Board but it was good to get everyone up to speed with the KIS.  Generated some healthy debate and discussion later.  Andrew explained it very well and was very ‘human’ about the whole thing!” and “For me, this talk was the star of the whole event. A great speaker, who got stuck in and really told us the good, the bad, and the ugly about KIS and how it was going to affect us. Now all I have to do is worry about that widget….” – talk 0n “Key Information Sets Data” by Andrew Oakley
  • Excellent presentation skills and very informative“; “Well polished presentation and speaker outlying the pitfalls and benefits nicely. Well paced with good content” and “really comprehensively argued case that reinforced views that i didn’t realise i had” – talk on “Do I Need an App for That?” by Rob Borley
  • Interesting and useful. Have shared with colleagues back at the Uni and will reflect further with them“; “I knew a lot about this but it was a very good talk and brought together the area very well. She did very well when there was an incident in the audience – obviously an old hand” and “Very good to have this included, as I think Web Accessibility was one of the issues which we used to all worry about a lot, and in recent years has been pushed aside. Particlarly liked the speaker’s approach of showing practical solutions eg the AT Bar.” –  talk on “Beyond WCAG: Experiences in Implementing BS 8878” by EA Draffan
  • “I didn’t agree with everything he said but it was by far the most entertaining and lively talk we saw. Controversy is good”; “He was excellent, even though most of what he said was complete rubbish! Very entertaining.” and “Good speaker and probably the session that we’ll all remember from the conference. Some very good points, but I think it highlighted more the problem of senior managers imposing their somewhat selfish views on university web sites. ” – talk on “Going Online – Do Universities Really Understand the Internet?” by Ferdinand von Prondzynski
  • “This is what IWMW does best – inform about emerging trends and demonstrate approaches that other universities have taken.“; “Very useful, great to have the theory paired with practical implementation and expert voices on both” and “Was completely right to have a plenary on RWD, as it has become so important in the last 18months or so”  - talk on “Serve Two Masters: Creating Large-Scale Responsive Websites” by Keith Doyle and Paddy Callaghan
  • Dynamic busy individual would works with a mix of in-house and outsourced services which might well be the future for better or for worse“; “Great presentation and interesting to see the range of solutions and strategies been employed” and “Something of a twist in the tail from Stephen. I had expected a possible approach to measuring impact so to have Stephen eloquently and logically argue that it’s not our job was thought-provoking and refreshing. One of my favourite IWMW presenters over the years.” – talk on “Measuring Impact” by Stephen Emmott
  • Interesting to see the direction they’ve taken with their website which I think goes against the grain of what everyone else is doing. Also fantastic to hear about open source technologies that are being used.” – talk on “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Two Years of Running a Content Management Service” by Helen Sargan

But although the plenary speakers and facilitators of the parallel sessions provide the content for the event, it always seems that the sum of greater than the individual parts.  Here are some aspects of the IWMW 2012 event which were particularly liked:

  • Very well organised event, working like clockwork!
  • Well organised. Kudos.
  • Really well organised and a big shout out to the catering staff who rustled up some lovely gluten and dairy-free lunch for me!
  • “Spectacularly organised as ever. Everything seemed to run really smoothly from meeting up with everyone on the Sunday to getting bits and bats for our session to lunches and so on.
  • Well done all!”
  • Spot on
  • I liked the central venue which was easy to find and get to by public transport.
  • Generally very good.
  • The venue this year was excellent. The space available (both accommodation and conference space) were of a high standard. The food should get a special mention. The only slight downside was the distance between the accommodation and the conference.
  • It was nice to see a mix of old and new attendees and I know from talking to some “”newbies”” they really saw the value of the community.

And to conclude:

P.S. To whom it may concern:
Please, please, please. please, please keep funding this event. It is a lifeline to HE institutions and their hard-working web-related staff. It is the only event on the calendar which really gets to the heart of the issues we are all looking at, at the time we are looking at them

Posted in Events | Tagged: | 2 Comments »