Teens and (social) media – a snapshot over three decades


This infographic created by Teensafe provides a great visual of the changing focus on technology use. First of all it considers changes in teenagers social lives and the impact media has had. The use of the phone for example for talking is no longer its primary use. Today “talking is out and texting is in” with an average of 60 texts sent every day. Continue reading

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The LinkedIn Guide to the Perfect #WorkSelfie

More top tips from LinkedIn: Your LinkedIn profile is 14x more likely to be viewed simply by adding a profile photo. Follow these tips to take the perfect #WorkSelfie for your LinkedIn profile.

You can follow LinkedIn on Slideshare http://www.slideshare.net/linkedin


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What NOT to post on social media


For many of us social media has pervaded our lives, not only socially but as spaces to interact professionally within too. Ubiquitous access to mobile phones and connectivity means that we can access information any time and increasingly anywhere. Sharing news and information has become a daily activity. We are now producers and consumers of these updates. Continue reading

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New post: Some tips on choosing images to use for blogs, websites and presentations

happy face sad faceInspired by Richard Byrne’s post on best practices for using images in blog posts, below are three simple tips to follow to avoid copyright issues. Just because images are freely available on the Internet to view, does not mean it gives us the right to use them without permission. You can of course contact the owner of copyrighted images to ask for this, however this can take time and potentially be refused. The options below help to alleviate this.

1. Use your own images

Now so many of us own phones that enable us to take photos and the fact that these very devices are usually carried on our person most of the time, there are so many opportunities to take snapshots. The phone cameras are often equal to or better than our existing cameras with regards to quality. Photos can be quickly accessed and saved to sites like Flickr or filed on our own devices. Care should be taken when photographing people that can be identified and permission sought if you wish to post online, however at a distance photos are fine.


2. Use public domain photos

These are images that have been uploaded and given a pubic domain licence. Stanford University offer a useful definition:

The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.

Examples of websites offering public domain images:


3. Use photos with a Creative Commons licence

Here owners of images that have given their work a CC licence, give permission to others to use their images. It is important however to give attribution to the owner of the image. Alan Levine’s CC Attribution Helper also makes it easy to format image citations. Secondly care should be taken to check whether the chosen licence (there are a number of different ones) allows modification or use commercially (if this is relevant). Visit the Creative Commons site for more info https://creativecommons.org/choose/.

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that assists authors and creators who want to voluntarily share their work, by providing free copyright licences and tools, so that others may take full and legal advantage of the Internet’s unprecedented wealth of science, knowledge and culture.

Examples of websites offering Creative Commons licenced images:

Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig expains Creative Commons licensing

Image source: Photos Public Domain

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Good practice tips for professional social media profiles


For many our first experience of social media has been Facebook. There are also a number of us who will also have engaged with the likes of Friends Reunited, Friendster or Myspace. Typically we have used these spaces to connect with friends and family and to share snippets of information about our lives and shared interests. The ability to edit security settings means that we can choose to share these snapshots of our social life with the people we want to. Some people are happy to leave their profiles open to the public. The decision should be based on what what you are sharing, but consideration should also be given to those you are connected with. My personal take has always been to keep my settings updated so that the conversations I have are with my immediate friends.

Professional networking

Social media can also be used in a professional context. This for me is where I see the benefits of sharing openly. Using LinkedIn and Twitter I have been able to develop valuable professional networks, connecting with other professionals across the globe. Within these spaces I am able to publicly share my blog posts, conference presentations (using Slideshare) and papers/book chapters I have written. Others are able to see the work I engage in and connect with me. Equally I am able to reach out to others who are also sharing interesting work. This has opened many opportunities for collaborative projects to develop and invitations to speak at other universities.

Unless you choose to make your professional social media identity private (and then you might want to question why) your profiles are public and provide the opportunity for others to find you based on shared interests and connections. In order to maximise the potential of building useful professional networks it is important to consider how others will perceive the information they see. A simple Google search for skills or indeed your name, can bring up your public professional profiles. Decisions to make new connections are often based on the information available in a person’s bio and verified by a recognised photo. If you have not completed the bio and have no profile photograph it makes it harder for people to know if the profile they are looking at is yours or someone else’s who shares the same name.


Tips for your professional profiles

Complete a bio

Within your bio you have the opportunity to share your key interests, where you work, a link to your website, blog or even your LinkedIn profile. Think about what would be useful for others to know about you and would this help them to make the decision to connect with you.

Add a photo

It is known that people are more trusting if they can see a photo – the person behind the profile. Leaving the default avatar not only looks unprofessional but it is also unhelpful. As already mentioned it allows the viewer to verify who you are. Using the same photo across multiple social media platforms can also help this.

default avatars





The content you add will of course depend on the platform. For LinkedIn there is the opportunity to share more information. As the current go to professional networking site, it stands to reason that here you will want to  make a good impression. In order to do so, it is vital you complete your whole profile and periodically review this to ensure it is kept up to date. Adding the skills you have allows others to find you when search is used to locate individuals with those skills. Connections can endorse those skills and provide you with recommendations. This allows other to see that your claims are substantiated.


How regularly you share information through status updates, posts and tweets is an individual choice and to some extent depends on the platform. Personally I may only post to LinkedIn 1-2 items every few days, however on Twitter I will share information on a daily basis. This is predominantly interesting things I have read that I feel will be useful to the network of connections I have made in this space. I will also retweet useful content others have shared. The ripple effect this creates means that there is rich source of content being shared which is of benefit to anyone sharing similar interests.


Public domain image source: Pixabay

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Social media etiquette – some useful reminders



The social media etiquette guide for business presented below as an infographic provides some excellent tips that ALL users of social media can learn from and adopt. It is important to consider etiquette both as polite and acceptable behaviours but also more generally as good practices we should adopt when using social media.

The guide looks at Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Continue reading

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10 Ways to use Twitter in Teaching


  1. Resource building – tutors AND students can use a course hashtag to share links to relevant resources. These could include websites, news articles, videos, podcasts, images, SlideShare presentations as well as books and journal papers.
  2. Interactive lectures – ask students to answer questions during a lecture. Or, get people talking before the lecture or the seminar by raising questions.
  3. Quick-fire recap of a lecture – ask students to summarise key points
  4. Instant feedback – areas they would like to go over again
  5. Reminders of deadlines and events – supplement messages sent out via your VLE and email about assignment deadlines, careers events and guest lectures
  6. Set up a Twitter chat – invite an industry/subject expert, client group or professional community to co-lead the chat
  7. Research ideas and opinions using the advanced search for tweets, photos ans videos
  8. Reviews – ask students to write a concise micro review of a book, an article, a film or event
  9. Survey – set up a poll or an online questionnaire and tweet the link
  10. Direct messaging – use DM for private tutorial questions

As the use of mobile devices increases, more and more students are accessing information on the go, wherever they are. Twitter is therefore useful to send succinct messages. Central teams can add value by using this medium to share updates on IT issues, library opening hours, or alerts regarding university closure in extreme weather. These all add value for th students as they can access this source of news immediately.

What would you add to this list?

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Take a look at using Diigo the social bookmarking tool you can access anywhere

Diigo logo

Diigo helps you to build your own personal library of resources that is saved in the cloud. This means it is accessible from any device wherever you are. With one click you can also share any of your saved resources with others. You may choose to create both private and public lists. For educators you may also apply for a free Diigo Educator account which allows you to set set up groups for your classes to curate shared resources. This can be used as a forum for discussions.


Diigo is pronounced as Dee’go, and is an abbreviation for: “Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff.”


Key features of Diigo

  • Online bookmarking to collect and organise anything
  • Highlight and add sticky notes on webpages
  • Archive pages so you can refer back to them
  • Organize your items by tags or lists
  • Search and access from anywhere, anytime
  • Group based collaborative research and content curation


Creating a bookmark

When you choose to save a bookmark you have the option to use the highlighter pen to ‘highlight’ areas  and to add stick notes with space to write notes. The ‘save bookmark’ box will pull through the URL and the title of the page. You may then add a description and tags (keywords) that will help you search and retrieve this bookmark from your library at a later date. You may share the bookmark to a public or a private list.

Below is a section of text from a web a page. Using the highlighter pen I annotated some of the text in pink (yellow, blue an green also available). The sticky note can be dragged and placed on the page wherever you wish to place it. Here you can make notes about the item you are bookmarking. You can also add a description of the resource in the save bookmark box. Once you have saved the bookmark you can return to it at any time and  your bookmarked view will save the highlighted text and sticky notes.


Diigolet bookmarklet

Diigolet is a “super bookmarklet” that allows you to highlight and add sticky-notes, in addition to simple bookmarking. It can be set-up by simple drag-and-drop – no download or installation is needed, and it works for all major browsers.

Google Chrome: Make sure the “Bookmarks Bar” is visible. If it is not, choose “Always show bookmarks bar” from the Tools menu. You will then need to drag the Diigolet button (available here) up to you Bookmarks Bar.

install Diigolet button






 Getting started video


Private or public groups

You can create private or public groups for your class, team or research project. Diigo groups can be very useful to work collaboratively to curate a library of resources relating to the project you are working on.


Diigo Educator Accounts

These are free special premium accounts provided specifically to K-12 & higher-ed educators. Once your Diigo Educator application is approved, your account will be upgraded to have these additional features:

  • For your class use, you can create student accounts for an entire class with just a few clicks (and student email addresses are optional for account creation)
  • Students of the same class are automatically set up as a Diigo group so they can start using all the benefits that a Diigo group provides, such as group bookmarks and annotations, and group forums.
  • Privacy settings of student accounts are more restricted.
  • Ads presented to student account users are limited.
  • More premium features offered in Education Basic Plan.

To apply for an educator account visit https://www.diigo.com/education

You can then claim your Educator badge

Diigo educator badge




Other useful links

Teacher account FAQs

Getting Started

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Tips on Using Twitter for Conferences and Events: Ideas for Organisers and Participants

Twitter ideas

The Twitter Back Channel

The term “back channel” generally refers to an online conversation about a conference topic or speaker. Twitter is now used extensively by both delegates at a conference and also by those wishing to follow tweets made by those attending, as a means of engaging in conversations relating to conference keynotes, workshops and other activities taking place, and as a way of sharing to their followers snippets of useful information. For many it also serves as a tweet event diary – a means of taking notes on key points throughout a talk or the event as a whole. The audience for conference and event tweets extends beyond those attending and opens up engagement from anyone following the hashtag or even happening upon tweets made by people they follow.

Preparation before an event

Choose a hashtag: You will need to choose a hashtag for your event. This should be short and succinct – ideally 6-8 characters (letters/numbers preceded by #). Remember those tweeting at your event only have 140 characters per tweet so a long hashtag (aside from being hard to remember) does not want to take up too much space within the message.  It is important to check your chosen tag to make sure it is not already in current use. You can do this by entering the hashtag in the search bar of Twitter. If no tweets appear containing the hashtag, it’s safe to assume it is not being used for something else (at that time). Adding the year can sometimes be helpful if your chosen word is already being used. For examples #teachconf15 or #teachconf2015. Hashtags are not case sensitive.

hashtag search

Blog or website: Your event landing page is likely to be the first place people find detailed information about your event. Make sure that the event hashtag is prominent on all pages along with the Twitter handle you will use to promote the event. Display as a banner and encourage readers to follow the @EventTwitterUsername and #EventHashtag for conference updates. 

Communicate the hashtag: The agreed event hashtag should be included in all communication and be clearly placed within emails relating to the conference, and also added to the organisers email signature(s). Promotion posters, invitation cards, conference fliers, name badges and the programme should all include the event hashtag. If an event Twitter account is to be used, then this also should be included. In place of this you may use the organisation’s Twitter account. Choose the one that will be used to tweet messages about the event.

Event registration: When asking people to register for an event you should include a field to capture the delegate’s Twitter username. This is a useful addition to the delegate list which is often shared in conference packs or as a downloadable PDF on the conference website. This will help participants make new connections and build their network. 

Speakers: Capture all speakers Twitter usernames and add to the programme after each name. Tweets promoting speaker sessions should include their Twitter username and the conference hashtag. Encourage presenters to add their Twitter username to their own presentations. Where an event Twitter account is being used you may wish to consider creating a new Twitter list of those presenters who are on Twitter. Others may then choose to follow this list and follow the individual presenters if they so wish.

Engage with potential attendees: Send out regular Tweets leading up to the event with snippets of information to promote the event, a call for papers, details of the venue, list of confirmed speakers, places to visit, how to book accommodation, speaker abstracts etc. Links included in the tweets can direct readers to the event website or to short ‘talking head’ videos of interviews with the keynote speakers. Look out for RTs and mentions and reach out to these people to thank them for sharing information about the event. Respond to questions raised. Chances are by responding as a Tweet you will also help others with the same questions. Update your website if information needs further clarity.


Encourage promotion of the event: To help others promote your event you can use http://clicktotweet.com/ to write a short message that you’d like others to share via Twitter. ClicktoTweet converts the message into a short url which you can add to the web or blog page you are using to promote your event. When the reader clicks on the link it will automatically direct to Twitter, opening a Tweet dialogue box. The reader simply clicks Tweet and sends this to their followers.


Prepare a Twitter back channel: It has become popular to display the conference tweets by curating those which include the conference hashtag on a screen so that everyone can see the tweets.

Back channel tools
Websites have been developed to showcase this Twitter back channel. There are a number of sites that offer this service, and include options with and without pricing plans. (Note: as with many online offerings the PRO versions may offer customisation and additional features). The examples below are at the time of writing FREE to use.

Event badges: Add the twitter username of attendees (speakers, delegates and organisers) and the event hashtag to name badges. This helps to highlight who is presenting and those involved in organising the event.

event badges

During an event

Promote how to connect to the Wi-Fi: Ideally this should be given out at registration within the conference pack, clearly written on notice boards or on the back of badges. Remind people how they can connect to the Wi-Fi at the start of each day. Make it easy for them!

Event organisers and helpers: For large events it may be worth considering investing in tshirts for helpers so that they stand out. Adding the event hashtag will help to encourage tweets.

promotion tshirts

Opening presentation: Tell the audience that there is a conference hashtag and highlight this on a slide. Include the conference hashtag in the corner of each slide as a reminder. If you are curating the tweets after the event you may wish to mention this too. Also if you are displaying a Twitter back channel, let the audience know and tell them where they can view this. Typically these are either displayed on a second screen in the main conference room or on a TV screen where refreshments are served.

Presenters: It is helpful if presenters share their Twitter username at the start of their talks so that participants can provide attribution to quotes and photos they tweet relating to the presentations. Where audience interaction is encouraged, presenters may wish to consider having an additional hashtag for their session. Questions or polls can be shared and responded to via Twitter. Where there is a session chair, questions can be invited from those following the event hashtag and relayed to the presenter. Speakers should expect to be tweeted, so if they do not want their work shared via Twitter, this should be made clear at the start of a session.  

Delegates and Participants: Anyone following the conference hashtag will be able to view the tweets. Whilst both those at an event and anyone interacting virtually should be encouraged to share, question and comment upon information about the conference and presentations, all should be mindful that Twitter is a public forum. In the event a speaker asks not to be tweeted about, this should be respected. 

Event networking: Use Twitter and the hashtag to build your network by following people that are interesting. Reach out to other attendees to meet for dinner, take an early morning run or arrange informal discussions on a topic of interest. Create your own list of event speakers and attendees you share an interest with. 

Twitter dashboards/clients: When following conference tweets you may choose to open multiple tabs so that you have one to tweet from, another to view all tweets containing the conference hashtag, plus one to keep an eye on the tweets from the conference organiser. Alternatively you can use a dashboard like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck which allow you to set up multiple columns which you can view from the one tab. Additional features enable you to schedule tweets which may be useful for event organisers.


Conference Twitter etiquette

  • When tweeting a quote made by a speaker include the speaker’s name (preferably their Twitter username) and place the quote within speech marks
  • Separate your own comments about a topic from those made by the speaker
  • Engage with tweets from others by replying to them and including the event hashtag 
  • Summarise points concisely and consider inclusion of a photo of a relevant slide
  • Ask permission to take photos of speakers 
  • Add to the conversation by sharing useful links to relevant websites, articles, books
  • Avoid sarcasm, snarkiness and bad mouthing of any sort
  • Be mindful that by including the conference hashtag in your tweets you are contributing to a professional forum that others will be following
  • Use Twitter to express appreciation
  • Remember to add the designated event hashtag to each tweet if you want it to be seen!


Post Event

Thank the speakers: Organisers can send out a thank you tweet to speakers along with a link to the conference programme or if presentations are uploaded to Slideshare a link to this. Participants might also want to send out a message of appreciation if they enjoyed a session.

Curate the tweets: Storify is a useful free tool to use to capture the tweets relating to a hashtag. The tweets are pulled into a storyboard and additional text can be added. This can then be saved as a story. This is a useful way to save all tweets to look back on later for both participants and organisers. Organisers should share the Storify they create via Twitter along with the event hashtag. The link to the Storify and an explanation of what it is, should also be added to the conference website (on some web platforms the Storify can be embedded as a slideshow).

Speaker presentations: Encourage presenters to share links to presentations uploaded to Slideshare through Twitter and to include the conference hashtag.  Use reply on Twitter to add thanks to the presenters for sharing their presentations and also retweet. This makes sure that anyone following the event twitter account but not the event hashtag gets to see these tweets.

Participant reflections: Encourage delegates or anyone participating remotely to share blog posts about the event. Look out for these tweets and again acknowledge by retweeting and replying. 

Analyse the tweets:  As an organiser of an event you can pick up useful feedback from the tweets. Should there be any issues these can be dealt with promptly. Find out what went well and use this feedback for future events.


Other tips

Creating a Twitter account: When setting up a new account, consider the length of your chosen user name and whether it will be easy for others to remember. Complete the space that allows you write a short 160 character personal bio and add a photo. This will help others make the decision to follow you. Include a link to your company website, your own website/blog or your LinkedIn profile. 

New to Twitter? Prepare before an event: Take time to practice some tweets so you become familiar with how to post a tweet, RT  someone else’s tweet, favourite a tweet, add a photo to a tweet and send a private direct message.

You can find out more by taking a look at Getting Started with Twitter


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There is more to Slideshare than you might think


SlideShare was founded in October 2006 and acquired by LinkedIn in May 2012. It allows users to easily upload and share presentations, infographics, documents, videos, PDFs, and webinars. These can also be easily added to your LinkedIn profile, which provides visual richness to your profile and a greater insight into the work you are doing.

Benefits of using Slideshare

Slideshare is a rich resource of presentations that can provide inspiration for style and layout. These and infographics provide useful information and pointers to research you can explore further. Secondly it is a space you can share your own work. Readers  can help to disseminate your uploads to a wider audience and give feedback. They may choose to:

  • share your uploads to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest
  • favourite your upload
  • leave comment, questions and feedback
  • share the URL link
  • copy the embed code to add to a blog or website
  • email a link to someone they know
  • download (where this option is authorised)

Slideshare share options

Slideshare share options


SlideShare list the following benefits:

Discover and Learn
SlideShare consists of more than 15 million uploads from individuals and organizations on topics ranging from technology and business to travel, health, and education. Find and search for what interests you, and learn from people like Guy Kawasaki, the White House, Mashable and more. You can also download SlideShares to read or reference later.

Share and Connect
Share the content that matters to you with your colleagues, customers, friends and followers. SlideShares can be embedded into websites and blogs, and are easily shareable on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media platforms. They can be viewed publicly and privately. Connect with other SlideShare users via comments, “likes,” and profile pages.

Have an idea, story, research project, presentation, photo collection or expert knowledge on a topic? Upload it and reach a wide audience!

Here are more ideas for what to upload on SlideShare.

  • how to guides, 101s
  • travel guides
  • visual CVs/resumes
  • portfolios
  • teaching
  • research
  • creative writing
  • case studies
  • conference presentations
  • infographics

Slideshare topics

When anyone uploads content to Slideshare they are prompted to assign a topic tag. This enables users of Slideshare to search for and explore topic focussed content. You can choose to favourite topics you are most interested in.

Slideshare topics

Further links

My own Slideshare page: http://www.slideshare.net/suebeckingham

Slideshare blog: https://blog.slideshare.net/

Slideshare on Twitter: https://twitter.com/slideshare

Slideshare on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slideshare

Slideshare on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/slideshare

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