A Faster Mobile Web: WordPress.com Updates for Accelerated Mobile Pages

Useful post from WordPress on their latest update which gives you even more control over your site’s look and feel on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) pages – a feature available to all.

AMP page WordPress blog

WordPress.com News

Earlier this year we were proud to announce that WordPress.com users’s sites would automatically support Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) — a new open-source project spearheaded by Google to dramatically improve the performance of web pages on mobile devices.

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Say ‘No!’ to vertical video syndrome


VVS (Vertical Video Syndrome) is internet slang for the [perceived by some guilty] act of recording video using an upright mobile phone, as if you were taking a portrait photograph (rather than standard landscape video, as we are used to seeing displayed on a TV or monitor).

Vertical video is often referred to as skinny and tall as when the video plays it only uses the centre third of the screen and has black space either side (as in the image above).

Advice from the ground is quite simply that we must all learn to say no to vertical video as it is amateurish and to be avoided. Glove and Boots in the video above offer some sage advice… Continue reading

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Why ‘googling’ yourself should be part of your digital health check

Google search

When was the last time you googled yourself? Some may ask why on earth would I want to do that? Well it is an effective way of finding out what others can learn about you from the Internet. What information is actually public?

Your online reputation is your responsibility. When you create social profiles, the information you choose to provide is self-volunteered. If you use Facebook, check your privacy settings regularly to ensure you are happy with what information can be shared. Select from sharing with friends, friends of friends and public. (For posts you can also choose to share with specific groups).

When you conduct a search of your name, the results that appear on this first page will depend on how common your name is. For example John Smith will bring back huge results! However if someone is looking for you and don’t get immediate results, they are likely to then add further search terms such as the town you live in or your current place of work.

If you have social media profiles, these are most likely to be at the top of the search results. Try searching your name and the name of a social media site you use. This can help to identify specific profiles and see what information others can view.

On a positive note, having social media profiles such as LinkedIn, Twitter, a blog or SlideShare account can be a useful way of showcasing your professional self and the work you do.

Reasons for Googling yourself

  • Check if any private or sensitive information about yourself or family is online
  • To ensure that you are presenting yourself in the best possible light
  • Identify if others are sharing information about you that might be embarrassing or inaccurate (do you really want your employer to see those ‘funny’ in the moment photos or videos?)


Infographic source: http://www.backgroundcheck.org

Image source: https://pixabay.com

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Sharing is caring (inspired by @veletsianos)


This post is inspired by George Veletsianos, who has created a video summary titled ‘Scholarship on Social Media and the Academic Self’ based on his paper ‘Open Practices and Identity: Evidence from Researchers and Educators’ Social Media Participation’.

George raises the question:

“Is sharing a value of contemporary academic culture overall or is sharing a value of a specific academic sub culture?
For example is sharing a value of the open education sub culture and are we seeing sharing as a value because open education researchers are active users of social media?”

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Organising tweets into Lists and Collections using Tweetdeck


TweetDeck is a dashboard that allows users to personalise their Twitter experience by viewing tweets in multiple columns. You can organise tweets in Lists or Collections, or add a column for a specific hashtag you wish to follow.

  • A List is an editable group of Twitter users. Each list is given a name and an optional description. Lists may be private or public (and viewable to all).
    For example: https://twitter.com/suebecks/lists/vcs-who-tweet
    You might choose to create a group based on shared interests, a specific topic, co-workers, your family, news sites, sport on other hobbies. The choice is yours!
  • A Collection is an editable group of Tweets hand-selected by a Twitter user. Each Collection is given a name and an optional description. Collections are public and viewable by all. Each Collection has its own URL allowing it to be easily shared. Collections also have an embed code so that they can be added to blogs or websites as a list of tweets or as a grid.
    For example: https://twitter.com/suebecks/timelines/757554419399528448
    This example is a collection of tweets relating to a forthcoming conference. You may choose to create a Collection based on an interest, a specific conversation or event, or any other topic you choose.   New tweets can be added to the collection or deleted.

Continue reading

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Capturing those golden nuggets of information: the art of digital curation

gold nuggets

Where do I save stuff?

I always used to save items of interest that I happened upon online as favourites. However despite creating folders, in using this system I found retrieving something became harder and harder and I was not always able to find what I was looking for. Add the fact that I tend to use commuting time to and from work to access information via my phone, I was initially sending items by email, to then have to add them as favourites once I got back to my desk top. A further issue was that those favourites were only accessible if I was at that PC. I had another collection on my laptop!

My solution to this issue came about as I began to read about ‘digital curating’. This is a way of being able to select, organise and present online content. This curated content can then also be shared with others. Equally you can benefit by looking at content curated by others. Typically content is organised by themes or topics. Continue reading

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New on WordPress.com: Sharing Buttons for WhatsApp, Telegram, and Skype

WordPress.com News

Our users — and your sites’ visitors — share millions of WordPress.com posts every day across social networks, and today we’re excited to announce sharing buttons for three more services: WhatsApp, Telegram, and Skype.


Here’s how to set up the new buttons:

  1. Go to My Sites → Sharing.
  2. Select the Sharing Buttons tab, and then Edit Sharing Buttons.
  3. Select any of the three new options (in addition to our many other sharing possibilities).

Learn more here, or watch this handy video:

Now, in addition to sharing on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you can share on some of the world’s most popular messaging apps.

We’re excited to offer these new buttons — and, as always, you can contact us in support if you have more questions.

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VCs in #HigherEd that Tweet


Public domain image: Pixabay

Jisc named the UK higher education social media influencers in December 2015  and in March this year the Further education’s top 50 social media users to follow. Both are worth a visit. The higher education list includes Dominic Shellard, VC at De Montfort University.

Pauk Paceo-Vega PhD introduced #ScholarSunday hashtag as a #FollowFriday for academics to recommend other academic tweeters they value. Whilst useful I’ve not attempted to analyse these tweets to see if any VCs are included – there are a lot of tweets!

The Guardian recently wrote a post called Follow the leaders: the best social media accounts for academics. This article provided a useful list of Twitter accounts who are tweeting about academia under the headings: Twitter humour; tips on writing, teaching and academic life; PhD tips; and news and views. However there was no mention of VCs who tweet.

Do any of our Vice Chancellors tweet?
Well yes they do!

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Using LinkedIn Groups with students and alumni in Higher Education


LinkedIn Groups are where professionals can exchange their knowledge and build relationships. They provide a place for users that have shared interests to engage in discussion, raise questions/find answers, post and view job opportunities, and establish themselves as knowledgeable in their field.

You can find groups to join by using the search feature at the top of your LinkedIn homepage or by viewing suggestions of groups you may like. You can also create a new group focused on a particular topic or industry relevant to you. Group admins (creator of a Group) can choose to review requests to join or ask for additional information to make sure potential new members meet their membership criteria. Membership approval in this case is solely up to the group admins. Groups can be public or unlisted. You must be invited to join an unlisted group. Continue reading

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A social and collaborative approach to annotation: @hypothes_is

Hypothes.is logo

Hypothes.is is a free social annotation tool which allows users to discuss, collaborate, organise your research, or take personal notes. Annotating can be public and open to anyone, confined to small groups or used by individuals.

What does the Hypothes.is software do?

The elevator pitch is easy.

“Visit a web page, then select some text and annotate with comments or tags. You’ll see those annotations when you return to the page, and so will other Hypothesis users.”

The software leverages annotation to enable sentence-level critique or note-taking on top of news, blogs, scientific articles, books, terms of service, ballot initiatives, legislation and more. It has been summarised as “a peer review layer for the entire Internet. Continue reading

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