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? Continue reading

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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?”

Continue reading

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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

The WordPress.com Blog

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!

Continue reading

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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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How to cite social media in academic writing


Referencing and citation is an important part of any writing. This post looks at some recommendations and consideration when citing social media. Citations have several important purposes:

  • to uphold intellectual honesty (or avoiding plagiarism),
  • to attribute prior or unoriginal work and ideas to the correct sources, to allow the reader to determine independently whether the referenced material supports the author’s argument in the claimed way,
  • and to help the reader gauge the strength and validity of the material the author has used. (Wikipedia)

At Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) the Guide to Referencing offers detailed guidance for producing citations and references according to the Harvard method in the Harvard-SHU style recommended by the library. You may be asked to use another method, or a variation of the Harvard style. If this is the case, you may wish to refer to guidance that matches this style. However the recommendations below provide useful pointers to consider when citing social media and personal communications. Continue reading

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Twitter at 10 and the evolution of the Twitter logo

@jack's sketch


The first tweet

Co-founder Dorsey sent the first tweet, on March 21, 2006 which said “Just setting up my twttr”. You will note that the original name for Twitter was Twttr.
(Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jackdorsey/182613360/)



The Twitter Logo

To date the Twitter logo has had three iterations. Initially when Twitter launched in 2006, the Twitter bird did not feature at all. This was introduced in 2010 alongside the written name.

Twitter logo

July 15, 2006 – September 14, 2010.

Twitter logo

September 14, 2010 – June 5, 2012.

Twitter logo

June 5, 2012–present

However in 2012, Twitter as a brand were firmly placed as one of the top social media alongside the likes of Facebook. The bird had become synonymous with Twitter and the decision to drop the text and just use the bird as the logo was made. The Twitter bird also lost it’s quiff, has fewer feathers and looks up with an open beak. For me this current iteration symbolises that Twitter empowers all users to have a free and open voice.

Twitter describe the new logo as follows:

“Our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry. This bird is crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles — similar to how your networks, interests and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends. Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope and limitless possibility.”


The video demonstrates both simplicity and clarity.  Twitter says the new bird is “crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles — similar to how your networks, interests and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends.”

The current icon can be seen on the sign outside Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco.

Twitter Headquarters

“Twitter’s San Francisco Headquarters” by MatthewKeys. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikipedia


Does the Twitter bird really have a name?

Rumour has it that the Twitter bird did have a name and this is Larry. The Twitter icon now recognised across the globe, may have been named after former NBA player, Larry Bird, who played for Twitter co-founder Biz Stone’s home-state team, the Boston Celtics. Ryan Sarver a former Twitter employee shared this tweet:

Twitter themselves have also previously made reference to the name Larry:



The Twitter bird has become the focal point of Twitter’s branding and is for many instantly recognisable. It stands with the likes of Apple and Nike who also have no text in their logo. Today the Twitter brand policy guidelines are fastidious about the way the Twitter name and logo should be used.


• Use our official, unmodified Twitter bird to represent our brand.
• Make sure the bird faces right.
• Allow for at least 150% buffer space around the bird.

There are also guidelines on the colour palettes. The font used is primarily the Gotham Narrow family.

colour swatchescolour palettes


• Use speech bubbles or words around the bird.
• Rotate or change the direction of the bird.
• Animate the bird.
• Duplicate the bird.
• Change the colour of the bird.
• Use any other marks or logos to represent our brand.

logo donts

Celebrating 200 million active users

In 2013 Twitter created a video caled ‘Celebrating #Twitter7’ for Twitter’s 7th birthday. This provides a nice visual history of key developments and ways Twitter has been used.

Since @jack first tweeted in 2006, Twitter has become a global town square. Thanks to all of you, our open, real-time platform is thriving: well over 200 million active users send more than 400 million Tweets every day. Here’s to your creativity, curiosity and experimentation on our platform. We’re gratified that so many millions of you have made Twitter yours. Thank you.

Twitter at 10 2006-2016

Over the last 10 years Twitter has definitely taken flight and is now used across the globe. Again Twitter capture key moments and these demonstrate the diverse ways the communication tool has been used.


 Other Twitter icons

Early users of Twitter will be familiar with the ‘Whale Fail’ icon that came up on the screen when Twitter went down due to technical issues.

Twitter fail whale

Twitter fail whale

More recently and less frequently the image below appears when Twitter is down

Something is technically wrong

Something is technically wrong


More about Twitter

Twitter blog: https://blog.twitter.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/twitter

Jack Dorsey: https://twitter.com/jack

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Twitter/about

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