ALT-C 2009: In Dreams Begin Responsibility


Watching ALT-C 2009, streaming live from the University of Manchester, from today through Thursday 10th August 2009. There’s also some other sessions being streamed via UStream.

Follow the stream on Twitter. (#altc2009 seems to be the main hashtag, but there are other’s noted!).
Beware of the concept of Digital Natives:

Winchester Web Scene

Proof positive I was there tonight (and I know, I have a bit of a backlog of other blog material on this blog). My other blog has gone crazy today after that New York Times article yesterday, and yes, I am behind on my tasks for today (and yes it’s nearly tomorrow)! See more about the Winchester Web Scene, formed in November 2008, growing monthly I do believe – not a networking business-card exchange kind of evening, but a chat with people who have shared interests – some coders, some developers, some content writers, some social media types…

Digital Fingerprint

Since 1997, I have had “mydesigna” as a catch-all for the websites that I’ve designed. As I move more and more into social media, I have set up a new WordPress site, which will become the new, up-to-date site, far more appropriate! I’m faffing around with Blue Host, and hopefully will learn how to upload my own CSS/use my own domain name, then I’m all set to help other people with the same! I’ve just had a fun day helping Deborah Kerslake of Serenergise gain an understanding of some of the possibilities for social media, I think the one she’s most looking forward to using is Twitter! As a result of teaching Debs about fan pages, I have also set up one of my own for Digital Fingerprint!

Winchester Holistics

Winchester Holistics is a holistic myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, hotstone massage, stretching and reflexology service based in Winchester, Hampshire (UK), providing complementary therapies. The site was created under the banner of my business MyDesigna, we initially created a site for Reflexive Feet in early 2007, but decided that New Year 2009 was time for a fresh look. I discussed the needs of the site with Tina Hitchens, holistic therapy practitioner and owner of Winchester Holistics (which we decided to rebrand as Tina has developed a wider range of therapeutic skills than reflexology and hot stone massage, which was the initial business). I then redesigned the site, purchased the images from StockXPERT, researched and wrote up new content. There’s still a bit more to do, but this site is already SO much better than the previous one, we can polish it off as time goes on… and to be honest, is a website ever completely finished?!

Working at It…

After a morning trying to produce a skills-based CV (bits of it are slowly emerging!), and trying to extrapolate what I’ve actually done this week towards my jobsearch, I was offered some work which involved getting to grips with a new CMS system.

Joomla
Joomla! is a free open source content management system for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets. The system includes features such as page caching to improve performance, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, website searching, and language internationalization. Joomla is licensed under the GPL, and is the result of a fork of Mambo. (Text from Wikipedia)

Much more to learn, and deadlines are tight, so I need to focus on that for a few days.

Life Coaching
On Saturday/Sunday I will start a life coaching certification with Serenergise. Very excited as been talking about doing something like this for 2 years. It’s great to move from talk to action, and even better to hear today that they are the first course in the UK to be accredited by the International Coaching Federation.

Image Sources

Arranging a photo-shoot can be an expensive business, but websites look rather stark with no imagery (although I always believe the information must come first). Taking photos through e.g. Google’s image search generally means that you are using illegal images.

Microstock Photography
There are many different microstock photography sites, in which you can purchase Royalty-free (free from licence restrictions) images for as low as $0.20 per image if you sign up to a subscription plan. Pay as you go images are more expensive per image, and credits usually need to be used within a year, although the image is then yours to use. Check the small print as, for example, Shutterstock says that an image must be first-used within 6-months of download to prevent stockpiling.

Purchasing Credits
It is rare that you will find a site which will only let you buy a single image credit, so expect to buy several photos from each site if you sign up, usually with a credit card, sometimes with PayPal. All will let you sign up and add images to ‘lightboxes’ for free… in the hope that you will return and purchase them!

  • Bigstockphoto approx $20 for 10 images
  • Dreamstime approx. $20 for 22 images, but also provides free images
  • Fotolia from 57p – £3.99 for a single-image
  • iStockphoto starts at £9.00 for 10 credits, cost per credit decreases as more are purchased
  • Shutterstock £29 for 5 images, or by subscription
  • Snapvillage images from $1
  • Stock.xchng offers free images or refers you to Stock Expert where small web images are around $1 each. 
  • Photobucket mostly designed for the MySpace user, but has some gems tucked away through the search function

For historical (and very creative recent) images Getty Images comes highly recommended. To search for images created in a particular era search for e.g. “Image created 1940s”. Royalty free images start at £39 for web-use only.

You Tube
You Tube is of the course the ubiquitous video-posting site, so I’ve set up an account there and just uploaded one small video!

Just a thought on Social Networking
Finding the Tagged site slightly freaky in that people (well, blokes) vote ‘YES’, send messages and WINK at me (I guess it makes a change from pokes), especially in the 20 minutes after I’ve just checkeed the site!

Careers: Media Agencies/Academic Work

I’m hunting for either web content or lecturing work, and have identified a number of agencies specialising in media/web content work:

There are only a couple of places that I know of that Universities advertise in. Looking on the websites of specific universities you are interested in always works: