[ENDORSEMENT] Church Online: Social Media and Church Online: Websites, by @ltreneer

Back in October 2014, I ran a workshop for CPO, encouraging staff to think about how they could use digital within their work. Last year I was pleased to be sent drafts of these books that Laura Treneer was working on, have a few (e-mail) chats about the content, and then to say:

Balanced, supportive, encouraging, practical, with an emphasis on the online/offline mix. A total thumbs up!

I am liking the colourful covers, and the books are so short and focused, it should help even the skeptics get on board (buy here).

There’s more content being developed on CPO toolkit site, where I was very chuffed to see this quote on my book:


University Websites?

Do universities need to work harder on their websites?

Universities’ messages were clear and lacked jargon, but they were often unfocused and hard to find, said Jim Bodoh, a brand consultant at Radley Yeldar who led the study.

Institutions also did little to explain what they offer or substantiate their claims, he added.

“The best universities are used to having a queue of students lining up to be on their courses, so the motivation isn’t there to tell a particularly compelling story,” said Mr Bodoh, who has worked with the academy throughout his career.

“If you were to look at the amount of effort and resources that go into the whole area of marketing by universities, it would probably roughly be inversely proportional to their position in the ‘pecking order’. Some simply have to try harder.”

Read full story.

Academic Digital

Memory Failure Detected @timeshighered

Memory ( coalition of the willing is battling legal, logistical and technical obstacles to archive the riches of the mercurial World Wide Web for the benefit of future scholars. Zoë Corbyn reports

It is 2031 and a researcher wants to study what London’s bloggers were saying about the riots taking place in their city in 2011. Many of the relevant websites have long since disappeared, so she turns to the archives to find out what has been preserved. But she comes up against a brick wall: much of the material was never stored or has been only partially archived. It will be impossible to get the full picture.

This scenario highlights an important issue for future research – and one that has received scant attention. How can the massive number of websites on the internet – which exist for just 100 days on average before being changed or deleted – be safeguarded for future scholars to explore?

The extent to which content disappears without trace from the web is worrying, says Kath Woodward, head of the department of sociology at The Open University and a participant in the British Library’s Researchers and the UK Web Archive project, which aims to involve researchers in building special collections.

Not enough academics, she believes, are engaging with the topic. “We are taking it for granted that such material will be there, but we need to be attentive. We have a responsibility to future generations of researchers.”

Read full story, and note that the British Library’s giving it a go! In many ways this is a shift, but in others a continuity of issues that historians have battled with for years (e.g. the National Archives only archives about 3% of government papers, so we’ll never get the full story). See also Ann Mroz’s take.


Deciphering the Code (@timeshighered)

“This week’s A-level results may lead to the keenest clearing rush yet. But do universities’ websites tell prospective students what they need to know, Hannah Fearn asks a panel of sixth-formers.

Most university websites don’t show you information you want to know, they just show you the information that they want you to know. That’s quite stupid really.”

The comment, from a pupil at Didcot Sixth Form in Oxfordshire, is damning but representative. When Times Higher Education asked UK sixth-formers what they thought of university websites, the message was clear: applicants want to hear less from universities themselves, and much more from their students.

Gone are the days when a clear explanation of an undergraduate curriculum and an online prospectus would be enough to elicit an application. Today, prospective students going through the clearing process will want a “warts and all” guide to the university before they make a decision.”

Read full story in the Times Higher Ed. When I get my paper copy, be interesting to see where Winchester’s new site comes, it’s not in the top or the bottom according to the list online. (Winchester’s new Twitter account, and new video on Facebook group… there’s also this page which appears to belong to students!).

Update: Nope, we’re not in the list either way… and there’s another short story in a similar vein.


MyDesigna (2001-2009)

My DesignaAs I have built up my web design skills, I thought it was worth building up a portfolio of work, attracting attention from those who will be interested in my skills, particularly my content writing and information architecture skills, once the the PhD was completed.I wanted something contemporary and clean looking, whilst providing useful information.

  • The portfolio section of the site is the key section of the site, explaining the rationale for each of the sites.
  • Quite a lot of resources content on the site overlaps with the /designproject site.
  • I am more interested in the research side (finding and structuring information), and writing content, than programming the site.
  • In future I will actively search for free software, image and other sites to recommend.
  • Hosted by The URL also redirects to this site.