Posts Tagged ‘iwmw’
Following a (re?) tweet from, err, someone, last Friday regarding searching Google for, err, something like fast track degree site:ac.uk, I stumbled across this (on a search for "cheap" site:.ac.uk)
(Spot the “privacy leak” on that screenshot…)
There then followed a series of IT baiting tweets trying to find inappropriate content across site:ac.uk and site:gov.uk websites;-)
PS you may also like to try searching for things like:
- "confidential" "internal use only" filetype:pdf
- overspend filetype:xls site:gov.uk
- intitle:viagra intitle:buy site:ac.uk
and so on…
Two or three weeks ago now, I spotted a post via UKOLN/IWMW’s Institutional Web Team Blog Aggregator from the University of Befordshire – It’s time to target our content! – which described how they had started using Google Ad manager to serve public information style banners to on-campus users.
I’d previously blogged a set of thoughts on a related matter (Contextual Content Delivery on Higher Ed Websites Using Ad Servers), but never really twigged the idea of using banner ads as signage, particularly in the context of using IP range as a proxy for location detection. (I think that campuses are often zoned so you can tell which physical part of the campus a network connection is coming in from, and so you can use this information to serve signage content on that basis.)
The use of affinity strings in personalisation cookies can also be used to further refine the sort of signage that is displayed to the user.
So I wonder – are any other HEIs using banner ads to serve signage to on-campus/local users? It’s something that I could imagine been woven into a “solution” that takes content from a poster server, such as the Posters at Lincoln service, for example, which hosts online versions of posters that get posted up around that university?
PS Just by the by, I notice from a tweet from @mikenolan that Edge Hill are making use of A/B testing on a website redesign…
For what it’s worth, I’ve posted a demo showing a couple of feed autodiscovery/autodetection tricks that let you autodiscover feeds in remote pages via a couple of online services: the Google feed api, and YQL (Feed Autodiscovery With YQL).
I’ve also added in a routine that uses the Google feed api to look up historical entries on an RSS feed. As soon as Google is alerted to a feed (presumably by anyone or any means), it starts cacheing entries. The historical entries API lets you grab up to 250 of the most recent entries from a feed, irrespective of how many items the feed itself currently contains…
PS Just by the by, I added a Scraperwiki view to my UK HEI autodiscovered feeds Scraperwiki. I added a little bit of logic to try to pull out feeds on a thematic basis too…
On the to do list is to create some OPML output views so you can easily subscribe to, or display, batches of the feeds in one go.
I guess I should also add a table to the scraper to start logging the number of feeds that are autodiscoverably out there over time?
It’s that time of year again when Brian’s banging on about IWMW, the Instituional[ised?] Web Managers’ Workshop, and hence that time of year again when he reminds me* about my UK HE Feed Autodiscovery app that trawls through various UK HEI home pages (the ones on .ac.uk, rather than the one you get by searching for a uni name in Google;-)
* that is, tells me the script is broken and, by implication, gently suggests that I should fix it…;-)
As ever, most universities don’t seem to be supporting autodiscoverable feeds (neither are many councils…), so here are a few thoughts about what feeds you might link to, and why…
- news feeds: the canonical example. News feeds can be used to pipe news around various university websites, and also syndicate content to any local press or hyperlocal news sites. If every UK HEI published a news feed that was autodiscoverable as such, it would be trivial to set up a UK universities aggregated newswire.
- research announcements: I was told that one reason for putting out press releases was simply to build up an institutional memory/archive of notable events. Many universities run research newsletters that remark on awarded grants. How about a “funded research” feed from each university detailing grant awards and other research funding. Again, at a national level, this could be aggregated to provide a research funding newswire, as well as contribtuing data to local archives of research funding success.
- jobs: if every UK HEI published a jobs/vacancies RSS feed, it would trivial to build an aggregator and let people roll their own versions of jobs.ac.uk.
- events: universities contribute a lot to local culture through public talks and exhibitions. Make it easy for the local press and hyperlocal news sites to syndicate this info, and add events to their own aggregated “what’s on” calendars. (And as well as RSS, give ‘em an iCal feed for your events.)
- recent submissions to local repository: provide a feed listing recent submissions to the local research output/paper repository (and/or maybe a feed of the most popular downloads); if local feeds are you thing, the library quite possibly makes things like recent acquisition feeds available…
- YouTube uploads: you might was well add an autodiscoverable feed to your university’s recent uploads on YouTube. If nothing else, it contributes an informal ownership link to the web for folk who care about things like that.
- your university Twitter feed: if you’ve got one. I noticed Glasgow Caledonian linked to their Twitter feed through an autodiscoverable link on their university homepage.
- tenders: there’s a whole load of work going on in gov at the moment regarding transparency as it relates to procurement and tendering. So why not get open with your procurement and tendering data, and increase the chances of SMEs finding out what you’re tendering around. If the applications have to go through a particular process, no problem: link to the appropriate landing page in each feed item.
- energy data: releasing this data may well become a requirement in the not so far off future, so why not get ahead of the game, e.g. as Lincoln are starting to do (Lincoln U energy data)? If everyone was publishing energy data feeds, I’m sure DevCSI hackday folk would quickly roll together something like the aggregating service built by college student @issyl0 out of a Rewired State hack that pulls together UK gov department energy data: GovSpark
- XCRI-CAP course marketing data feeds: JISC is giving away shed loads of cash to support this, so pull your finger out and get the thing published.
- location data: got a KML feed yet? If not, why not? e.g. Innovations in Campus Mapping
PS the backend of my RSS feed autodiscovery app (founded: 2008) is a Yahoo pipe. Just because, I thought I’d take half an hour out to try and build something related on Scraperwiki. The code is here: UK University Autodiscoverable RSS feeds. Please feel free to improve or, fork it, etc. University homepage URLs are identified by scraping a page on the Universities UK website, but I probably should use a feed from the JISC Monitoring Unit (e.g. getting UK University location/contact data).
PPS this could be handy for some folk – the code that runs the talks@cam events site: http://source.caret.cam.ac.uk/svn/projects/talks.cam/. (Thanks Laura:-) – does it do feeds nicely now?! Related: Keeping Up With Events, a quickly hacked app from my Arcadia project that (used to) aggregate Cambridge events feeds.)
How many times have you been to a meeting or a workshop within your institution where group discussions result in flip charts and posters that are used as part of a “reporting back” activity, and then are taken away at the end of the day for who knows what reason?
Way back when, in a real-time computing course I think, I was introduced to the notion of an “atomic transaction”. As Wikipedia succinctly puts it: “atomicity: a property of database transactions which are guaranteed to either completely occur, or have no effects.” Now I’m not saying that meetings completely occur and have no effects, but many of them do seem to be atomic in that what happens in the meeting stays in the meeting, to paraphrase another well known saying…
In a handful of recent posts, I’ve started thinking about how we can soften the boundaries of meetings so that they can become part of a wider – and ongoing – “conversation”, rather than being activities that are located in a very specific time and place (e.g. Amplified Meetings and Participatory Deliberation…, Using WriteToReply to Publish Committee Papers and Backchannel Side Effects – Personal Meeting Notes).
That is, there are now weveral ways where we can widen the availability of papers and discussions both in terms of time (extending the period of time over which participants can draw on and contribute back to meeting resources) and reach (i.e. making it possible for me people to contribute).
Examples of how we might do this include:
- annotating documents using commenting platforms such as WriteToReply and JISCPress;
- capturing backchannel comments and interlacing them with meeting reports or using them as video or audio captions.
Anyway, earlier today I spotted a great example of the use of a commenting platform to extend the life of a workshop via a tweet from @josswinn pointing to a new site at DMU – First meeting.
This document summarises the outcomes from discussions in the first DUALL engagement meeting on July 1st 2010 and offers a set of recommendations for the design of an ICT reporting tool. It is not detailed set of minutes but rather aims to present the broad overview of discussion. The full presentation from the meeting is available below. There was an extremely good representation from both the IESD and the Faculty of Technology. For the group discussion it was decided to break into two groups, based on departmental basis so as to allow for discussion on the detailed requirement of each area to be sub-metered.
This document has been published so that you can comment on the outcome of the meeting in detail. Each paragraph can be directly responded to and threaded discussions can occur around each paragraph. To leave a comment, simply click on the speech bubble next to the paragraph.
A few things to note:
- the document is published using the digress.it theme on a local installation of WordPress at DMU;
- the document is published on the public web – although it could equally have been published behind the DMU authentication layer (i.e. “on the intranet”);
- the documents are viewable by, and commentable on, by anyone (I think? But I think it’s also the case that comments could be limited to people who log on the blog, e.g. using DMU credentials or single sign-on… so I think that comments could be restricted to DMU folk if required?)
- this opening up of discussion particularly around the IT area should be heartwarming for Brian Kelly at least, who’s been trying to get institutional web managers to share via web team blogs (e.g. Revisiting Web Team Blogs); maybe they should also be sharing policy discussions…?!
- exploring the use of new ICT systems to discuss ICT is a Good Thing and an Appropriate Thing. For example, on WriteToReply, the Cabinet Office have been keen to publish several of their documents (e.g. Government ICT Strategy, Government Open Source Action Plan).
If any other institutions have started exploring the use of the digress.it theme and the WriteToReply approach to document publishing, please add a link below :-)