Category Archives: About us

Senior Web Designer

Hot on the heels of our web applications developer vacancy we’re also recruiting a senior web designer.

Over the last twelve months we’ve completely redesigned our website and moved to using WordPress to manage Faculty and Department websites but there’s still more to do and this post will be responsible for managing the design aspects of projects undertaken by Web Services.

The person specification has the details but please drop me an email if you’d like an informal chat.

 

Web Applications Developer

We’re currently recruiting a web applications developer. The post will join the web development side of Web Services working on a variety of systems that power the Edge Hill website and portal.

The majority of code we write is PHP, often using the Symfony web framework for bespoke developments or WordPress as the basis of lightweight content management for departmental websites.

The deadline is 17 February 27 February but if you would like an informal chat email me direct.

Web Services Top Ten of 2010

At the end of the year it’s always nice to look back at some of the things we’ve done and this year we’ll do it by looking back at the top ten blog posts from the year.

  1. Confluence Design Templates
    One of last year’s 25 days posts which has had over 1000 views.
  2. Higher Education homepages in the snow
    This last week isn’t the only snow we’ve had this year and in January I had a look at what various universities were doing.
  3. Chill out at Edge Hill
    Some nice photos from the snow.
  4. ERROR 2013 (HY000): Lost connection to MySQL server during query
  5. Google Street View
  6. Street View trike on campus
  7. The imagery that Google took still isn’t live but hopefully it will be online soon.
  8. How to skin a wiki
  9. Google Apps Mail
  10. data.ac.uk
    As I mentioned earlier this month, 2010 was a big year for open data and we’ll see in the next year how it pans out.
  11. 10 PRINT “Hello World”; 20 GOTO 10

The next 12 months will see some big changes to the website and we’ll be keeping everyone up to date through the Web Services blog, but first a few days’ break!

No number today because as I write the Flickr search engine is down!

We’re back, ready for Round Two!

Number OneA year ago the Web Services team stared blogging every day during Advent and the pain of that followed by blogging every day for 125 days apparently hasn’t put me off trying it again.

I have no idea where we’ll go with it but last year we covered everything from open data to environmental issues. I’ve got a few ideas for things to blog about but I’ll be writing fewer posts this month so there should be a bit more variety.

So subscribe to the feed or sign up keep an eye on GO for new posts and let us have your feedback in the comments!

Higher Education homepages in the snow

Over the last couple of days there’s been a bit of snow around the country and I’ve been keeping our homepage up to date. Yesterday morning in between making changes I did a quick scan around some websites to take screenshots of their homepages. It’s interesting to see the different approaches which often didn’t correspond to the severity – some had big banners saying, effectively, “we’re open!” while others had a standard news announcing closure of campus well below the fold.

I’ve uploaded the screenshots to my Flickr stream and highlighted the relevant areas or watch the slideshow below:

Our approach was to insert an additional notification area above the main feature. I think it’s obvious enough to be seen and appreciated as a temporary announcement while not being confused with, or detracting from, the main feature area. We also had announcements on the GO news area and posted updates to the Edge Hill Twitter account and Facebook “Fan” page

Brian Kelly posted this morning about his use of Twitter yesterday to find out that the University of Bath was closed for the day and of course we already know they’ve had experience of doing this before. On the Edge Hill account, I tried to blend news announcements with interesting things like a link to Andy’s photos but it’s hard to say how well used it was – we certainly added a few (real) followers to the account over the last 48 hours.

Top 10 of 2009

It’s that time of year where you have to post an annual wrap-up of the previous year’s posts.

10. Google Apps Mail – POP/IMAP/iPhone

Just sneaking into the top ten is Steve’s introduction to some of the ways to access email for users of the new Google powered email.

9. New Departmental Sites

Sam introduces a summer’s worth of hard work (not so much from me – I was driving across America!)

8. Create a better search engine than Google

A post from late 2008 writing up a presentation I gave at BarCamp Liverpool and repeated at IWMW 2009.

7. Twouble with Twitters

An attempt to balance out #2 in the list by taking a sideswipe at those who are maybe a little too addicted :)

6. Argleton goes national!

A write up of some of the early coverage of the Argleton meme.

5. Rise of the Mega Menu

Coming soon to a website or portal near you – still a few things to iron out but we hope you’ll like what we do.

4. Roy Bayfield at the TV advert filming

Live on the set of the forthcoming TV advert and testing out the new Flip Camera we’ve got.

3. Browser stats

Everyone loves web stats, okay maybe it’s just me! Six months on and Internet Explorer has dropped to 76.9%, Firefox down a little to 13.5%, Opera has held steady while Webkit-based browsers, Safari and Chrome, have jumped to 5.6% and 3.6% respectively.  Breaking down IE shows IE6 use continues to fall (down to under 11%) while IE8 usage has trebled.  There’s hope for a standards-based-browser future yet!

2. What should @edgehill do on Twitter?

Little did I know when I wrote this post that it would unleash such a debate!  Ironically we’ve just had the 2’ of snow that benefitted Bath’s uptake so we’ll see whether usage grows!

1. Google Renames Village

And in at #1 is a little post I fired out about a typo on a map :)

Tags

As well as individual posts, a number of tag pages that rank pretty highly including “symfony”, “argleton”, “google maps”, “twiterdeck” and “facebook”.

Welcome to 25 days of blogging

Regular readers of the Web Services blog may have noted that post frequency is a little biased towards me… well over the next 25 days, more of us will be blogging about a variety of topics in the run up to the Christmas break.

From my point of view this is a purely selfish measure for a couple of reasons.  Firstly it takes the pressure off me to write posts.  Secondly, for the last couple of years my annual online advent calendar has failed due to lack of motivation – this will solve that by making it everyone’s problem!

So what are we going to cover in the next few weeks?  Well, we don’t know yet as not everything is written but it will probably be like a year’s worth of blog posts compressed into under a month!  Hopefully we’ll cover updates on some of our current projects, future plans, things we’ve been looking at and maybe a few things just for fun.

Much of what we write will be scheduled, so don’t feel sorry us – no one will be logging in on Christmas day to update the blog, but that also means we may not react to comments as quickly as normal.

If you’ve got any ideas for things you’d like to hear about or suggestions for fun and festive things we can post, leave a comment, or if you don’t want to spoil the surprise for others, drop us an email at webteam@edgehill.ac.uk. We may also be joined by some special guest bloggers from outside Web Services, but you’ll have to wait to find out who!

Finally, if you’re unsure whether it’s Christmas yet, check out www.isitchristmas.com – bah, humbug ;)

Happy 2nd Birthday Web Services Blog

Happy Birthday

Today is the second birthday of the Web Services blog! Is it really a year since the last birthday and two years since Alison’s first post?!  Yes, it really is.

The frequency of posts has dropped off in the last year – we’ve crept up to 201 posts – but we’ve still covered a lot. Here’s a few of the bigger topics:

So a busy year, and that barely compares to what’s coming up.  We’re in the middle of redeveloping Faculty and Department websites, starting with the Department of Magic.  In the last few months we have given GO a facelift, ready for new features and integration of the staff intranet.

Interesting times ahead, so keep reading for the next year in the life of the Web Services blog.

IWMW 2008 – a 3ish day blur

For the last few days, I’ve had the pleasure to attend the Institutional Web Management Workshop in Aberdeen with Mike, Sam and Steve. Aside from registration, the event seemed to just fly by, so until I can focus on specific events, here’s a few, hazy, memories.

The 5 Best Things

  1. Ewan McIntosh‘s Unleashing the Tribe keynote speech about social media.
  2. Mike Ellis‘s grounding in thinking about, approaching and doing mashups mostly using Yahoo Pipes.
  3. Meeting such a nice, friendly bunch of people who care about what they do.
  4. The “High Street” on which sits the Machar Bar and the Auld Toon Cafe which sells the most wondeful minced beef pies and chelsea buns you ever tasted.
  5. Experiencing barcamp (if only on a small scale) for the first time, and enjoying every minute of it.

The 5 Worst Things (nothing was really bad)

  1. Stalag luft Hillhead
  2. The drive.
  3. It took me three months to lose about 4 kilos, it took me 3 days, to find them again.
  4. Listening to Alison’s talk and regretting not having worked for her for very long.
  5. As good as the song was, its an absolute travesty that the live train times application from Dawn Petherick, Web Services Manager, University of Birmingham didn’t win first prize in the innovation competition (and I told her so too).

5 (nice) surprisesSunny

  1. Sunshine (even though we were inside most of the time).
  2. Learning doric, the official (unstoppable) language of Aberdeen, even though I never met anyone who spoke it.
  3. I can still run 5 miles+, even with a bit of a hangover….just.
  4. Edge Hill’s events timeline might be considered a “mashup” by some.
  5. Discovering I know a little more than I sometimes give myself credit for.

I know that Mike was threatening to expose the lack of institutional blogging, so I hereby pledge to blog … a bit more than I used to, well every little helps…

Happy Birthday Web Services blog!

Today, exactly a year has passed since Alison’s first post on the Edge Hill University Web Services blog:

As we’ve spent the last couple of years talking about blogs, showing people how to use them and advocating their usefulness we thought it was about time we started our own!

It’s been a busy year with developments on GO last summer, and most recently a brand new design for the corporate website.

There have been changes in the team with Alison moving to the University of Bath in January (and they’ve recently started blogging too), Andy Davies starting in November last year and yesterday Steve Daniels joined us to work with the Faculty of Health on an extranet project.

We said from the start that we’d try to cover a wide variety of subjects and just looking at the tag cloud shows some of the key issues we’ve considered over the last year. From social networking to symfony, we’ve tried to balance some fairly techie topics with things that might be more broadly interesting – let us know how you think we’re doing and what you’d like to see in future.

Everyone likes statistics, so I’ve been digging and come up with a few numbers:

  • 141 posts
  • Over 10,000 comments
  • 276 non-spam comments – thanks Akismet!
  • Over 33,000 page views
  • 60+ subscribers to our feed

Thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to read and comment here – I hope you’ve found our blog useful and interesting and it’s great to get feedback.

Creative Commons Licence by robokowOne final thing… this entry is my one hundredth post – you’d think I’d planned it – so Happy Birthday blog, and here’s to the next twelve months and 100 posts!