University LipDub: do it, do it, do it!

University LipDub has taken University campuses across Continental Europe, Brazil and Québec by storm over the last year!  Karine Joly and Mike Richwalsky mentioned it on Twitter the other day which got me looking at some of the examples.  One of the best – from l’Université du Québec à Montréal – has been featured on CNN and “LipDubs” [???] the Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling:

I wonder if there are there any Media or Performing Arts students out there who fancy giving this a go..?

Yammer: Corporate Twitter

We do go on about twitter don’t we?  For me its both social and an invaluable tool.  I can keep in touch with my family and friends and I can get answers to very specific technical questions that Google can only do its best to find.  Some people dislike twitter, but this might appeal more.  Many people just don’t get twitter, or are fearful of exposing personal details over the web.  Enter Yammer.

Yammer is twitter-for-business.  Its an enterprise application, which means that we can restrict users to those with an email address.  There are currently 40,000 companies who use Yammer and it took the top prize in 2008 at TechCrunch50 (so somebody likes it).  For Edge Hill, it might provide an easy way for academic staff and students to stay in touch, even if its only to inform of cancelled/re-arranged lectures, room changes etc.

Sign-up is easy,  register using your Edge Hill email address, and you’ll be added to the community.

Sign Up Screen
Sign Up Screen

I signed up over a year ago  but over time twitter exploded and I forgot about it, but a recent artlicle about the new desktop client re-awakened my interest.  Yammer now has clients for desktops, iPhone and Blackberry and a load of plugins for other stuff.  Existing twitter users can integrate the two and pass work related tweets by adding the #yam hashtag (twitter hashtags explained).

Integrating Yammer and Twitter
Integrating Yammer and Twitter

It’d be good to see signup from both existing twitter users and non-twitter users to see if we can build some applications which are Edge Hill specific.  At the very least we should be able to add a feed of posts alongside the discussion forum or even integrate them into the discussion.  All ideas welcome….

Desktop blogging with Windows Live Writer

Windows Live WriterFor most of the time we’ve had this blog I’ve used the online editor built into WordPress. I’ve dabbled with the WordPress iPhone application but it’s only good for posting the odd photo and not the in-depth posts readers expect.

I’d heard of tools that allowed you to draft posts offline but never really thought they’d match what WordPress were able to do themselves. A post on SitePoint led me to look again at some of the tools and Windows Live Writer from Microsoft actually seems rather good!

All the things that you can’t do through a web-based editor like cut and paste images Just Work. I’m going to try it for my next few posts to see how it goes!

PHP North West Conference 2009

PHPNW 2009Last year, Andy and I attended the first Annual PHP North West Conference.  Well it’s back for PHPNW2009 next month – Saturday 10th October with extra stuff happening Friday evening and Sunday morning – at the Manchester Conference Centre.  This year there will be a few of us attending from Web Services allowing us to cover more of the conference sessions in more detail.

I also found out a couple of weeks ago that my session proposal was accepted so I’ll be speaking about “Building an Anti-CMS (and how it’s changed our web team)”.  What exactly this consists of will be decided on a two hour train journey to London next week but the abstract obviously sounded good!

As with last year, they’re offering concession tickets to students so I recommend anyone studying Web Systems Development or other Computing courses try to head over to Manchester and check it out – there’s a load of well known speakers (and me!) covering everything from PHP frameworks (Zend, Yii and Symfony all covered) to tools to programming best practices.

If you’re at Edge Hill and are going let me know and I’ll catch you in Manchester!

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