Tag Archives: conference

SOLSTICE Conference 2010

Today was my fourth (2007, 2008/p2, 2009) SOLSTICE conference held here at Edge Hill University, this time in the Faculty of Health building (also the home to SOLSTICE itself).

Once again this year I live-tweeted the conference using my @MikeNolanLive account which seemed quite successful – certainly avoided dozens of people unfollowing me!  As with last year I’ll do a brief summary of each of the sessions I attended.

Professor Gilly Salmon: Pathways to Learning Futures

Gilly Salmon

Good start to the conference with Gilly introducing some of the experiences the University of Leicester have had with promoting and embedding technologies. Of particular interest is the Media Zoo and its presence online, in the real world, in second life and for students:

Media Zoo

It’s an interesting concept (although I think some of their acronyms are a little forced because of it – PANTHER, CALF, DUCKLING, SWIFT…) and has made them, through this matrix, consider a broader range of technical levels and audiences:

University of Leicester: Learning Innovation Strategy

Paul Lowe: OPEN-i – Building a Virtual Community of Practice for Photojournalism

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Paul’s fast-paced talk was a great blend of some of the background behind Communities of Practice combined with some details of what they’ve created around photojournalism courses.  They have used Ning as the basis of the community combined with Wimba for live seminars which are recorded and made available for later viewing.

It was interesting that they have had less success with asynchronous communication tools like forums with the suggestion that they were already served well elsewhere and people liked the real-time content they offered.

Partnering with other organisations has been successful in building critical mass around events.  Academics acting as the “critical friend” to the sector has also been well received with them offering something and not just being seen to use professionals for their free experience.

Jim Turner: Review on LJMU Innovative and Technologically Enhanced Learning Spaces

Jim Turner: Review on LJMU Innovative and Technologically Enhanced Learning Spaces

First of two sessions by Jim today. This one was a bit of a whistle-stop tour of different types of learning space at LJMU. Sometimes at Edge Hill it seems space is such a premium that it’s not possible to innovate as much as we could or should.

Shirley Hunter-Barnett: Embedded Audio Feedback

Shirley Hunter-Barnett: Embedded Audio Feedback

Building on research from last year, Shirley is looking at whether the use of audio feedback can help make students feel less isolated.  Results appeared a bit inconclusive and an increasing resistance from tutors to use audio feedback. Reasons given included worries about giving one student someone else’s feedback, concern about the extra time it takes and not liking the sound of their voice.

Jim Turner: Stitching the Web Together with Yahoo! Pipes

Jim Turner: Stitching the Web Together with Yahoo! Pipes

After lunch and skipping back to the office to work on a few things (which unfortunately meant I missed Peter Hartley’s keynote) I went down to the SOLSTICE Red Room for Jim’s second session of the day.

I must admit I’ve heard everything he said before having attended several of Tony Hirst’s talks but what I found very useful was the beginner’s approach and I’d be more comfortable now telling someone else how to get started with Pipes through some basic examples.

Julie Swain and Sue Atkinson: “Meeting Employers’ Needs”

Sue Atkinson and Julie Swain from Plymouth talk ePortfolios

I sometimes struggle to really get electronic portfolios and how they’re any more than just a website where you put stuff but what they’re doing with the University of Plymouth and Colleges seems to be well received by students and employers. They’re using PebblePad but there was some discussion afterwards about alternative products.

Dr Mary Dean: Take hundreds of eDocuments Wherever You Go

Forgot to take a photo of this session but readers at Edge Hill can go and see Mary in person!

Mary gave a summary of the initial progress on Edge Hill’s JISC funded project looking into the use of eReaders for university committees. They are looking at two meetings the members of which are supplied with Sony Touch eReaders that can be loaded with PDFs of the papers.

Some challenges have been found in the way people prepare for meetings and how tables, diagrams and images in PDFs appear on the smaller screen.

I have one concern with these kinds of projects which time didn’t allow me to raise during the session and that’s one that was made at the Eduserv Symposium last month.  There, John Traxler said something along the lines of:

We run the risk of proving that spending money on education improves education.

In this context, supplying devices to groups of people should, with the right support, enable them to do things more efficiently but that simply doesn’t scale.  Without significant investment in hardware and training it isn’t possible to turn every meeting held in the University into a (near) paperless one.  Perhaps, as someone in the session was suggesting, we should be looking at how we can better enable individuals to use the devices they already own or will be buying in the next six to twelve months for university work.

Summary

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Overall another good conference. The backchannel had a similar level of engagement to last year and you can see more about it over on Twapper Keeper and Summarizr.  I managed to improve my workflow somewhat by using an Eye-Fi card in my camera to automagically upload photos to Flickr from where I could tweet them straight out.  I’ve tagged all my photos with solstice2010 so you should be able to see them alongside others from the conference.

No ducklings this year but maybe these two are some of the ones I spotted a year ago:

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PHPNW09 Round Up

Last weekend Janeth, Andy and Simon (from Business Systems Solutions) headed over to Manchester Conference Centre for the second Annual PHP North West Conference. Organised by volunteers from the PHPNW user group it has a great community feel to it yet has a great reputation.

A few thoughts about some of the sessions I attended…

The Uncertainty Principle – Kelvin Henney

Nice start to the conference and a well presented talk.  Main thing I picked up was that when presented with a choice you may not have to make a decision immediately.

Passing the Joel Test in the PHP world – Lorna Mitchell

Lorna Mitchell’s talk looked at how relevant the Joel Test is to PHP development.  We have some way to go before we pass completely and it’s something I’ll be looking at over the next few weeks.

Tools and Talent – Rowan Merewood

Plusnet’s Rowan Merewood gave a really good presentation about how they go about developing and deploying new tools.  I was a little preoccupied finishing my own talk so I’ll be interested to take another look at the video.

Making your life easier: Xdebug – Derick Rethans

I’ve been aware of Xdebug for a long time, and I may have even tried it out but this talk showed some of the nice ways it can be used.  Probably worth us having another look at deploying it on our development server.

Building an Anti-CMS – Michael Nolan

That’ll be me!  Think it went okay – a few suggestions for improvements on joind.in but it could have gone much worse!  You can see a slidecast of the talk on another post.

Integrating Zend Framework and symfony – Stefan Koopmanschap

Skoop’s talk covered how Zend and Symfony can be used together.  We actually already do this – our search engine is powered by Zend Lucene – but there’s probably more components we can use, and some of the new Symfony components look like they have potential.

Everything you wanted to know about UTF-8 – Juliette Reinders Folmer

Maybe a little too detailed for 10am on a Sunday morning, but interesting to see how difficult this problem is to solve.

Intro to OOP with PHP – Rick Ogden

Pretty basic introduction to OOP but we often forget that not everyone learns this stuff so it was good to see.

PHP 5.3 – Hot or Not? – Sara Golemon

If PHP 4’s unwillingness to die is anything to go by then 5.3 may take a while to adopt widely. There’s some nice features though and if they’re required for a future version of symfony then it’s well worth us starting to make use of them.

jQuery – Michael Heap

We use jQuery pretty extensively as part of GO and our corporate website so I understood most of the code demonstrated but it was nice to see how to create plugins.

That’s all for my quick round up of PHP North West 2009.  Overall a very good event.  Thanks must go to Jeremy, his team at Solution Perspective Media and Lorna Mitchell, without whom the conference wouldn’t happen.

Building an Anti-CMS

At last weekend’s PHP North West Conference I delivered a talk titled Building an Anti-CMS (and how it’s changed our web team).  Feedback has generally been pretty positive so I thought I’d open it up to a bit of constructive criticism from inside the sector (because every web team reads our blog, right?!).

Video from the talk itself is due out within the next month but I re-recorded some audio to turn it into a slidecast to make it a bit more useful:

I’ve given a number of talks before at Edge Hill, at BarCamps and at IWMW but for PHPNW I’ve tried to further develop my style of presentation. Over the last 6 weeks I’ve watched quite a few “Lessig style” talks – making use of lots of short sentences and pictures and not being afraid to have nothing on the screen.

It leads to a massive slidedeck – 86 slides for 13 minutes – and there’s far less room to ad lib but it gets away from some of the things that annoy me about regular death by powerpoint. I’ll let you make up your own mind whether it’s worked!

SOLSTICE Conference 2009

Last Thursday was SOLSTICE’s fourth – and my third – Annual Conference, held here in Edge Hill University’s Faculty of Education.  Following last year’s epic failure at live blogging, this year I was determined to do things right.

Live blogging the event means I don’t have to write up anything – you can just read the transcript, right? Unfortunately not.  While all the twittering gives you a nice insight into the event, 140 characters isn’t enough to draw meaningful conclusions from  the topics discussed, so I’ll have to give some follow up.  I’ll cover a little about each of the sessions I attended followed by some more general thoughts about the event and covering it live online.

The Impact of Learner Experience Research Dr Rhona Sharpe, Oxford Brookes University

First keynote from Rhona was about researching the learner experience. Very interesting talk including a couple of video clips of students. Two really interesting points were the methods of evaluating learner experiences – things like talking walls, audio logs and telephone interviewing – and the access enablers and barriers – things like single sign on and restrictions on access to social networks. We do pretty well for some of these, but always more work to do.

The Use of Social Networking Sites: two practical examples, Anthony Wall, University of Ulster

Our Hi applicant website has been running for over two years now and I think it’s been pretty successful. When it launched it was pretty unique in the UK but the growth of social networks within universities has led others to look at what they offer. The University of Ulster have adopted third party social networks – in this case Bebo – to engage students before they come to university. The two examples were at a department level which meant fewer users but I imagine it’s easier to provide targeted information. There was an 11-32% engagement level.

One of the more surprising comments from Anthony was that students aren’t interested in “talking heads” videos. This has been something we’ve been keen to do more of on our corporate website, and something I think prospective students get a lot out of. My suspicion is that Ulster’s social networks were aimed at people at a different point in the application cycle and that since they’ve already applied they are less interested in the “sales pitch” type videos that are better sited along side course information.

The session ended with a couple of predictions for the future: Mobile and real Networking. I think both are correct – an increasing amount of casual browsing of sites like Facebook is happening on mobile phones – I know of many people who mainly use the mobile versions – and better quality mobile browsers combined with affordable data packages means this is a real growth area.

Reflections on Using the Blackboard E-portfolio, Alex Spiers, Liverpool John Moores University

Standing room only for the chaired panel session I attended. Arriving late, I was stood at the front to one side trying not to be noticed while blogging and taking the odd photo.

ePortfolios “take the CV into the modern era”, apparently. They’re not something I’ve had too much to do with but I can see their potential. Liverpool John Moores are using the one built into Blackboard. Users had a range of experience levels but it was generally found to be easy to use. Unsurprisingly, when marks are awarded, uptake is increased.

Loaded question of the day came from Phil Christopher:

PC: Have you seen Blackboard 9?
AS: Yes.
PC: Does the word “clunky” still apply?
AS: It’s no Facebook, but it’s pretty slick.

From the little I’ve seen of BB9/NG, it’s much improved but it still wouldn’t hurt for Blackboard to hire a few more UI designers!

Higher Education Study Skills – Delivering and supporting HE Study Skills across a dispersed partnership, Julie Swain, Claire Gray, University of Plymouth & Hazel English, City of Bristol College

Interesting and quite different setup compared to most HEIs. They’re delivering information through Sharepoint to a number of partner colleges. Staff development for remote sites is increasingly through the VLE or video conferencing.

Bending the Blend: re-creating good practice in an online induction, Denise Turner & Sue Myer, University of Teesside

Final talk in the chaired panel session gave me another quote likely-to-get-me-into-trouble:

Librarians are not natural risk takers 😉

A few bullet points taken from my Twitter feed:

  • Visual context is important, e.g. compare ebooks to a physical library
  • Use a tripod when recording video
  • Camtasia for online induction materials
  • Contemplated using Netvibes but decided against it

We’ve Spent Too Much Money To Go Back Now Professor Tara Brabazon, University of Brighton

Tara BrabazonI went to Tara Brabazon’s session at the CASE Europe Annual Conference last year so I had an idea what to expect (don’t sit at the front; don’t make eye contact!) and looking through the tweets, her talk was for many the highlight of the conference. The OHP was out and the visualizer was in – there was even ghetto blaster for pumping out some tunes. The topic of the keynote was about student literacy.

With biting attacks on Marc Prensky’s digital immigrant/digital native terms, the Daily Mail, Baroness Greenfield (oh dear, my Dad will be disappointed!) and of course Wikipedia, I can’t really do the talk justice so I hope that video will be made available soon.

Connecting Transitions and Independent Learning: an evaluation of read/write web approach, Dr Richard Hall, De Montfort University

For me, a session of two halves with Richard first setting a series of questions to discuss in groups. A little too academic-focused for me, or maybe I was just slow understanding what was being asked for. Picked up during the second half of the session with some Richard explaining some of the experiences of peer mentoring at De Montfort.

Learning 2.0@JMU, Leo Appleton & Alex Spiers, Liverpool John Moores University

photoMy second session from Alex Spiers of the day, this time joined by Leo Appleton (formerly of this Parish) to talk about introducing a range of Web 2.0 sites and services to Learning Services staff. Staff were split into groups and set tasks through the VLE over a period of 12 weeks. The aim was to get staff up to speed to allow them to support students in using the VLE and other technologies they might encounter.

Lots of Common Craft videos were used to demonstrate principles of services such as blogs, social networks and Delicious social bookmarks. Range of feedback from “I’m not joining moron Facebook” and “I can’t see what this has got to do with my job” to “great opportunity – wouldn’t have learned it otherwise”.

To finish off there was a battle of the Web 2.0 geeks with myself, AM_Doherty and one other person lasting until the last question – “are you active in Second Life” – I’m glad I got knocked out at that point!

Close facilitated by Professor Peter Hartley, University of Bradford

A short summary session covering some of the key topics discussed during the conference finished things off. I suspect Peter was on commission for Flip Cameras – he seemed quite taken to them (I really must put an order in for one).

Finished off with a vote for what topics should be covered in the next conference. Mobile technologies, student use of technology and the changing role of lecturers came high.

Conclusions

A few final points from me before I call time on SOLSTICE 2009. Live tweeting was fun and gets easier the more you practice. I used Twitterfall to monitor tweets from other people using the #solstice2009 hashtag. This is really really easy to follow in one browser tab and because it automatically refreshes you don’t need to pay too much attention to it. It would also have been nice to have some screens up showing live tweets, either in the lecture theatre, or possible in the reception or Water’s Edge. I used my dedicated @MikeNolanLive account for posts to keep it away from my main account. I also had the online conference schedule loaded up so that I could copy and paste the session titles into Twitter.

Twitter seemed to work well as a backchannel. Over 30 people tweeted using #solstice2009 throughout the conference – some more than others – including a few that didn’t attend IRL. Twitter Search appeared to fail for about an hour between 12:40 and 13:59 where messages weren’t being indexed and still aren’t available through search. People were tweeting however and messages are available through individual users’ timelines. There’s also the question of preserving tweets long term as Twitter Search only makes messages available for a month or so (anyone know exact details of this – some seem to say you can search back further using the API).

So inspired by Tony Hirst, I’ve munged tweets into a spreadsheet on Google Docs. I’ve attempted to add in which session each tweet relates to. If you know any that are missing, contact me and I’ll give you edit access. It would also be nice to add in missing messages from lunchtime.

One possible use for this data is to combine timestamped tweets with audio/video streams to subtitle a talk with the live tweets. Probably not something I’ve got the time to do but let me know if you try it!

I took photos using two cameras – high(er) quality pics using my digital SLR and some using my iPhone for direct upload to Twitpic. I’ve subsequently uploaded all my photos to Flickr and tagged them solstice2009. No one else has yet uploaded photos from the conference to Flickr, but there are some from another “solstice2009”!

That’s all for this time. I’ll leave you with a picture of some ducklings. See you next year!

Ducklings

On the way to Brighton

As I write this I’m sat on a Cross Country train service to Brighton for the CASE Europe Annual Conference. To take the blurb from the back of the conference flier:

CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) is an international network of professionals leading the advancement of education. Founded in 1974, it has grown to include over 3,400 member institutions (almost 23,000 individuals) in over 60 countries.

Advancement of education?! That means marketing, alumni relations, fundraising and communications. Their annual European conference will this year be attended by over 900 people from across the UK and beyond. There’s eight of us from Edge Hill attending – seven from Corporate Marketing and myself. And why should I be interested in attending a marketing conference? Well more than ever before, online is a key part of the delivery of messages to the full range of stakeholders.

With so many conference delegates, it would be impossible to cater for everyone in one group so it’s split into four tracks – alumni, communications, fundraising and marketing. Our very own Mister Roy Bayfield is co-chairing the marketing track.

[Just arrived at Birmingham New Street and the train is now FULL!]

Most of the sessions are delivered within these four tracks so there is a massive amount of choice. Details of the sessions were sent out in advance to gauge estimated numbers and a few caught my eye. After missing her at IWMW, Helen Aspell from the University of Southampton will be talking about developing a brand-focused digital strategy and will be joined by the chaps from Precedent, no doubt to explain their diagrams! Roy Bayfield will be taking the stage with Amanda Gregory (Heist) and Emma Leech (MMU) for a session titled creating and delivering award winning projects and campaigns.

The programme seems to be packed from early until late, Wednesday and Thursday kicking off with Breakfast Roundtables:

This is a great opportunity to interact with like-minded colleagues in a small and informal setting. Many colleagues at past conferences have confirmed that a moderator, a topic, a table of ten and a special breakfast create one of the most special moments of the conference.

All sounds very intriguing! At the other end of the day, right at the end of the conference, Edge Hill will be presented with the CASE Circle of Excellence Gold Award, won for the Hi applicant community.

It’s becoming common now for conferences to have some online presence and CEAC is no exception. They are trialling the use of a service called Viadeo to provide an online community. Delegates were invited in advance to sign up and join a group CEAC. They invited feedback about the system so here goes! My initial impressions aren’t positive. Viadeo appears like it’s trying to be like LinkedIn but it’s not particularly easy to use (and that’s saying something – LinkedIn isn’t vey good either!). The community aspects are interesting but provide little in the way of identifying people – members of the CASE group are presented in one long list, making finding people difficult. I’ve not given up on Viadeo yet though – I’ll keep checking up on it and report back further.

Of more interest to me has been how Twitter is being used. While I might have expected to be following a number of people attending techie conferences, it surprised me a little to find early adopters amongst CEAC delegates. I’m not sure why this is, and it’s probably a little judgemental of me, but it’ll be interesting to meet in person a number of people who I’ve only ever talked to online (and mostly in 140 characters or less!). The dropping of SMS delivery of messages is disappointing, but you can follow discussions using the hashtag #ceac08 (as decided by a Twitter conversation a couple of months ago between myself, Mister Roy and Ellie Lovell).

On the subject of internet access, I’m disappointed to find that there is no conference-provided wireless access. While there will be an “internet cafe” available on Wednesday and Thursday, the only wifi in the venue is provided by the Hilton and costs £15 per day! I have a 3G card for my main laptop so I’ll be able to get online but it probably means I’ll be one of the few people attempting to live blog the conference, and if I get given the evils for tying to type while people are speaking then I might not bother!

So if you don’t hear from me for the next few days, fear not, there will be a full report after the conference and you can always follow my tweets.

Update: I was clearly bored on the train journey and have written two more blog posts which I’ve scheduled for the next couple of days!

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…

EeePC one; Michael nil

My attempt yesterday to semi-live blog was scuppered by an obscure problem with my laptop so you’ll have to survive with my four-day-old memories of the conference!

Picking up from where I left off – after welcomes from Mark Flinn and Alison Mackenzie and an introduction from Mark Schofield we went into the first keynote talk.

Les Watson from the Glasgow Caledonian University began:

There is, as yet, no paradigm for the 21st Century University

Saltire Centre - Norma Desmond - Creative Commons LicenceThe talk built up to what they’re doing at the Saltire Centre, an impressive learning space by the look of the photos and a million miles away from what I had at my University.

I’m not going to go over everything in the talk – you can find a copy of the slides from a very similar presentation online – but I’ll do my brain dump here:

  • Be unhappy (with the way things are)
  • The truly successful businessman is essentially a dissenter
  • Michael Wesch’s “If these walls could talk” (in case you’ve not seen it already)
  • Decreasing creativity with age. 2% at 25
  • Barcodes

My first breakout session was “How can we make our online content interesting?” by Edge Hill’s Lindsey Martin and Mark Roche, now at MMU talking about how they structured an online module to make the content as engaging as possible. The challenges are similar to those we have when designing for public facing websites – how to put across a lot of information in a way that people can understand and absorb when reading online. A lot of effort is spent editing text, choosing photos and coming up with innovative ways of navigating content for the web, and we’re not there yet. We can probably learn from the way teaching resources are provided and maybe some of the techniques we try to promote to staff with a responsibility for supplying content for the corporate site can also be applied to course content.

After the break was the chaired session – three presentations with a linked topic, in my case “embedding eLearning”

Helen Bell and Rachel Bury (of this Parish) presented the steps being taken here towards a baseline entitlement for the VLE. The exact baseline varies slightly between faculties but by September every first year undergraduate starting at Edge Hill will have access to some core information through Blackboard.

Ryan Bird from the University of Reading gave details of their Pathfnder project.

Third session was Peter Reed (Edge Hill University) and Richard Hall (De Montfort University) talking about their Pathfinder projects. Both gave an interesting insight into the work they’re doing. Lawrie Phipps asked a question about whether the work being done at DMU could be seen as an exit strategy for their VLE. DMU’s approach seems to be more about upskilling staff to allow them to make better use of all technologies whether they be part of an institutional VLE or third party web applications.

Final part of the day for me (before sneaking back to the office) was the second keynote from Eric Hamilton. I attended his workshop last year and some of the same issues were raised then but it was good to see some of the ideas expressed in a new way. The concept of sightlines in a teaching setting always interests me, as does the baseball model of statistics – give everything to the user and let them figure out what they want.

I’m going to leave it at that for now – if you’ve got any questions or want me to expand on anything please leave a comment. The conference overall was very useful and has given me much to think about over the coming months.

My experiment with live blogging however leaves much to be desired. I’m not going to give up though – I shall try again at IWMW 2008!

SOLSTICE Conference 2008

Today I’m at SOLSTICE’s third annual conference, subtitled eLearning and Learning Environments for the Future. Mark Schofield introduced the conference:

The key aim today is to collectively contribute to the rowing agenda and generation of knowledge at this University and in the international community.

I’m going to attempt some semi-live blogging so check back for more over the day.

Case Conference Presentation

In July I delivered a presentation at the IWMW in York entitled “Let the students do the talking…” and yesterday I travelled to Edinburgh to deliver a varient of this at the annual CASE Conference.

I was slightly anxious about telling Marketing and PR people to put everything in the hands of the students but was delighted at the positive response I had to what I had to say.

After speaking with colleagues who attended the full event it seems the Web 2.0 buzz has well and truly captured the imagination of those in the Marketing and PR world and people do seem read and willing to embrace the online trends and work with them.

I believe my slides will be available on the CASE Conference website shortly but for anyone who wishes to see them they’re on slideshare too.

One thing that I have taken away from both conferences is that our ‘hybrid’ approach to a Web Service (with my own role informally split between IT Services and Corporate Marketing) is quite unique but it’s really worked for us and has allowed us to develop services from different perspectives.