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Digital literacies Information literacies Skills Team TechItUpTuesday Visual literacies

Managing your social network

#TechItUpTuesday

I’m sure most of you already know what social networks are so I’ll just go over this briefly. Social networks and/or social media services allow you to network with people who share interests, professions, hobbies, backgrounds, or real-life connections. These services are based online and often have mobile apps to allow users to access the service on the go. If you don’t know much about social networks you can check out our SkillsGuide on social media.

How to manage your social network?

Managing your social network websites can feel like a massive task if not done efficiently and correctly. This is especially the case if you are using multiple social networks and communication apps. The volume of information from social network sites can overwhelm people and make it easy to miss valuable messages and notifications. This can have major consequences if someone posts something inappropriate on your profile or you miss an important message from a potential employer on a professional network. We will be discussing what would be considered inappropriate for your social media when we look into digital employability. Below we have some useful oh wait…..

Ryan Reynolds Marvel GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Now as I was saying here are some tips and tools to help you master social networking, so distractions like this don’t get in the way.

Useful Tips

  • Avoid signing up for email alerts. While useful, these will quickly take over your email inbox. 
  • Some of you may need more accounts for various reasons but if you know you don’t really use some of them perhaps consider deleting them.
  • Think about what you really need to post. Unless your posts add unique value or stands out in some manner, it may go unnoticed.

If This Then That (IFTTT)

IFTTT is an internet service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called “recipes”, which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Twitter and Facebook. An example recipe might consist of sending an e-mail message if the IFTTT user tweets using a certain hashtag. There are also Android and iOS apps that enable phone or tablet changes to trigger other activities.

There is also a new companion app called ‘Do’ that can automate tasks on the press of a button. You can use this to automate a lot of your social media management. For example, if you post something to Twitter, you can also get it posted to your Facebook or Google+ account. These kinds of recipes can save you a lot of time. IFTTT also works with productivity apps like calendars, Evernote and OneNote so you can trigger events based on activity on social networks.

IFTTT logo with a link to the site

Buffer

Buffer is a software application designed to manage social networks, by enabling you to schedule posts to social networks including Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. With tools like Buffer, you can limit the need to log in to your social networks by scheduling posts ahead of time.

Buffer logo with a link to the site

Pocket

Pocket is a save-for-later service. The service allows users to save interesting articles, videos and more from the web and other apps for later enjoyment. This means that when you see something you want to view or read later, you can save it into Pocket. This allows you to glance quickly through social networks, apps and websites and save items to read properly later.

Pocket,logo with a link to the site

Social network for work/bussiness

Now we have looked at managing your social network in your day to day life and as a student. However, if you are interested in managing your social network from a business point of view this is a good video for you.

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Digital literacies Information literacies Skills Team TechItUpTuesday

Data literacy

#TechItUpTuesday

Data literacy is all about how you handle data as a special form of information. Data is used in many ways from monitoring key performance indicators to generating new theories. Our own data – personal and organisational – can also be used, sometimes in ways, we might not want. We all need a basic understanding of legal, ethical, and security issues when we handle data and good habits of personal data security.

Jisc defines data literacy as:

The capacity to collate, manage, access and use digital data in spreadsheets, databases and other formats, and to interpret data by running queries, data analyses and reports. The practices of personal data security.

An understanding of: how data is used in professional and public life; legal, ethical and security guidelines in data collection and use; the nature of algorithms; of how personal data may be collected and used.

Jisc, Data Literacy
Analyzing Toy Story Gif By Gif - Find & Share on GIPHY

Data is a bit like marmite it is usually either loved or hated. Data is, however, an important aspect of most job roles or courses of study. The importance of data goes beyond just work and studies. In our daily lives, we are often presented with data on a regular basis. Data literacy is important whether you are comparing data for bills you have to pay, your student loan repayments, or looking at figures related to the coronavirus pandemic.

When considering data in the context of digital literacy, the focus is often on data management, analysis and visualisation.

Things to consider when using data

Accesibilty

Data can be very difficult to make accessible particularly if it is raw data (essentially just a series of numbers or information). For accessibility purposes, the focus has to be on interpreting, presenting, and summarising data. Just a hint the gif below is not a good way to make your data accessible or as you will see below the best way to store it.

Season 2 Nbc GIF by The Office - Find & Share on GIPHY

Storage

Data sorted, arranged, presented and explained with a story. You see bricks become more ordered and assembled as the model develops.

This may not be as much of an issue as a student but can be incredibly important in the working world. Whenever we create, use, or produce data we need to consider where it is stored. There are many legal, ethical, and security issues in how data is stored, accessed, and shared. These dimensions of data management are driven based on the type of data you are working with, and whether it contains any personal, sensitive, or commercially sensitive data. If you do have any sensitive information, make sure it is protected by a password or stored in a safe place. Here are some useful ways you can store data.

  1. Store it in the Cloud.
  2. Save to an External Hard Drive.
  3. Burn it to a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray.
  4. Put it on a USB Flash Drive.
  5. Save it to a NAS Device.

Data communication and presentation

Often, data is poorly communicated. The diagram on the left well represents the difference between raw data, and data that has been sorted, arranged, presented, and explained. We will now look through a few useful software tools to present and communicate your data.

Software tools to aid your data literacy

Here are a few useful tools for handling data with some links to tutorials and downloads. (Tutorials and guides are linked on the left and download links are on the right)

Data GIF by UpSteam - Find & Share on GIPHY

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. With a Microsoft 365 account, you can install Microsoft Excel on all your devices.

QSR NVivo

NVivo is a qualitative data analysis computer software produced by QSR International. It is designed for qualitative researchers working with very rich text-based and/or multimedia information, where deep levels of analysis on small or large volumes of data are required.

Microsoft Access

Access is probably the least well-known application in the MS Office suite. However, it is incredibly useful for a small number of student/staff researchers who need to store and manage large amounts of related data. You may use Access when the program you are using to keep track of something gradually becomes less fit for the task. 

ArcGIS

ArcGIS is a system used to make maps and for geographic information. It can create and use maps, compile geographic data, analyze mapped information, share and discover geographic information, use maps and geographic information in a range of applications, and manage geographic information in a database.

Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources, visualize and discover what’s important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.

R

R is a programming language and free software environment for statistical computing and graphics supported by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing. The R language is widely used among statisticians and data miners for developing statistical software and data analysis.

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Academic literacies Skills Team TechItUpTuesday

Boosting your Employability through MOOCs

#TechItUpTuesday

What are MOOCs?

MOOCs are free online courses that provide an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills, advance your career and receive quality educational experiences. The courses are normally delivered asynchronously so you can complete them when you have time available. They often include activities such as discussions and peer assessment where you communicate with others. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course:

  • Massive because enrolments are almost unlimited
  • Open because anyone can enrol, there is no admission process.
  • Online because they are delivered, you guessed it online
  • Course because they are designed to teach you a specific subject.
Kevin Hart Teachers GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

How do they work?

Many of the courses can be started at any time while others start at regular intervals every few weeks or months. Although some may be less frequent and maybe only offered once. Some MOOCs are self-paced so you can choose how you progress throughout while others run on a schedule but are still somewhat flexible.

  • All the course material may not be available from the beginning. Instead, it’s released in fragments each week, allowing you to pace yourself.
  • Assessments may have deadlines, preventing learners from lagging behind.

They often range in length from 1 to 16 weeks. Most provide an estimate of the weekly time commitment, although this time scale may vary depending on the learner.

MOOCs can include:

  • Auto-graded quizzes – quizzes that are automatically graded upon submission, such as multiple-choice questions.
  • Peer-feedback assignments – assignments that are graded by other learners according to specific rules.

Your performance on these assignments then determines your overall course grade.

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Where can I take MOOCs?

Some of the main platforms for MOOCs are FutureLearn, Coursera and OpenLearn (provided by the Open University). The University has a couple of courses available on Future Learn, the University Preparation Course, and Introduction to Thermodynamics.

File:Coursera-Logo 600x600.svg

Not everything is free

Especially as a student, you may have to take into account the costs, though a vast amount are free some courses may have components hidden behind a paywall. For example, graded assignments.

MOOCs often offer two enrollment options:

  • Free Auditing – which gives you access to videos, readings, and forums for free.
  • Paid Enrolment – which gives you access to all the content, including paywalled elements such as the certificate of completion.

A small number of courses are pay-only. Also, when you finish a MOOC you may earn a certificate of completion. Sometimes, the certificate is free, but often, you may have to pay for it. A Paid certificate often requires ID verification, which involves sending a picture of yourself and a form of ID like a driver’s license.

Money GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

MOOCs the considerations

These are some questions you should ask yourself when considering why you want to take a MOOC.

  • Do you want to become better at a particular skill?
  • Are you looking to improve your job prospects?
  • Are you considering changing your goals or career path?
  • Is it just for the pleasure of learning?

Then you should also consider the more logistical considerations

  • Do you want to take the full MOOC or just part of it?
  • How much time can you dedicate to the course weekly?
  • Are you looking for an introductory, intermediate, or advanced course?

The MOOC listing usually contains information to help you decide if the course matches your goals, such as potential prerequisites, course content, difficulty, and expected time commitment.

Relevant Skills guide: The Digital Student: MOOCs

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Digital literacies Information literacies Skills Team TechItUpTuesday

Personalise your digital work environment

#TechItUpTuesday

Having a good work environment is incredibly helpful for your studies as well as in your future employment. Customising your digital work environment is also an important aspect of managing your Identity. This page will introduce some of the ways in which you customise your Microsoft 365 and Windows experience. Your identity is also about your preferences. You want to make both the Windows operating system and the software you use as quick and easy to use as possible. This guide is designed to help you get started. 

Maximising your use of large screens or multiple monitors

As a student, you may often be using a laptop but when going into the workplace you are likely to either be working with one large monitor, or a multi/dual-screen set-up. This section is all about making the most of your setup.

The main benefit of a dual monitor setup is productivity. Research has shown an increase in productivity and a reduction in the time it takes to complete tasks. A study by Jon Peddie Research found a 42% increase in productivity when using multiple displays. For example when moving from one window to another on a single screen laptop or desktop not only do you need to take time to find the right tab or window to open, but you need more time to access the information. This can interrupt your flow and consequently make you lose your concentration.

However, when working with two screens we get a more natural flow and concentration levels remain high. Over a long period, this can add up to a significant amount of time. Consider how many times you use the process of switching between windows every day and it is probably quite a lot.

What if my digital work environment is just a laptop?

You might not know that you can actually split your screen which can greatly increase your productivity. It allows you much like dual monitors to look at two different programs or screens at the same time. You could have a web page open for reference on one side of your screen and a word document open for making notes on the other. This video explains how to go about splitting your screen on a Windows computer or you can visit here for instructions on a MAC.

This may seem obvious but keep your laptop/computer updated. Many of us often ignore updating our computer for days, weeks, or even months before actually updating the software that our laptop is recommending to us. Software updates are recommended for good reason. They not only ensure that you’re working with the most up-to-date and best quality version of the software that you need to complete your work, but they help your laptop to run as fast and as well as possible too.

Snl Update GIF by Saturday Night Live - Find & Share on GIPHY

Windows shortcuts

I thought it would also be useful just to finish things up with a few handy shortcuts to help increase your productivity. Practice these, and you’ll be a Windows ninja in no time:

  • Alt+Tab: Open task switcher.
  • Windows+Tab: Open Task View.
  • Windows+Down Arrow: Minimize window.
  • Windows+Up Arrow: Maximize window.
  • Windows+M: Minimize all windows.
  • Windows+D: Display desktop.
  • Windows+Home: Minimize all windows except the active one.
  • Windows+Shift+M: Restore all minimized windows.
  • Windows+Shift+Up Arrow: Stretch window to the top and bottom of the screen.
  • Windows+Left: Snap current window to the left side of the screen.
  • Windows+Right: Snap current window the the right side of the screen.
  • Windows+Up: Snap current window to the top of the screen.
  • Windows+Down: Snap current window to the bottom of the screen.
  • Windows+Shift+Left or Right Arrow: Move a window from one monitor to another.

Relevant Skills guide: Integrated sessions: Personalising Windows, using shortcuts and managing multiple screens

Categories
Hull University Archives University history

Fire! Air Raid Precautions at the University in the Second World War

Every now and again we uncover a small collection of records at Hull University Archives that really bring life to years gone by. One such discovery was made in 2019 whilst staff were preparing an exhibition and source guide on Second World War records. Amongst the early records created by the University of Hull, we found a series of Second World War firewatchers’ report books with associated papers.

Firewatchers report books [UA PARCEL 26]

These records give us a fascinating glimpse into some of the air raid precautions that were taken by the University.

A fire-watching scheme

The University initiated a scheme for fire-watching in February 1941. The need for such a scheme was driven by heavy bombing raids on the city. These bombing raids often caused fires to spread in areas where bombs fell.

Description of a bombing raid observed by the firewatchers on duty at the Science Building (Cohen), May 1941

Willing volunteers

75 staff and students signed up for the scheme in the initial months, indicating a clear enthusiasm at the University to support Civil Defence efforts. This, however, was not enough to ensure that each volunteer only worked the maximum 48 hours per month suggested by the government’s Fire Prevention (Business Premises) Order 1941. The average number of hours worked by fire-watchers at the University was 63 per month. By 1942 staff and student numbers were depleted as a result of enlistment. It was only possible to continue the fire-watching scheme because many men carried out both fire-watching and other civil defence duties. Female students stepped into the gap, undertaking fire-watching duties at the Needler Hall accommodation building.

Entry recording shortage of firewatchers at the Science Building (Cohen) and a need to use female students from Needler Hall to fill the gaps

Equipment

The University provided equipment for the use of firewatchers on duty, along with instructions for what to do:

‘If a fire bomb has lodged above ground, use the rake to pull it down to the floor, then apply sand’; and ‘Dustbin lids are to be used as shields when dealing with incendiary bombs’.

Excerpt from instructions given to firewatchers by the University
Air raid precaution equipment given to firewatchers by the University

Fire-watching posts

Staff established fire-watching posts on top of the Science and Arts Buildings. Fire-watching duties included raising the alarm if a fire was spotted, as well as making a record of any air raid alerts, plane sightings, anti-aircraft activity, and all clear sirens.

Entry recording an air raid alert, several bursts of anti-aircraft fire, and the all clear being given

Maintaining morale

Shifts were long, lasting from 6pm to 9am the following morning. Four fire-watchers were on duty each night. The four fire-watchers were to consist of one staff member and three students. At least one individual had to be on look out at all times.

Request made by firewatchers for supplies to make the shifts more tolerable!

It is unclear as to whether the above suggestions were granted…probably not! To pass the time more soberly the fire-watchers played games:

Entry recording a game of chess played to pass the time whilst on duty

Blackout duties

In addition to their duties as fire-watchers, the volunteers also served as blackout officers. If any light could be seen emanating from windows or doors, the University buildings might become a target for enemy planes flying overhead. Blackout infractions are detailed in the fire-watchers’ report books:

Report book entry relating to blackout measures

Provisions

The volunteers were provided with meals and hot drinks by the University. Comments entered into the report books show that provisions weren’t always considered ‘up to scratch’ by those on duty:

Entry recording a firewatcher’s thoughts on the dinner provided by the University
A description of the lasting memory of the ‘chocolate mould’ referred to in the former entry

But we must remember that there was a war on and supplies were short, although this doesn’t appear to have prevented the volunteers from complaining:

Entry requesting that some sugar be provided to mask the taste of the coffee

Close but no cigar

Other than a few near misses and a bit of superficial damage, the report books show that the University campus escaped any major incidents during the Hull Blitz of 1941-1942.

Entry noting fires observed in Hull which were caused by incendiary explosives
Statement that two craters had been made in the sports fields on campus by a falling bomb
Note recording near misses around the University campus

Unbroken spirit

Fire-watching at the University continued throughout the war, only finishing on 24 March 1945. However, the report books show that the initial enthusiasm for volunteering had worn off by late 1942. After this time, we find various notes indicating that fire-watchers were turning up late or not at all for their registered duty. However, given the difficulties faced by fire-watchers we can perhaps understand a dip in levels of enthusiasm. Volunteers were having to contend with faulty equipment, lack of food, loss of vacation time. By 1942, the situation was no longer novel. War-weariness had set in and the initial excitement of something quite out of the ordinary had warn off. Fire-watching had become a dull task, made worse by the drudgery of having to repeat it month after month.

One firewatcher’s musings on the night sky, and another’s comments on those musings

These books offer us a valuable opportunity to examine the experiences of those who remained behind during the Second World War. The descriptions recorded in their pages help us to understand how the city must have looked, sounded and smelled during an air raid. And the comments made by the fire-watchers give us a glimpse at their personalities.

Check out our guide, to find out more about Second World War records at Hull History Centre.

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Digital literacies Information literacies Skills Team TechItUpTuesday Visual literacies

The importance of accessible content

#TechItUpTuesday

As a student, you may not have considered accessible content and adapting your work to make it accessible to everyone. However, this issue will likely become much more important when you enter the working world but even as a student, I think it’s still important to consider this. Perhaps you are making a presentation, you may want to consider if it’s easily accessible for everyone in the audience. Also, if you get in the habit of doing this now it will not only help in your future it will help those who view your work such as fellow students or tutors, especially those with disabilities or impairments. If the content isn’t accessible to everyone some viewers may be confused like this.

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Over 1 billion people have some form of accessibility requirement. So, the added bonus of ensuring that your content supports these individuals is that the changes will benefit everyone. Using Microsoft Office, Canvas, Teams, and other apps or software correctly directly benefits both you and the person reading them.

Accessible technology benefits everyone, including people with:

  • Permanent disabilities like those listed below
  • Temporary impairments like cataracts or a broken arm
  • Situational impairments like working hands-free and eyes-free while driving
Icons lisitng disabilities including visual, hearing, cognitive, speech, mobility and neural.

Common types of inaccessible content

Some types of content are more accessible than others. Below are some examples of types of content that can prevent people from understanding the information being conveyed and how to make them accessible. Don’t worry as a student you won’t be marked down for not including these in any assignments though it would be useful for those with impairments who may view your work. Again, it is more likely you will have to think more about this in the working world.

  • Images – Won’t be accessible to people with visual impairments so you need to provide meaningful alternative text.
  • Tables – Those who use screen readers cannot read tables in the same way that sighted users can. This assistive technology relies on the table being coded with HTML tags which can then be applied to the table headers.
  • Videos and audio files – To ensure accessibility to everyone, you need to include transcripts or captions. Remember to include descriptions of images included in video content. Captions will help those with hearing impairments to understand the video. Whereas for those with visual impairments transcripts can be read by a screen reader.
  • Links – You need descriptive, explanatory text to help those who use screen readers to be able to distinguish between one link and another.

Microsoft 365 tools for accessible content

Immersive Reader

Immersive Reader is a tool that lets you remove clutter and adjust the font, colours and spacing to aid reading comprehension. This can help all readers but can be particularly useful for anyone with dyslexia or visual stress. The video below tells you how to get started! You’ll find the Immersive Reader button in most Microsoft Office programs and on University Canvas pages too!

Magnifier and read aloud

This tells you how to use Windows 10 Magnifier read aloud & text cursor indicator. These are new Windows 10 Accessibility updates. Magnifier now has Read Aloud from anywhere, and there is an easy way to change your text cursor indicator colour and size 

Office Lens

Office Lens captures notes and information from projectors, whiteboards, documents, books, handwritten memos, or anything with a lot of text. It can also remove shadows and odd angles so that images are easier to read. You can upload document and whiteboard images to Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, and you can save them as PDFs or send them in email.

Dictation

Here is a useful step-by-step tutorial that shows you how to use the built-in Dictation in Word, OneNote, PowerPoint as well as Windows 10. Dictation (speech to text) especially helps those studying or working from home that need this inclusive capability.

How to create accessible content?

You may be wondering “so how do I know what I should or shouldn’t include to make my content more accessible?”. Well, the university has designed a very useful poster that guides you through what you should include or avoid to make your content more accessible. You can view it below or go to this link for a PDF copy.

This is a preview of the poster, please follow links to download PDF for screen-readable version.

Relevant skills guide: Digital Wellbeing – Accessible content for an inclusive workplace

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Digital literacies Skills Team TechItUpTuesday

Vlogs and Podcasts

#TechItUpTuesday

What is a podcast?

Both Podcasts and Vlogs are a form of digital creation. A Podcast is basically a series of episodes, that have been programmed and formatted, focusing on a specific theme or topics like technology, sports, or anything else. They are often just delivered through audio, but they can be visual as well. Podcasts are generally free and widely available on a variety of platforms. You just need a device and an internet connection to listen to Podcasts.

Season 3 Podcast GIF by The Good Place - Find & Share on GIPHY

What are Vlogs?

A Vlog is really just a blog but for video with a series of entries that can often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images. Entries can be recorded in one take or cut into multiple parts. Vlogs are popular on platforms like YouTube. In recent years, it has spawned a large community on social media, becoming one of the most popular forms of digital entertainment. This popularity is likely because as well as being entertaining, vlogs can deliver deeper context through imagery as opposed to just written blogs.

How to create content for a Vlog/Podcast?

Many of us now find a lot of our time listening to podcasts or watching content creators on platforms such as YouTube. Here we’ll bring you a few videos showing how people go about creating such content to hopefully show you that it doesn’t always require technical wizardry or extensive knowledge. First, let’s look at podcasts. The American website Castos gives a great breakdown of things to consider when creating a podcast and as you can see most of it depends on your ideas and planning, rather than any technical know-how. Most of the software required to create podcasts (or video content) can be sourced for free. All you might need to buy when starting up is your hardware (such as a headset).

How to Vlog?

So, if you have a burning idea/topic/hobby that you’d like to share with the world, why not consider doing it via a podcast or vlog. As you can see from these videos even when creating content for YouTube, just getting started and giving it a go with the technology you have (such as your mobile camera) is as important as anything. And as with podcasting, plan plan plan.

Creating a Podcast

Relevant skills guide: The Digital Student: Social media for study

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Digital literacies Skills Team TechItUpTuesday

Blogging why it’s useful and how to do it

#TechItUpTuesday

WordPress blue logo
Picture of a pencil writing on paper

The benefits of blogging? 

Blogging is a great way to display your knowledge about a subject that interests you, for example, I have a music blog. So, as you can see it doesn’t have to be purely academic but if you are aiming to increase your employability it would be beneficial to write about something that links to your desired career path or industry. For example, the blog I created was very helpful in securing the role I have now and has provided me with some good connections in my field.

You may not have much experience in your chosen field, so blogging is a great way for you to establish yourself as an expert in your particular subject as well as display your passion and personality. There is never a bad time to start writing a blog. Though as a student I would say it is probably the perfect time for you to begin creating and writing your own blog.

This is all part of forming your digital footprint. A good blog can set you apart from the competition as it can show off several skills that employers are looking for such as social media skills and written communication. It gives an employer the opportunity to learn about you and your opinions before they ever meet you. It will also help you learn about things like search engine optimisation (SEO) or website customisation and maybe even writing some code. Self-improvement and personal development are not only beneficial to you, but employers will also value these traits. And of course, writing about a topic will inevitably help you learn more about that topic whilst developing your critical reasoning skills.

Blogging Spongebob Squarepants Gif By Gif - Find & Share on GIPHY

Writing and sharing a blog also provides a fantastic opportunity to network and meet new people. Engaging with your audience could potentially lead to all sorts of possibilities, ranging from job opportunities to collaboration on projects. If you are a research student, blogging is also an effective way to develop ownership of your research area and to connect to others in your field.

Name your blog

Once you have chosen your platform you need to decide on a domain name (the URL that you purchase), this could be your own name, or something related to the subject you have decided to write about. This could be someone’s first impression of you, so take some time to think before you decide. The name should be short professional and to the point. You ideally want a “.com”, “.net”, “.org” or “.co.uk”. If these aren’t available maybe re-think your domain name so you can use them.

You can use a tool like NameMesh which lets you enter 2-3 keywords and generate some available potential URLs. Be careful when choosing keywords as this will affect your search engine optimisation (how often your website appears in searches). Once you have selected your domain your next step is to look for the best price to buy it.

Walter White GIF by Breaking Bad - Find & Share on GIPHY

Selecting a domain provider / host

It is useful to look around as prices on domain names/hosting are always changing and there are many different deals available. Also bear in mind you don’t have to buy hosting from the same place you bought your domain. 

Choice Idk GIF by BrownSugarApp - Find & Share on GIPHY

There are a few things to consider when selecting a hosting provider. For example, to make it easier it would be helpful if the host provided something like 1 click WordPress installation. This makes the process much simpler sort of like a website installation wizard, there are just a few pages to click through where you enter some information. Then when you are done your website will be up and running on your URL and ready for customisation. Here is a guide for how to use WordPress and set up your site.

Installing WordPress for blogging

WordPress is one of the most common host providers and it is what the University library uses for their blog. Here is a quick guide to installing WordPress.

Writing your first blog post

Now your website is up and running, it’s time to write your first post. The first post should be introductory, you want to explain who you are and what you are writing about, and why you started a blog. Additionally, you need to decide who your blog is for (your target audience) and what you want to achieve by writing this blog. The rest is up to you just keep writing and have fun blogging.

Jim Carrey Reaction GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Relevant Skills guide: The Digital Student: Guide to Blogging

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Library services

Stats Corner

Is Library Live Chat the powerhouse of all questions?

Library Live Chat is our online chat service that allows you to chat – live – with a member of library staff. The team are super speedy getting to more than 90% of calls within 30 seconds.

*A true representation of the Library team when the beep of a Library Live Chat comes in.

We also link our Facebook Messenger and Twitter messages to our chat software – because we know you like to message the library using these platforms too.

It’s very popular, as these statistics show!

In the first trimester (27 September 2021 – 31 January 2022) there were:

  • 2,283 chats.
  • The busiest month was October 2021 with 674 chats.
  • The busiest day of the week for chat was Monday.
  • The busiest time of the day was between 10am and 12pm.

And, most importantly, 97.5% of the chats in this period were rated as Good or Excellent.

In case you’re interested in more information on service-level stats, please browse the Library’s service and business standards (aka Service-Level Agreements).

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Library services

Is borrowing a Book easy? We think so…

We’ve been working to make borrowing books easier than ever.

Over the past few years we’ve been inserting RFID* tags into all our books. That’s many hours spent inserting tags and programming (we loved every moment of those stickers). Long story short, this means when you borrow a pile of books, you no longer have to find and scan every barcode in each book to check them out.

Our new self-issue machines can read multiple RFID tags at the same time as soon as you place the pile of books on the machine, making the whole process quicker and easier.

Pirate language is optional but makes for a hearty experience.

We’ve also made it possible to reserve on-shelf books. Just find a book you want via the Library Search and reserve it, whether it’s on-loan or on-the-shelf. If it’s on-loan it will be reserved for you when it’s returned. If it’s on-the-shelf, a member of library staff will fetch it for you and place it on the reserved-items shelf. You always get an email when it’s ready to collect. We’ve fetched 5,518 of these on-shelf books in the first trimester** alone!

* Radio Frequency Identification

** Trimester 1 was 27 September 2021 to 31 January 2022