A change of Google+ posting strategy

I posted this on Google+ to earlier today, and +Simon Wood (@MrSimonWood) suggested I owed it to the twitter community I used to be so active in, to explain where I’d been, and what and why I’d decided to change my Google+ posting strategy that might mean that links to some of my Google+ posts appeared more regularly on twitter. So here’s what I wrote earlier today to the Circles that I post to on Google+. I hope it makes sense. I also hope you don’t mind me hi-jacking “Thought grazing …” for the purpose – again it just seemed the best place to put it.

We ought to have another meet-up at Costa Coffee soon … shouldn’t we?


A change in Google+ direction today for me, so please excuse this post which explains what I’m doing, and why.

My main use of Google+ since it started has been as a platform for targeted postings to Circles – I have many which align with my interests and relationships. Some intersect, some are discreet. When you have quite a few circles (as I have) they’re difficult to maintain and even more difficult to select from, for a targeted post. My strategy has been successful however, I feel, and a few of my circle members are now active users of Google+.

Using such an approach has seen my use of twitter decrease significantly – there’s only so much social interaction you can engage in – but I’m very aware that whilst I’ve enjoyed being part of the new Google+ ecosystem, I shouldn’t have turned my back on twitter as much as I had with Facebook, for which I make no apology for my desertion.

So from today, whilst not changing the way I use Circles and Communities – which really works and provides “safe” places for conversations, I intend to do more Public posting to Google+ all of which will be picked-up by ManageFlitter and tweeted. Hopefully, this will also encourage more of my friends, contacts and acquaintances to become active in Google+ as well. I will have a purpose to look-in on twitter more often as well.

For this to work, I’ll have to make sure the first 100 characters or so of my Google+ post concisely explains the content. A link to the Google+ post will be provided in the tweet, which will lead the reader into Google+.

So to you my Google+ readers … your feed from me may become a little “noisier”. Either turn the volume from me down, or just ignore posts that you’re not interested in. I’ll see how it goes – I’ll be interested in your feedback.

Just a dash of coffee

I’ve been busy just recently, so apologies for the late notice of a confirmed date for our next #tgsmc meet-up …

Wednesday 31st October from 10:00am at Costa Coffee, Park Place

… what will we talk about? That’s up to you, but I’ll be interested in hearing people’s views on new Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google products and how they may be used in research, and learning and teaching. Then there’s digidol – the JISC digital literacy project the University is running and of course it’s Social Media Strategy – where does that stand at the moment?

I’d also be interested in views on where twitter is heading; has it now become just a marketing and PR tool and lost its value. Or, is it re-inventing itself with new uses and users. Then again, should we be defining an essential toolset for academic use, or do  VLE / VRE still have a place.

Then we all follow certain colleagues who we feel we can learn something from – it might be worthwhile exchanging that information. For me, I’ve been struck recently by Martin Hamilton’s blogpost Suddenly, Everything has changed – it brings many themes together in one place rather well and is worth a read; and then again Steve Wheeler’s excellent summary of where we are with Theories for the digital age: the Digital Natives discourse is also certainly worth a read. Have you got a similar hot blogpost?

Finally, to avoid getting caught out as I did recently when I didn’t know the difference bewteen Green and Gold Open Access and found my knowledge of OA rather lacking – take a peak at the PhD TV video on Open Access; what was happening in Cardiff last week for Open Access Week?

So … old-hands, or newbies, we’ll look forward to seeing you and of course there’s always the coffee …

April meeting notes

A larger than before attendance helped by a specific invitation to participants in the forthcoming Technology Enhanced Education Conference being held on May 6th in the Optometry Building to meet and discuss the programme. So we had @amcunningham, @egrommet, @mrsimonwood, @joenicholls, @sphericaln, @agentjohnson, Sarah, Nathan and of course @thoughtgrazing in attendance for some or all of the three hours from 12 ’til 3 on April 6th. Perhaps Wednesday afternoon (and a little bit later) suits folk better. No matter, I’m back from my world-travels and I’ll be more active in canvassing for dates and encouraging attendance from now on.

I couldn’t hear all that was being discussed – my hearing’s not what it used to be in any case, but nine people talking at any one time is just a little bit beyond my capability – but some interesting things were raised, apart from discussing the forthcoming conference.

A lively discussion took place between @egrommet et al on @amcunningham’s tweets about listening to Etienne Wenger the previous day. I’m not sure what the context was but it led to the names of George Siemens, Brown and Duguid (ie Cognitive Apprenticeship) and others being thrown into the argument. Such is the discussion of educational practitioners.

I was involved in a discussion about web hosting (I need a “proper home” for thoughtgrazing.com et al) and @mrsimonwood came up with 5quidhost – looks well worth a second look! I also had Rackspace recommended by @sphericaln, but I think (even with the recent BCS discount) that it’s a bit OTT for me.

Next stop was QRcodes and a discussion on which readers to recommend. [The conference flyer promotes a very large QRcode.] The QRCode Code Machine which both encodes and decodes QRcodes and is available as iPad and iPhone apps (and others ??) was mentioned – it’s now on my brand-new iPad {smug grin}.

This led onto iPhone apps in general and @egrommet showed me iProcrastinate (a neat task manager) which I just had to have; as well as Vtok which purports to enable Google Video Chat on the iPad (I’m yet to test that – although it has been installed).

Finally, as the time flew past just so quickly and as I swallowed my last bite of baguette to go with the second cup of coffee (certainly not up to Twin Peaks standard unfortunately), we started talking about what I will call (loosely) “digital citizenship”. I’ve blogged in other places about digital identity and the importance of context – knowing when and where and what to tweet, blog, whatever, in social media; @amcunningham retold the events of a recent social media “encounter” which caused her to examine what were the boundaries of her contributions to public websites, even though she kept her professional identity apart from those interactions. What should we be advising our students, future professionals, about why and how they should use social media? Does this have a part in Information (or Digital) Literacy – I feel it does. We need to be able to provide leadership in this challenging field where for instance facebook openness meets professional responsibility.

Final thought – does anyone other than @egrommet do regular and systematic “vanity searches” on the web to trawl for personal references. As a professional, perhaps this is something we should all be doing. We need to protect our professional digital footprint.