Friday, 25 March 2011

Time for some chit chat - bring on the pecha kucha planning

it all started with a little early morning reading
"Just checked in on the pickled herring in the refrigerator at work. To my horror and relief, it's still there"
I was intrigued
"Settled on 3 ppt slides and a 3-member doo-wop group in identical red sequined dresses singing backup".
I was hooked
maybe I should have titled this post more than a red herring

pechakucha, (literally translated from the Japanese as chit chat), twenty slides of twenty seconds (20x20) the CHI 20 second madness all coalesced during my run this morning....thanks to Cathy Marshal @ccmarshall and Mark Bernstein @eastgate and their animated herring conversation on twitter and to Cristina Costa @cristinacost from our PLE conference committee who will be organising the petcha-kutcha at #PLE_SOU
I have contributed to pechakucha before, our LSL interns last year presented their work via a petcha-kutcha. I have organised poster pitches at conferences and for my students, but with the time and space of a sabbatical and a good run along the riverside I was able to bring together a whole load of ideas
because (includes)
  • I think visually, and I am a great believer in the Cartier Bresson docrine that the photograph can capture a certain moment
  • I have been documenting my runs with pictures, and often my everyday life.
  • I sometimes subscribe to Tufts adage that "Powerpoint is evil"
  • I am tired of being subjected to Death by PowerPoint
  • Pictures are a step towards interlingularity
  • I have so many things I want to communicate
  • I always like as many people as possible to be involved in conversations
  • we are planning to offer a petcha kutcha session at PLE_SOU
  • I am already intrigued by the prospect of an animated herring and a doo-wop band
  • I once read that there was space for communicating computer science through the medium of interpretive dance
  • I have lots of things I want to communicate ( oh I said that before)
so what are some those things?
  • What it is like coming to live in Montpellier
  • What I plan to do with my sabbatical
  • What I have achieved on my sabbatical
  • What we mean by Institution Personal Learning Environments
  • How personal learning environments have a place in the web science agenda
  • What I think web science is
  • What other (ordinary) people think web science is
  • What other (academic) people think web science is
  • What is happening with semantic technologies in higher education
  • The role of visualisation is communicating scientific ideas
  • What we are offering to staff, students and the whole university through the Southampton Learning Environment - its not just a system, its a mindset
In addition I want to introduce PetchaKutcha into my teaching - as a discipline to myself (slides at the start of a lecture)
  • it will train me to develop my visual thinking skills
  • it will help me build up a repertoire of images
  • it will introduce students to the idea and practice of petchakucha
I will also get my second year students to choose between a pecha kucha and a three minute poster pitch as a means of presenting their posters to the class
so its a pretty hectic thing ( and it was a lot quicker thinking it than recording it)
you can find examples of pechakucha on youtube and vimeo, and when they become rather boring, you understand the benefit of really getting down to the bare bones. However the best examples are stimulating, creative and highly communicative. Browse, search, observe - I hope, like me, you will try to learn and emulate the best, and hopefully produce some really riviting slide shows ( and of course if you want people to watch them on an iPad you had better make sure you don't record them in Flash!)
now I need to jot down all those images I had in mind...
PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.
It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of "chit chat", it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It's a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.
or as Wired would have it
"The result, in the hands of masters of the form, combines business meeting and poetry slam to transform corporate cliché into surprisingly compelling beat-the-clock performance art".

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

What is web science?

This post is WIP as part of an exercise preparing for a symposium which we plan to hold in Montpellier some time in May. As I worked through the process I was reminded that a key topic in web science is provenance and trust. I also understand that web science is of course inter-disciplinary, but suggest that the phrase 'web science' is going through an extended period of "negotiated understanding of meaning".

I am interested in definitions and explanations manifest via text, images and videos. I am taking the canonical web pages as coming from - and will provide links to various classic definitions, but at this stage I am also particularly interested in what people outside of the web science trust think web science is. That means I will be interested in the differences and similarities between the canonical and emerging definitions, and seeing if I can make any inferences from that data.

Coming from Southampton, teaching on our Web Science Masters and having been at the finges of Web Science since its inception, I have a bit of an idea to begin with, and of course turn to the classic XXXX cluster diagram we all know and love.

you can take the simple version

Screen shot 2011 03 23 at 12 24 46

or the more elaborate version

Screen shot 2011 03 23 at 12 20 47

Nigel Shadbolt's WebScience Cluster Diagram

if you go to the web science trust facebook page you will find that people have been tagged within this diagram (ho ho)

Nigel Shadbolt and Wendy Hall both have videos answering the question "What is Web Science?" and Les Carr has a slide share titled What is Web Science

Taking the everyday approach

I intend in subsequent posts to take a more measured academic approach to the definition. Meantime I am working on the sort of approach that I think an everday kind of person might use - search engines plus wikipedia. I am also only presenting generic information in this post. I plan at least two future editions

  1. educational/curriculum approach
  2. published research and current projects

so if we try to find out what is web science, what are the various versions suggested?

First take simple google searches, using web science, web science definitons, "web science" definitions

I should note that I have been following a google search on Web Science as a search term for some time, and also have been tracking "web science" and "websci" on twitter.

Also if I have already looked at this area in a posting on the 2010 Web Science Curriculum Workshop held in Southampton Last year

Simple Searches is a social network which gathered its first members in November 2006. It describes itself as a social network for web science, includes collection of bookmarks, but unfortuantely the last time any were recommended by the editors was late 2010. Inevitably it suffers from spam postings, and simple bookmarking to links which are basically web applications. There are no

it seems to have a strong european input, and its greatest contributor is one Janos Haits from Budapest, Hungary


have some interesting visualisations which can be compared to the original sourced from the web science trustScreen shot 2011 03 23 at 11 21 53

they also have a visualisation tool which is quite interesting

Screen shot 2011 03 23 at 11 25 12


there are of course folk trying to get into the act by proposing journals - it is worth noting that is hosted by the WebScience Trust wiki and is a repository of proceedings from the Web Science conferences and other events which have been nominated by the WebScience Trust.


for example

Does not actually seem to be up and running yet, but I guess people are trying to get on the bandwagon.

International Journal of Web Science  (IJWS) ISSN (Online): 1757-8809  -  ISSN (Print): 1757-8795

Monday, 21 March 2011

Time for some publications

Bit of a round up on advice on where to publish and how to publish, seems timely revision, we are never too old to learn!
Also thought this might be useful to friends, colleagues and of course PhD students.
I have a couple of papers in the mix at the moment, and am on a mission to get some decent publications out there while I am on sabbatical at LIRMM in Montpellier, so its in focus for me just now.
Seems that Abby Day (formerly of Lancaster, and now based at the University of Sussex) got herself a bit of a reputation a few years ago advising people who to get published in Journals.  You can get a short version of her advice in a downloadable article titled How to write publishable papers you can see a snapshot below.
Actually a bit more searching located all three parts of her advice via the author pages of  The International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives (IEJ).
Screen shot 2011 03 22 at 22 18 14
Day points out that some of the empirical basis for the article's guidance are derived from research which was sponsored by Emerald which looked at the quality indicators of academic journals Day, A. and Peters, J. 1995 Quality indicators in academic publishing', Library Review, vol 45 no 3/4.
Emerald, like many journal publishers has author pages which include a set of writings on the topic of how to get published and disseminate your work.

My post was actually prompted by the fact that pubications are on the top of my todo list just now, and that I came across a (timely) tweet pointing me to a Prezi which claimed to be able to help "
Screen shot 2011 03 21 at 16 10 01

The source of this work is a researcher from Melbourne who tweets as the @thesiswhisperer (great handle isn't it) and who had a blog of the same name and is known in the real world as Inger Mewburn (again a distinctive handle, but perhaps less easily recalled).
The prezi has
  • a few links to related work - a post on Publish2PhD
  • anatomy of types of papers
  • reference to helping Doctoral Students to Write, Kamler and Thompson (writing a tiny text)
  • writing a spew draft - links to a post about using scrivener to help in this process ( and had me resolving to take another look at tinderbox)
  • writing a scratch outline
  • cleaning the mess - clarify your ideas - may be itterative
  • murder your darlings (edit and revise)
  • leave it to relax/proove/rest (we are talking bread making analogies here) - critical friends too
  • this prezi is not too much like 'powerpoint on acid' - others can be. I find myself thinking how long did it take her to create that.....
I think this post might usefully be linked to something I identified last year which was related to a learning technologies roadmap, and also various pieces on places to publish. More of that later...

Day, A., 1996, How to get research published in Journals, Gower, Aldershot, UK
Day, A. and Peters, J., 1995 Quality indicators in academic publishing', Library Review, vol 45 no 3/4
Brown S., Black., Day A., Race P., 1998, 500 Tips for getting published: A guide for educators, researchers and Professionals, Kogan Page, London, UK