Tag Archives: frances bell

A blast from the past #altc

University of Nottingham

On this day in 2007 I was at the ALT Conference in Nottingham. This was the fourth ALT conference I had attended. What I really remember about this conference was how blogging became really big and important at the conference. We were blogging about the conference sessions, we were blogging about people blogging and lots of other stuff too. I think we were blogging because we didn’t have other tools that we could use, Twitter was just over a year old and most people were not using it (we didn’t have hashtags back then), so blogging was the only real online platform we could use.

I believe that people were blogging at previous conferences, but it was the first time that we had an RSS feed of all the blogs in one feed. This made it much easier to find blog articles on the conference and as a result the bloggers themselves. Importantly and this is why I think ALT-C 2007 was a sea change (and especially a sea change for me) was that these social relationships continued beyond the conference.

One of the sessions I attended at the conference was the Web 2.0 Slam – ‘Performing’ Innovative Practice workshop run by Josie Fraser, Helen Keegan and Frances Bell. This was (probably) the best session at the conference, certainly was for me and influenced a lot of stuff I did at later conferences.

Web 2.0 Slam - 'Performing' Innovative Practice

They started off with the classic Web 2.0 Machine Video, which was shown at a lot of conferences I had been attending.

I think it still resonates today.

One of my early comments on this (and this was before Twitter really took off, so I did it on my blog) was

Josie Fraser is now giving an overview of Web 2.0, “think of it as a wave”.

Did Josie predict Google Wave, two years before it was launched?

As we were in Nottingham and we were put into groups to prepare something, I was in a group with Andy Powell, Agnes Kukulska-Hulme and Kath Trinder. We decided to create a Web 2.0 movement. We created a blog, a Facebook group and probably other stuff lost to time…

We called our idea Hood 2.0 (well we were in Nottingham, with Robin Hood) and are vision statement was:

A group that looks at how Web 2.0 services can be used to take from the “rich” and gives to the “poor” in terms of user generated content, advice, guides and case studies.

There were lots of familiar faces in the room. We did a fairy bit of arm waving if I remember correctly.

I was certainly one of the few people using Twitter, so I did a few tweets from the workshop.


You can see these were limited in scope and content. We didn’t do images or hashtags back then.

Though we didn’t win (we was robbed) we certainly enjoyed the session.

I can’t remember who won, but hopefully someone can remember and put it in the comments.

Having said that we didn’t win, the website we created for the session still lives….

ALT-C 2009 Day #3

It’s Thursday and it’s day three of the ALT Conference 2009 here in Manchester. It’s only a half day, but quite a busy half day at that. Back home tonight though.

An early start for me as I am supporting the Distribute This: online identity, presence & practice workshop with Josie Frances, Helen Keegan and Frances Bell.

This practical workshop will engage participants in an overview and discussion of digital or online identity, particularly in relation to developing, connecting to and participating in distributed learning communities. Participants will be introduced to and supported in using a range of online tools and services to establish an online identity. Participants will be supported in using and syndicating micro-blogging, social bookmarking, photo and video sharing sites. The wrap up session will allow us to raise issues including privacy, professionalism, search engine optimization and folksonomy (Van der Wal 2006) in the context of their own examples. Participants will explore the most effective approach to building presence and networks.

By the end of the session participants will have a practical and strategic appreciation of online identity and presence management that can be used to support individuals, projects or organisations.

If it is anything like the last two workshops run at previous conferences, it should be great fun.

You may recall the “It’s not for girls” video we made last year on the digital divide.

A couple of short papers and then the final keynote before heading home.

Using Twitter

I enjoyed reading Frances Bell’s recent blog post on how people use Twitter.

She discusses the community of Twitter and the reasons why she follows certain people.

…follow if interesting friend already known to me else read the profile, follow personal link, read the last few tweets, follow if interesting!

Made me think about why I follow people, so I decided to reflect on the last ten people I followed and tried to remember the reasons why I followed them.

Helen Beetham – I have known Helen for many years through the work she has done for the JISC, and we even presented an online session together at the JISC Online Conference in 2007. I recently found (through someone else I follow) that she was on Twitter and decided to follow her.

Duncan Greenhill – was the 500th person to follow me, so I followed him back. I don’t automatically follow everyone who follows me, but will look at what they tweet before clicking the follow button. More recently I have been more reserved in following people who follow me, as I follow quite a few people now, 234 at the time of writing and like to be in control of my Twitter stream. The number of people is irrelevant it’s much more about how often they tweet that impacts on my Twitter stream.

Doug Belshaw – I found his tweets interesting, and “discovered” him via Josie Fraser in this tweet. In his stream he mentioned the Macheist deal which I had just purchased so I decided to reply and follow.

David Kernohan – is a JISC programme manager and was interested in what he had to say and was doing.

Neil Williams – was found via Steph Gray in this tweet. Neil was asking the following question:

What web 2.0 apps have you paid for and why? I’m writing a short blog post about it, and will blog the results.

I replied as follows:

Paid for Flickr, RTM (for iPhone), WordPress (for video), Gabcast.

Neil later blogged about paying for Web 2.0 apps. This follow demonstrates how what people do outside Twitter is important to my decision if I follow or not follow them.

Danny Nicholson – I followed as he replied direct to one of my Twitpics. I believe he was already following me, but as he had started a conversation, I decided to follow him. This is quite a key decision for me if I am to follow someone, do they want to talk and discuss.

John Cook – is someone I have worked with in the past and enjoy talking to at conferences about e-learning and stuff. When I found out he was on Twitter and following me,  I chose to follow him back.

Chuggington – Chuggington is a children’s TV series about trains, I mentioned it in a tweet, as a result Chuggington started to follow me. I followed them back as they are tweeting news about the programme and I know my son would be interested in what’s new.


John KirriemuirShri Footring amongst others were often in conversation with John so he got followed just because of their recommendation.

Ron Mitchell – I usually micro-blog with Ron on Jaiku, but with the ongoing issues on there, as soon as I noticed that he was following me on Twitter I followed him back.

There are many reasons that I follow people on Twitter, why do you follow people on Twitter?