Archive | March, 2011

Week 8

28 Mar

Normal service is resumed

We’re back! Hope you enjoyed the ‘Easter’ break? You’re on the home straight now with just 3 ‘Things’ to go – 2 this week and the final ‘Thing’ next week!


23rd Thing – You Tube

YouTube is probably the biggest and most well known of the online video sites. We are sure we probably don’t need to explain any more about YouTube, but just in case, read the entry in Wikipedia.

You’ll find everything from vintage Top of the Pops to extreme ironing. For a bizarre sock puppet take on library information literacy search for “Randy Weasel” or check out what we missed out in 25 Things:

So what has this got to do with research?

There are more and more research orientated videos out there, for example, take a look at this PhD presentation:

Huddersfield’s own Rob Lycett has a poetry workshop & installation video on YouTube:

Step 1:
Go to YouTube and do some searching to see what is out there.

Step 2:
Blog about what you have found. Try placing the video inside your blog by copying and pasting the code in the embed box, you’ll find this below and to the right of the actual video clip.

Note: Videos, like music downloads are bandwidth hogs. It is recommended that you complete this exercise on the University network unless you have broadband at home.


24th Thing – Podcasts

“Podcast” is a former word of the month in the Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary.

Podcasts take many forms, from short 1-10 minute commentaries to much longer in person interviews or panel group discussions. There’s a podcast out there for just about every interest area and the best part about this technology is that you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to access them. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you really just need a PC (or portal device) with headphones or a speaker.

(Apple Ipod Generations by Brendan Wilkinson)

iTunes, the free downloadable application created by Apple, is the directory finding service most associated with podcasts, but if you don’t have iTunes installed there are still plenty of options.

Some popular podcast sites that do not require software to download are:

Take a look at some of the podcast directories out there and see if you can find a podcast that interests you. Add the RSS feed for your podcast to your blog. Create a blog post about the process; is there anything useful out there?


Week 7

14 Mar

Is it nearly Easter yet?

The 25 Research Things team think it should really be Easter by now, so we have designated this week, ‘Play Week’ for all 25 Thingers. We hope this will give you chance to catch up if you need to, but we also have two things to keep you busy!

Easter Morning by testpatern

21st Thing – MyExperiment or

We have two options for you this week both JISC funded projects. You can either check out if you are science, technology or social science based, or if your research is in these areas. You may want to look at both!



The myExperiment Virtual Research Environment was launched in November 2007 and is brought to you by the Universities of Southampton, Manchester and Oxford. It enables researchers to share digital items associated with your research, in particular it enables you to share and execute scientific workflows. It is used by 3,000 members ranging from life sciences and chemistry to social statistics and music information retrieval.

Take a look at this video which explains more about the project:

Step 1:
Have a look around the myExperiment site, you can register and search for groups or people in your research area.

Step 2:
Blog about what you found, will you use this for your research? Will you create your own group? guide to digital humanities & arts

Another project, this time supported by the JISC, the Arts and Humanities Funding Council and Kings College, supports research in the supports and advances the use and understanding of digital tools and methods for research and teaching in the arts and humanities.

Step 1:
Have a look around the site. Anyone can join, as a member you are encouraged to contribute information about your projects, tools and research, to publicise events and conferences, and to take part in and set up discussion forums register and search for groups or people in your research area.

Step 2:
Blog about what you found, will you use this for your research? Will you create your own group?


22nd Thing – Wikipedia

You either love it or loath it, but we admit that we use it all the time! Wikipedia is often the first place people look for information.

No matter what your view on Wikipedia is, watch this short film to see just how useful wikis can be…

Step 1:
Search Wikipedia for a research topic that interests you. Write about it in your blog; is it accurate, does Wikipedia flag it as not citing any references or sources? Be sure to click on the discussion tab on the article to see what people are saying about it.

Step 2:
If you have found an entry that does not cite any references or sources, why not create an account with Wikipedia and improve the entry using your research knowledge. Or why not write your own entry? Don’t forget to blog about it!

Week 6

7 Mar


17th Thing – Flickr

Photo sharing websites have been around since the 1990s, but it took a small startup site called Flickr to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full blown online community. Flickr has become the fastest growing photo sharing site on the web and it was one of the first websites to use keyword “tags” to create associations and connections between photos and users of the site. To date, over 5 billion images have been uploaded to the Flickr site!

[ “Old and New Huddersfield” by nualabugeye ]

For this Thing, you’ll take a good look at Flickr and discover what this site has to offer. Find out how tags work, what groups are, and all the cool things that people are using Flickr for.

Take a few minutes to explore these links…

Take a good look around Flickr and look for an interesting image that you want to blog about.


It might be a picture of somewhere you’ve gone on holiday or maybe a photograph taken near where you live. Be sure to include either a link to the image or, if you create a Flickr account, you can use Flickr’s blogging tool to add the image in your post.

When looking at images on Flickr, check to see if the image has a list of tags — these are keywords or labels which help you find images. For example, here are all the images that have been tagged with the word huddersfield.


Optional extra

Another option you have for including images in your post is to use the WordPress photo upload tool.

So go ahead, explore the site and have some Flickr photo fun and if you’re interested in looking at some photo hosting sites, then why not check out this story on the Wired website.

Another optional extra

If you’re feeling really keen, take a look at this website, which allows you to spell out words using photos of letters that are on Flickr. Fun!


18th Thing – Upload a Photograph to Flickr

Flickr currently has over 3 billion images, so we’re sure they won’t mind if you add a few more!

Step 1:
Create a Free account in Flickr (you will be able to use your Yahoo account, created in Week 1) and use a digital camera or mobile phone to capture a few pictures of something interesting. Upload these to your Flickr account and tag at least one of the images “25researchthings” and mark it public.


Step 2:
Next, create a post in your blog about your photo and experience. Be sure to include the image in your post. Once you have a Flickr account, you have two options for doing this: through Flickr’s blogging tool or using the WordPress photo upload feature.

If you don’t have access to a digital camera, then browse through some of the pictures from The Commons, download one of them, and then upload the picture to Flickr. The Commons is a collection of copyright free images from museum and library image archives.


Photo Etiquette

A quick word about photo posting etiquette! When posting identifiable photos of other people (especially children) is it advisable to get the person’s permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr. Never upload pictures that weren’t taken by you (unless you have the photographer’s consent or the image is in the Public Domain) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog. For further information about UK photography rights, see this blog post which includes a guide written by Linda Macpherson (lecturer in law at Heriot Watt University).


Traditional copyright is very restrictive and limits what you can do with someone else’s creation. A number of alternative licensing models have appeared in recent years which allow you to share your photographs more freely.

Last week we looked at the Creative Commons (CC) license . Use the Advanced Search tool on Flickr to locate a photograph that has been released under a CC license. Think about what benefits a photographer might get from using the CC license.


19th Thing – Mashups

[ “Mash and Gravy” by chotda ]

One of the benefits you might have thought of is that using a CC license allows other people to play around with the image and perhaps combine it with other stuff — this is sometimes referred to as a “mashup”.

Like many Web 2.0 sites, Flickr has encouraged other people to build their own online applications using images found on the site. Through the use of APIs (application programming interfaces), many people have created third party tools and mashups that use Flickr images. Here are just a sampling of a few…

  • Mappr – allows you to take Flickr images and paste them on a map
  • Flickr Color Pickr – lets you find public photos in Flickr that match a specific colour
  • Montagr – create a photo mosaic from photos found on Flickr
  • Multicolr Search Lab – find images which match multiple colours
  • retrievr – find an image by drawing it!

Step 1:
Discover more mashups, web applications, and Flickr tools.


Step 2:
Explore some of the fun Flickr mashups and 3rd party tools that are out there. Then create a blog post about one that intrigues you.

20th Thing – Online Image Generators

[ image created using Spell with Flickr ]

And now for a bit of fun 🙂

These are websites that allow you to manipulate images easily. To get you started, here are a few sample sites:

Often adding the image you created to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting code that the page provides. If not, you may just need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using the blog image button to add it to your post. If you’re having difficulty getting your image added to a post in your blog, ask a colleague for help or email the team.

Have a play around with some of the image generators we’ve linked to and maybe see if you can find some more via Google.