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Week 1

31 Jan


1st Thing – Read this blog

Hello, and welcome to the University of Huddersfield 25 Research Things 2011 blog!

Over the course of the next few weeks, this blog will show you a range of tools and technologies that fall under the heading of “web 2.0”. We’ll give you exercises to help you become familiar with them, and show you how they might support your research work.

Some of them you will find immediately useful, some will be fun and some you may not see the point of right away. But you will finish the course knowing a lot more about the new ways that researchers can communicate their ideas and findings, and we hope you will have enjoyed yourself as well.

Start by watching this short video clip, which shows how web 2.0 tools have developed, and the ways in which they can be used: Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us.

Each week we’ll introduce a new set of “things” – 25 in total over the ten-week course. You’ll be given exercises to help you become familiar with blogging, RSS news feeds, tagging, wikis, podcasting, online applications, social networks, video and image hosting and much more.

We’d like you to set aside an hour or so each week to experiment and explore. You might want to do this in several smaller chunks of time, or in one go – it’s really up to you. We also hope that you might spend some of your own time learning about the things. If you need help with any of the activities, please contact one of the team (, or talk to your friends and colleagues who are also doing this course.


2nd Thing – Set up your blog and accounts

This programme is based upon blog entries, from us and from you. During the course, you’ll need to write on your own blog about each thing you complete. You can record your thoughts and experiences, and add any ideas you might have on how to use these web 2.0 tools for yourself or your work.

You can choose to use a screen name if you prefer to keep yourself anonymous. This name will be posted on your blog, but your “real identity” will not be listed. All participants will be linked to from the 25 Research Things 2011 blog but you will be anonymous if that’s what you choose.

Why blog?

People blog because they want to share with others. They may share their opinions, rants on particular topics, or news from a holiday. They may even have a professional blog where they share views on their work, or they may have a blog all about their pet. When you’re blogging, you can adopt any persona you like. Some people have written from a cat’s perspective. We think you might find it useful to blog about your research? If you already do, then let us know!

[ Flickr photo by Sofia Torrão ]

Setting up your blog

Now that you’ve done some exploring around this blog and understand how the programme will work, it’s time to set up your own personal blog. We would also like you to write your very first post where you can introduce yourself, or your persona, or explain what the blog is for.

Remember, your blog is where you will be recording your thoughts and experiences for the 25 Things programme. If you are not sure how much to write, we would suggest at least 100 words each week, but don’t be shy – write as much as you like!

For this exercise “Set up your blog” we are using WordPress, a free online blog hosting service that is extremely easy to use.

Step 1:
Go to the WordPress website:

Step 2:
Fill in the form – remember, you can use a made up name if you want. Make sure you tick the box about legal flotsam. “Gimme a blog” should be highlighted, so click “Next” and follow the instructions. Make sure you make a note of your username and password and blog address.

Optional extra (A bit on the side…)
When you get your email confirming your blog, you will be able to choose a different theme if you want to personalise your blog’s appearance – just look for the link about themes and search for one you like.

Registering your blog

Cut and paste the url (address) of the blog YOU have created (this can be found in the address bar on the page from which you are viewing your blog), into an email and send it to us at

Once you have registered your blog it will be listed here on the 25 Research Things 2011 blog. The participants’ blog is a good place to gain inspiration and support each other via the comments section in the individual blogs.

Important: Bookmark your blog!

Save your blog to your bookmarks or favourites folder so you can return to it quickly later. You’ll need to add an entry to it for each 25 Things task you complete.

To take part in this programme you’ll also need a Yahoo account and a Google Mail account. Some of you may already have these, in which case use them. Otherwise follow these instructions to set up your new accounts…

Click here to go to the Yahoo home page. Click on the “New here? Sign up” link and fill in the form. Make a note of your username and password.

Google Mail
Now create a Google email address which you can use as for any other email, but also when you want to use other Google services such as Google docs. To create an account click here.


3rd Thing – Survey

We would like you to complete this short survey, to tell us a bit about where you’re starting from, and what you want to achieve from the course.

So, how was it for you?

For the first post on your own blog, tell us what this first week has been like 🙂