Moved

I have moved my blog using the instructions How to Move from blogger to wordpress with permanent 301 redirection provided by Aaslin Sathrak on SenseHow.com.

In outline, I created a special template page on http://blog.cpjobling.org that redirects to a special WordPress page. This page interprets the redirected URL and finds the reference to the original blogger page permalink that was stored in the page metadata when I exported my blogger pages to WordPress. This is used to look-up the wordpress permalink for the relocated page and then WordPress is asked to issue an HTTP 301 Moved Permanently reponse that tells Google and others that the original blogger URL has now moved to WordPress. If all works well, I’ll be changing the title of this blog to Fresh and Crispy in a week or so. In the meantime, please let me know if you find any broken links.

Moving day approaches

Just a quick post to remind you that Fresh and Crispy is moving to this self-hosted WordPress blog  Fresh and Crispy II (blog.cpjobling.me) on Monday 28th February.

Using the resources of Google, I’ve discovered a way to set up redirection so that regular visitors will hardly notice the move. (I’ll post a how-to after the move.) Discussions have also been redirected.

However, if you are following me via RSS or Google Friend Connect you may have to make some adjustments. The new RSS feed link is feeds2.feedburner.com/FreshAndCrispy2. Google Friends Connect followers will need to follow me here (look for the gadget in the right-hand side bar).

Blog Migration

In my move from Blogger.com to this self-hosted WordPress there are a couple of things that I have had to do that I thought would be worth documenting. These fall into the general headings of Comments, Permalinks, Feeds, and Categories and Tags.

  1. Comments. I was using disqus.com as my commenting system. There’s a WordPress plugin for this but to move the threads to the new blog I had to use the URL mapping method. See Using the Migration tools from the disqus knowledge base.
  2. Permalinks. I prefer the rich permalinks to the default http://blog.cpjobling.me/?p=2 format. Plus they are closer to the permalinks used in Blogger.
  3. Feeds. I was using feedburner on my previous blog to manage my feeds. I added the Fd Feedburner Plugin to redirect my atom and comments feeds to feedburner.
  4. Categories and tags. When I transferred my posts from blogger.com (using the WordPress Blogger to WP tool) tags from blogger became categories in WordPress. I’ve been swapping these over gradually, but I have an awful lot of uncategorized posts to go over! The nice thing about WordPress categories is that if you are careful, you can arrange the main topics of your site into easy to find high-level headings. Each category can be a top-level menu item. So far I’ve got Blog, Tools, Teaching, Courses, PodcastsResearch and Free Time.

I’ll post more on this topic as I come across things worth reporting.

Welcome to my new home

I’m planning to move Fresh and Crispy to this blog on the 1st March 2011. Consider this an early warning. Inspired by Jim Groom’s Digital Story Telling Course (DS106), I purchased this domain and it hosts my own WordPress blog.

I’ve already exported my posts from Blogger.com and moved my disqus.com discussion threads over. Now it only remains to cut the cord.

Until the cut-off point, I’ll be blogging in both places in parallel. After the 1st March, I’ll be posting only over here. I’ll keep the domain blog.cpjobling.org active as a historical record, at least until the domain comes up for renewal in a year’s time.

My thanks to blogger.com for 7 years stirling service.

Imported from Fresh and Crispy

I’ve just imported my posts from Fresh and Crispy on Blogspot using the WordPress Blogger blogs importer tool. Seems to have worked fine, but the comments in disqus.com where not carried over. I wonder if i) disqus.com can be used to manage comments in WordPress ii) If not, can comments be exported? In any case, I’m not yet ready to cut the cord!

Answers i) Yes there’s a disqus plugin for wordpress and there’s a domain transfer tool. So that’s OK!

Social Media: A Guide for Researchers

Back in November, member of my social network Alan Cann asked me to participate in a project he was doing with the International Centre for Guidance Studies for the Research Information Network on Social Media for researchers.

A few days later, I met online in Skype Chat with researcher Konstantia Dimitrou and we discussed my attitudes to social networking and its use in my teaching and scholarship. The report Social Media: A Guide for Researchers has now been released and you can read part of what I had to say on page 38 and in full on the Web at http://www.rin.ac.uk/node/1015.

The report itself is well worth a look, particularly if you think research should be done the way it has always been done. Social media may be a way to raise your REF impact numbers if nothing else.

Screencasting for Lecture Capture

During this first couple of weeks of the new teaching term I’ve been experimenting with using screen capture software as a means of capturing my lectures. Using nothing more than the built-in microphone on my Macbook Pro and an educational license for Camtasia Studio, I’ve been able to capture several lectures live in the lecture room. When I plug my Mac into the LCD projector, the screen resolution changes to super VGA (1024 x 768 pixels). I literally set Camtasia Studio to use the built-in microphone and full screen capture and switch on record at the start of the lecture. At the end I stop the recording, save the Camtasia Project file and convert it to MPeg 4 (Apple Quicktime format). This takes about 30 minutes to an hour but it’s literally all the post-processing I do. Then I upload the result to the Learning Objects Podcast tool in the Blackboard course site and it’s there for my students to review. Next time the course is given, I’ll be able to provide the screencast before the lecture, allowing me to “flip” my teaching.

The quality is surprisingly good. The only thing missing is a transcript and a copy of what gets written on the blackboard!

Here’s a screencast I made today of a lecture that I gave on Web Applications. I chose to use this as an example because as well as an illustration of what’s possible, the subject of the lecture might be of interest to my readers.

http://content.screencast.com/users/cpjobling/folders/EG-259/media/be6581f9-412b-4b88-824d-e165d4548238/mp4h264player.swf

http://www.screencast.com/users/cpjobling/folders/EG-259/media/be6581f9-412b-4b88-824d-e165d4548238/embed

The best quality is obtained by hosting the result on Screencast.com or the Learning Objects podcast tool. I’ve also uploaded it to YouTube (which normally has a 15 minute limit) and Vimeo so you can get a comparison of the relative quality of those delivery options.

Camtasia Studio is the professional screen capture software of choice and is best for live lectures, or other longer or more complex production tasks. If you have shorter screencasts to prepare, Jing (from the same people who make Camtasia Studio) and Screenr work well and are free. To find out more, Jisc Digital Media provides some useful resources on Screencasting and have been running a series of surgeries, including one on Screencasting for Lecture Capture, recently.

Tara Brabazon: Written evidence of the workings of the mind

Tara Brabazon, writing today for the Times Higher, provides a useful analysis of the common mistakes students make when submitting assignment work and suggests ways that we in academia could improve the first year experience. Her 20-point check list of what students do wrong and how lecturers react to those errors should be published in every student handbook.

Tweetdeck Chrome App

I’ve just installed the new TweetdDeck app for Google Chrome and like what I see so far. It takes the “that’s so obvious, why wasn’t it done before” idea of combining (TweetDeck calls this blending) all your feeds into three columns.

  • Home: for all your identities and the people they follow across all of your social networks;
  • Me: for mentions of your social identities and posts to your facebook newsfeeds; and
  • Inbox: for direct messages.

Like TweetDeck the desktop app, you can add your Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz accounts and you can post to one or all of them.

I hope that the iPhone version will adopt this interface as it’s much easier to handle the blended columns than multiple columns on the small screen.

It’s only been 5 minutes, but first impressions: 5 thumbs up!