2015 Social Media Updates

August 7th, 2015 by WEARN Nia

Every year I have a look at how our various social media avenues are fairing. Last year they were numerous and wide ranging. However about a fortnight after I did last years overview Facebook caught up with the fact that ‘Staffs Games Design’ wasn’t a real person. It took them a while, but overnight that profile was changed to a page – which in time merged with the other page we had anyway meaning we kept the best url (https://www.facebook.com/staffsgamesdesign) but lost content. We saved what we could, dusted ourselves off and carried on.

Losing the profile meant we lost a useful, if flawed tool of communication with the students – they’d taken to using Staffs Games Design as an open Q&A forum, and we as a method of highlighting events etc. So we took the move many other have done and started a Current Students Group. We also started an alumni group for good measure and we use that to post jobs etc. I made the decision to keep them public, remind the students that were moderated by the staff and were to be treated as an extension of their university presence. So far, so good – and I think more meaningful communications then the old profile ever allowed. As ever with online communications eyeballs on things are quite high, actual engagement quite low.

The biggest downside to losing the profile comes at this time of year, when we’re trying to engage new students, and any clearing students – SGD’s profile would go add happy on Hello Freshers and the other official / unofficial facebook sites. Having reviewed how I personally interact with my students over social media a few months ago, by not dealing with university related conversation over facebook outside of the groups – I’m in no mood to add them self, or make a ‘Staffs Uni’ account in which to do so. So we have a catch all fb event for Welcome Week to Direct them too – and a little bit of an engagement tool embedded in it:


It had had 33 students engage with it when I check just now, There’s 104 ‘Going’ to the event.

With any luck this will pick up by the time welcome week rolls around next month – and w’ll start to see some engagement between the years.

So that’s a good round up on facebook, howabout other avenues?

  • Tumblr is no longer in use – since we have our sexy website instead- It’s not had a new post in 2 years yet has still gained 2 followers – up to 71
  • Twitter is good and healthy – Up 295 Follows to 1750
  • The FB Page is up 396 Likes to 1525 (The demise of the profile added to this a bit)
  • The Linked In group is also still strong – Adding 47 people to bring it up to 417 (engagement in it is still dismal)
  • The Youtube channel is also strong – and we’ve been pushing out some nice content – that’s up 65 subscribers to 171
  • I think we can all agree Google + is dead, as is foursquare and I can no longer tell how many e-mail sign ups we have.

With that in mind I’ll be doing new counts on the following every August and December – lets see how they go!

#StaffsPGR Support Group

July 15th, 2015 by WEARN Nia

I’m a member of a few facebook interest groups – and there’s a few I’ve set up myself. The latest of which is one for the Postgraduate students of Staffs Uni – born out of a few conversations at the 3rd annual conference about how alone many of us felt.

The key thing I’ve learn’t so far from other groups I’m members of is that Australians are having a lot more fun with their phd’s then we are. Thesis Haiku competitions, Dance your PHD’s – even the #3MT (Three Mniute Thesis) idea hails from sunny Down Under. I hope a little that we can create a support network within the university – cross faculty and maybe aligned with this mythical graduate school we keep hearing mention of. Maybe we can inject some fun into it as well, even just to let off some steam.

Who knows, I might even try and form it into a proper post grad society at some point in the future (once we’re moved to Stoke I suspect)

3rd annual #staffspgr Conf

July 14th, 2015 by WEARN Nia

It’s been a little bit busy of late – marking, planning for September , graduation etc all gets in the way of doing research so it’s always good to have a chance to get my head back into #niaphd mode. Our annual Multi discipline postgrad conference was just that this year.

I’ve uploaded my presentation here – http://www.slideshare.net/Wormella/3rd-postgraduate-research-student-conference

What’s nice is it outlines my 3 main research questions:

  • What are the skills that our students use to make games
  • How do we know that our students use these skills to make games
  • Could we use a Game Jam type thing to asses our Games Courses