Archive for the ‘Comms’ Category

Virtual Office Colleagues

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Since coming back from Maternity leave in March I’ve found it a little difficult to get back on track – a little out of the loop on a lot of things (not having project students etc) and not all of my office colleagues are in all the time, or they’re off teaching or what not. So I’ve been catching up no the phd stuff I stupidly though I could do on maternity leave, but couldn’t get my brain in gear when I came across a tweet that mentioned a group for parents studying phds – Since I now tick that box I though I’d join, and I’m glad I did.

Its very nice to have a big group of people, doing a similar thing to you, that you can call on for advice, enter into discussions with a generally get along with. There’s shut up and Write Sessions, questions on the true nature of pedagogy, lots of discussion on methodology etc (what’s also nice that unlike real office colleagues you can ignore them if you want to focus on something else) – I’m much more on board with what I was doing, and I’m starting to find the headspace I need to write.

It’s part of a trend I can see of more and more things drifting into the sphere of Facebook – group projects, staff groups, interest groups are all there and used, daily – which means switching off from everything else is increasingly hard. I don’t want to make a separate staff account. I like being able to interact with students, and it’s so useful when they don’t check their e-mails. I just can’t help wondering at what point it will all come crashing down?

Monthly Stats on Games Tech Social Media 3 years on

Friday, August 8th, 2014

For the past few years I’ve been keeping a track of our social media take up – so I knew where to concentrate our efforts. For the first year I updated it monthly – but since then I’ve just taken snapshots on the 8th of August every year.

Here’s this year’s.. (All the relevant posts, including the Ur Post with the magic updating Google Docs chart art tagged as smtrack)



Now in theory all of those are active, but in reality you can see the top hitters – No surprises really, Twitter, Facebook – both profile & page and the Linked in Group.

Of course, this doesn’t really look at engagement – I’m running sumall on that now to have a quick look but it’s interesting in the time I’ve been keeping an eye on this how the landscape changes – Prospective students are much keener to ask question over facebook then e-mail, but only  about half of the facebook users are keen to engage with things (For example, for our Welcome Week event this year we’ve only got one meta event listed, to encourage communication through the years and to catch more students. Of the 250 invites 114 have not yet responded – and Facebook have got rid of the super useful option to send a message to people invited to an event, probably for this very reason)

I also can’t see the landscape changing much more in the next year, we could probably Vine & Instagram more, but realistically it’s going to be photos of things on computers, videos of people in the mocap studio and the occasional Mexican Wave in a lecture theatre.


E-Mail Apathy in students

Monday, April 28th, 2014


I know it’s coming to the end of term, and it’s been a long term, and everyone is tired – but we’ve got cool things happening in May, and there’s the final push of assessment, hand ins, module evaluations , peer assessments etc – I know it’s a lot of information, but we only have a blunt tool of e-mail to depart it to our student body (until we have Matrix style neural uploads). If we take too long to respond, or act on an e-mail students start complaining so why when I e-mail 500+ students via Blackboard it generates 1 response?

We used to limit the amount of e-mails we sent out, and they complained they missed things, now I fear we send some many (and everyone else) it’s white noise. We use Facebook fairly well, but that’s again so much noise, and an even blunter tool I’m starting to think there must be a better, more effective way of mass communicating with students, I just don’t know what it is – suggestions on the back of an envelope to the usual address.

I’d send a survey out, via e-mail, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on getting any responses.. You can join the conversation on reddit here –