Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

British Digra Discord

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

One of the many hats I hold is current secretary of the British Digra Which usually doesn’t involve a lot. We did recently hold our annual conference, at Staffs Uni and one of the things that came out of our AGM was the request for a more up to date space to carry on the conversations and grow the community of British Game Studies conference (and anyone else)

So, dutifully I asked the community on twitter, facebook and in the room if people wanted a discord, a slack or something else and a discord won overwhelmingly – so I’ve spent the last 48hrs learning all about the ins and outs of setting one up (our student have one so it can’t be that hard) and so far, so good and it’s delightful to see conversations appearing, and new faces in the crowd amoungst familiar names.

It will be interesting to see how it’s used, and it develops (and what issues it throws up) but I’m slowly coming around to ways we can engage with students in what might be a post facebook world.

I was looking at maybe using Slack with some of my teaching in the future – so I’ve also put my hat in as a possible moderator for the UK Games Industry Slack but I haven’t heard anything about that yet – but the engagement I’ve seen on both of these platforms has been heartening.

Using Trello to track my research

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

I’ve talked before about Facebook groups for research I find super useful (There’s a PHD Parents one and #WIASN) – I’ve asked a lot of question and had some amazing help and support on them – and just for once a question came up  that I could actual help with.

And I do – and this is how I use it:

I love trello boards – I’ve been using them for year to manage big projects (music videos) , home projects (our kitchen) and academic projects – and currently I’m using it to manage my phd:

Here’s the board – individual cards are either things I’ve seen that have been posted online / things I need to look at / Things I need to do or update or check later

And as I do things I move them to done – so I have a track of that.

Other things I love:

  • You can e-mail directly to your trello board – in my case these e-mail go straight to ‘Other Stuff’
  • You can set deadlines – that feed into my Google Calander
  • I’ve connected up this trello board to my Google Drive so it can easily access files on there and shows previews (but other cloud services are available
  • Trello works really well on my phone too (via the app) – which means I can add thoughts, on the fly and access them in a more dedicated space when I have time to look at them
  • I have a Google Chrome add on that snips websites to Trello too

I’ve tried a few other things to keep tabs on things (Google Keep which I use for everything else) and Evernote I don’t use as much since I moved to Keep but I’ve not found anything as comprehensive as Trello for keeping tabs on everything – and seeing where I’m at.

2015 Social Media Updates

Friday, August 7th, 2015

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 ( 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!