Using the Internet

When the internet took off around the beginning of 1996, there were just 100,000 websites and around 25 million people online. Today there are just under 1 billion websites (see internetlivestats) and around 3 billion users. Along the way the internet has redefined the way the planet interacts, learns and does business. It has enabled new enterprises, cultural uprisings and an unimaginable number of personal connections.

On a more personal level here is a link to our first website we built back in 1996 as the Landcare Research team working on Participatory research and Adaptive Management (Yahoo was around, but Google was yet to be created). The direct beginnings of this site developed from the NRM-changelinks site that I subsequently developed back in 1998 (as part of my PhD studies through Massey University). Over the 2005/2006 period the NRM-changelinks name (and URL) was discontinued, and was superceded by the Learning for Sustainability name (and URL). And, now – 10 years on – at the beginning of 2016, this new wordpress-based format has been developed, particularly to provide users with a responsive site that can cater equally for mobile phone access as computer-based.

Collaborating and building your on-line presence

These sites linked below provide an introduction to the benefits (and implications) of using the Internet, and associated web 2.0 tools and technologies (also known as social media, social software, new or emerging technologies) on their online (and consequently on-the-ground) identity.

www_iconWhy Content, Social Media & Great Websites Are Now Considered “The Basics”. This 2013 post by Kelsey Jones still sums up the importance – and pitfalls – of using websites and social media to build your online presence. Covers the importance of content and social media, as well as the pitfalls of bad design and inactivity.

www_iconWhy academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously. This post by Duncan Green provides some thoughts on why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously. His comments mainly relate to the media he uses regularly such as blogs and twitter.

www_iconHow to write a blogpost from your journal article. In this post Patrick Dunleavy points out that now you have invested months to writing a paper and sending it to journals, dealing with comments, doing rewrites and hacking through the publishing processit makes good sense to spend the extra couple of hours needed now to pull out from your journal article the key bits needed for a good blogpost. He then goes on to provide a guide to help you get started.

www_iconWhy you should consider Twitter as a scientist. This 2015 post from Peter Kohl (@NautBio) suggests a number of ways in which Twitter can help with your work. It provides a way to follow interesting people, lets you keep up with new papers, builds networks, and is a research tool in its own right!

www_iconScientists Can Find Outreach Success With Social Media. Another blog on using twitter by Sarah Zielinski (@SarahZielinski) who reminds us that before diving into the world of social media, scientists should decide what they want to achieve. She interviews a number of people to provide a good overview of  how you might begin to use the medium, and the sort of results that you could envisage.

www_iconHow to make a website. A beginner-friendly guide from @RobMening to building a website. Its quite detailed, yet very easy to follow – even if you’re not very technical. It aims to help you choose a website building platform, choose your website address (www.), and then set up and customize your website. And they also have a good HTML5 beginner’s guide.

www_iconIntegrating Technology into Evaluation. A collection of technology-oriented blogs on the AEA365 site. These cover topics including: DIY Video Production; Padlet -A Free Virtual Bulletin Board and Brainstorming Tool; Adding interactivity to on-line reports; Using tablets for data collection; Google tools for multi-site evaluation ….. and many more.

www_iconBlogs, Twitter, wikis and other web-based tools. This on-line course material from the Imperial College London Library provides a page on each of blogs, on-line evaluation tools, multimedia, networks and networking, online collaborative tools, RSS, and social bookmarking, citation and reference management.

www_iconTop Picks for Where to Find the Best Free Images for eLearning. More about writing blogs and websites than actually travelling. This January 2016 Sh!ft e-learning post by  Karla Gutierrez provides a list, of places to find good free stock photos on the Internet.

www_iconTop 10 websites for amazing free images. And another posting from Victoria Lee  links to a number of useful sites for image resources. She also provides an important reminder to please make sure to check the licensing and credit to the author as applicable when downloading any images for use.

www_icon123RF Royalty free stock photos. 123RF is a royalty-free digital media library that offers a wide variety of budget-friendly commercial and editorial images, video footage, audio clips, logo designs and illustrations.

Evaluation and social media. This guide by Norman Cameron is designed to provide a background on the theories and the methods used to inform evaluation of social media interventions. It will provide a brief introduction to what social media is, systems thinking (and why it is relevant for social media), the concept of Developmental Evaluation, as well as tools and metrics to support evaluation with various technologies

Useful Internet-based tools

www_icon30 Online Project Management Tools (Free & Premium). This 2016 listing from 1stWebDesigner presents some of the best project management and collaboration tools out there. There are also tools for brainstorming ideas, hosting conversations and even managing a newsroom.

www_iconTop 10 Online Collaboration and Document Sharing Tools. Having great online collaboration and document sharing tools will enable you to all work together and eliminated wasted time.  This post from WestwoodVA highlights Doodle, Basecamp, Mindmeister, Dropbox, Google Docs, etc.

www_iconThe world clock.  This site gives you the time for anywhere in the world, clicking on the city gives you more information. Importantly, it also has a time zone meeting planner www_icon to help you find the best time to organise that skype call with colleagues in different parts of the world.

www_iconDownload Research Papers and Scientific Articles for free. This blog post from Citationsy links to five of the best websites you can use to download journal articles – especially for those without the resources of a dedicated academic library behind them.

www_iconXE currency converter. A currency tool, or calculator, that allows you to perform foreign exchange rate calculations on the Internet, using up-to-the-minute currency rates.


[Header image: Pexels – Fabricio Trujillo]